Forum to Address Tech, Business Challenges to SC Ag

NOTE: As of March 18, the event is at full capacity. Registration is closed. They ask you to plan to join them for the 2025 Forum!

2024 presents many unique opportunities and challenges to farmers, ranging from technology to economic factors to sustainability. And that’s why South Carolina ag leaders are coming together on March 20 for the SC Ag Tech and Business Forum in Columbia. Kendall Kirk is the director of Clemson University’s Center for Ag Technology and one of the organizers of the event.

“Look ahead and what are some of the things that we need to be looking to do as we move forward and this day, on the regulatory side on the academic side, on the industry side, maybe workforce development side to us to look at current trends and current issues and kind of bring the problem solvers together with the solution providers. That was really the main impetus, let it be a networking opportunity for everybody involved.”

Kirk says an example of one technology challenge farmers are facing is the lack of broadband infrastructure for today’s cutting edge precision technology tools.

“We’ll be looking at what are some things we’re doing what are some workarounds and what are some ways that we can better support these new and upcoming technologies on the kind of same note is upcoming technologies. There’s a little bit of apprehension maybe surrounding some of the AI tools that are available to farmers.”

Ronnie Summers is CEO of the Palmetto AgriBusiness Council and he tells SFN several hot topics are on the agenda.

“Economic considerations, Technology and Connectivity. Kendall already spoke to Sustainability issues and then the Fruit to Veggies as an opportunity. And that’s going to be four different panels. And we’re trying to utilize grassroots people, people that are farming and out there in the community, they’re experiencing things that they can then relay to our attendees.”

Mallory Douglass is the business manager with the Center for Ag technology at Clemson.

“We’re hoping to you know, have a really representative group in attendance. So whether that’s growers also agribusinesses, or industry that’s adjacent to the ag and technology space as well. We’d like to welcome them to come. We know that we all have our capabilities and Clemson has our capabilities and PABC has their expertise. So we’d like to bring everyone together.”

The South Carolina Ag Tech and Business Forum coming up Wednesday, March 20 at the Phillips Market Center in Columbia, and registration is free.