SC Commissioner Weathers: Sunbelt Ag Expo Recap

  • The Sunbelt Ag Expo is an agricultural-based trade show held at Spence Field in Moultrie, Ga.
  • Known as “North America’s Premier Farm Show”® the annual event has more than 1200 exhibitors showcasing the latest in farming technology. 
  • There are also over 300 different seminars and demonstrations offered over the course of the 3-day event covering topics such as Beef Cattle Management, Equine, Goat & Sheep Health, Fish/Pond Management, Alpaca, Dairy, Poultry, Electrical Safety, backyard gardening and sustainable living topics.
  • The Expo works with 22 Land Grant Colleges and Universities from the Southeastern U.S. to provide these educational opportunities at no additional cost to the Expo visitors.
  • I was able to go down to Moultrie on Tuesday for the day and visit the expo.
  • SCDA had some of our staff in the Clemson area and it was great to see them.
  • I got to visit with some of my fellow Southeastern Commissioners and visit with their staff there.
  •  I attended the Farmer of the Year lunch to support SC’s nomination, Brad O’Neal of Coosaw Farms in Fairfax.
  • Coosaw farms grows watermelons and blueberries and consists of approximately 3,300 acres.
  • O’Neal makes a point of incorporating innovations in ergonomic aids for harvesting and packing.
  • On Coosaw Farms there’s a culture of old-fashioned thrift where the O’Neal’s re-purpose and reuse whatever’s possible, striving for near zero waste. The company has an active recycling program that includes plastics, metal, packaging, and office paper.
  • On the county level O’Neal is a member of the Farm Bureau Board of Directors and is on the Holy Trinity Classical Christian School Board of Governors. On the state level he is a member of the South Carolina Watermelon Association. On the national level he’s a member of the North American Blackberry and Raspberry Association, the National Watermelon Association and the Southeast Produce Council.