SC Commissioner Weathers: A Busy National Ag Week in South Carolina

SFN’s Mike Davis caught up with SC Ag Commissioner at last Thursday’s Certified SC Showcase event in Columbia.


Commissioner, it’s been a busy week in the Columbia area.

Well, you’re right. It’s National Agricultural week.

Well, you certainly taken advantage of it.

A lot, a lot of fun.

Today (Thursday, March 21), the third annual Certified SC Showcase, and we’ve had a couple of educational sessions this morning, but the real event starts now.

That’s why we put it on so we can bring farmers or suppliers together with buyers and see if they can find ways to do more business together. I mean, it’s nice. You need the education so that you understand you don’t go down a path. That’s the wrong way to go. But the real reason for being in the business is to make new opportunities available.

And speaking of education, that’s what yesterday was all about at the Phillips Market Center with the Ag Tech and Business Forum, very well attended and some excellent seminars there. Tech, I mean that’s what it’s all about in farming now.

You can’t sit still with regards to technological innovation because in two months time, it’ll be a totally different conversation. You know, agriculture didn’t get to where it is and 2024 without innovation in 1954, ’64, ‘74, whatever, to get us to this point now. We won’t recognize it in 2034 by any stretch, or maybe 2026. So you have to stay in the game to see what makes sense for your operation in and then see what works in regards to processing as well. So that’s where we’ve focused a little bit more of our research is where can we streamline the process? Because we all got to address the labor availability.

So it’s been as we said, a busy week. What’s the next big event for SCDA on the calendar? What’s coming up down the road?

I don’t remember (laughs)

That’s why you have staff, right? (laughs)

Well, for us the budget process, if you compare it to a baseball season now, so we’re in about the second inning of it. We had an at-bat this morning with the Senate Finance Committee, so for the things that we have been able to do in the Department of Agriculture, it takes money. So our job is to convince the leadership of South Carolina that the investments they make in the Department of Agriculture will benefit all of South Carolina by way of a growing agricultural industry.

Image: South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers speaks to the attendees at the Certified SC Showcase in Columbia (image by Mike Davis)