Commissioner Hugh Weathers: South Carolina Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program Enters Year Two
The 2019 South Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program Permitted Growers were announced last week. Commissioner Hugh Weathers is here to tell us more about how this program is growing in South Carolina.
- The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) has selected 40 farmers to participate in the 2019 SC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.
William Dupree Atkinson Marion Steven Neal Baxley, Jr. Marion Nathan James Bradford Sumter Albert Stewart Bueno Orangeburg David F. Bulick Charleston Patrick Edward Burch Florence Jack Canty York Michelle Diane Davis Berkeley Kevin R. Dean Charleston and Williamsburg Vanessa English Richland Mark P. Ezekiel Aiken Felicia Roshell Jamison Calhoun and Orangeburg John Andrew Fogle Orangeburg Danny Lee Ford Anderson Thomas E. Garrison III Anderson Norman Daniel Gibson Greenwood Dianne Hill Harrell Florence Deborah Justice Oconee Kimberly Ann Kitchens Charleston Michelle White Lein Anderson Harry Bancroft Limehouse III Aiken Robert Douglas Mason Marion Matthew O’Brien Fairfield Gerard Pick Pickens Randle Palmer Quimby Bamberg Shawn Ransford Charleston Janel Dena Ralph Horry and Marion Jaqueline Rhinehart Saluda John Townsend Rivers Sumter Walter Lamar Scott Charleston Melinda F. Shambley Colleton Don Carlos Sharp Allendale Robbie Lanier Springs Williamsburg Michael Todd Stamps Richland Michael J. Tucker Lexington, Newberry James Ulmer Orangeburg Richard Alan Varnadoe Bamberg Joseph Henry Watson Saluda Joe Edward Wilkes Fairfield Robert P. Wilkins, Jr. Florence
- The farmers represent 24 counties throughout the state.
- Nineteen of the twenty Permitted Growers from 2018 are included in the selection.
- A high priority is nurturing the current growers because of the investments they made and risks they took for this inaugural growing season.
- I have visited a majority of the 2018 Permitted Growers operations and I am impressed with that they have been able to accomplish within the 2018 growing season.
- 162 applications were submitted for the 2019 program
- 40 Permitted Growers were selected in 24 different counties
- The counties include, Oconee, Pickens, Anderson, Fairfield, Saluda, Lexington, Aiken, Orangeburg, Sumter, Florence, Marion, Horry, Williamsburg, Hampton, Charleston.
- Each Permitted Grower can grow up to 40 acres each, but some of the Permitted Growers are growing less than 40 acres.
- 7 Universities are partnering with growers
- University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, Clemson University, USC Beaufort, Furman University and College of Charleston.
- As we continue developing this industry, we work towards a goal of expanding opportunities for farmers, so South Carolina can truly compete on a national and international level
- I’m excited about the increased interest in growing industrial hemp, and look forward to working with each of the 40 growers this upcoming year to continually build upon our state’s agriculture industry
- For more information about the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, please contact Vanessa Elsalah, 803-734-8339, email@example.com or visit agriculture.sc.gov.