South Carolina Department of Agriculture Year in Review

We are just hours away from the new year and this is a good day to reflect back on the year that was. In SC it was a very busy year.

South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers:

“Everyone remembers the rain we had in the middle of the year. But we started off last January with the Farm and Agibiz Expo and we have the second one planned – that got us off to a busy start. Here in December we just released the small farms and big business study. From January to December we had a full year.

We did a more concerted effort around marketing and advertising for the Midlands Flower Festival. We know that over 50,000 people were out there. The big thing we like to see is how much the vendors generate. We think it was about $1.25 million in sales. Its all about providing opportunities for SC farmers.

We also want to always be telling people about agriculture. In May we released our first ‘South Carolina: Our Amazing Agriculture’ and we are working on the second edition. It’s a new way to tell the non farming community about farming.

We also helped out small farmers with a new phone app. We worked hard to put our ‘Fresh on the Menu’ restaurant program on cell phones so that folks using that app can find a restaurant that supports SC farmers.

The rains then came in June and July. The Governor came out and met with farmers and talked about the disaster declaration.

In August we had the anniversary of the Market Bulletin. Its 100 years of releasing that magazine twice per month.

We expanded the Certified SC program this year. We think it has momentum and influence enough to help other facets of agriculture. In SC we have a great seafood industry, so if we can try to use the momentum that we have built with this program to help our seafood operators it’s a logical expansion.

We want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2014.”'

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.