South Carolina's Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers recaps some of the successes of the first Agribiz & Farm Expo and the Commissioner's School with Southern Farm Network's Bob Midles.
“When you talk about rooted in tradition you think of production agriculture in the mainstream; the commodity farmers who might grow the traditional crop mix of SC. But what we are also focusing on with the Expo is the innovation and new ways that agriculture will thrive in the years to come. For the students we are trying to attract, we want to explain to them a little of the heritage, but more importantly we want them to see the career opportunities that are there and the innovative ways that agriculture will provide different ways for them to be involved in a very rewarding career in ag.
Their depth of knowledge is tremendous after completing the week. We have 4-5 tracks and they can choose one to focus on for the week. We have had nearly 400 kids go through this program. The great thing about this program, is that the alumni, when they can, try to come back that week as a counselor. We also have them contributing financially.
When we see our students grow up and become leaders in SC agribusiness, it’s not unlike an athletics coach that sees some of his former players out in the world doing well.”