What is in this article?:
- South Carolina AgriBiz Expo: New opportunities revealed to farmers
- South Carolina's farm economy
- Ag commissioner plays dummy
- The South Carolina AgriBiz Expo previewed several new opportunities for the region's farmers.
- McCall Farms has purchased a major producer of yams, creating promise for more sweet potato plantings.
- Birdsong will operate a new peanut buying point in Darlington, S.C., for the first time.
SOUTH CAROLINA AG Commissioner Hugh Weathers (left); David Winkles, president of the S.C. Farm Bureau and Larry McKenzie, also of the S.C. Farm Bureau staff, discuss their perspectives on the current farm economy at the recent S.C. AgriBiz Expo.
Ag commissioner plays dummy
One of the highlights of the show was Weathers theatrical debut—sort of. EMS personnel staged several demonstrations of how to conduct a grain bin rescue, and Weathers volunteered to perform in one of them.
“I was the dummy who fell in,” he said. “The team pointed out just what you would experience, and their methods for extraction. It was realistic and made the point.”
It was scary. “When I was in the bin, I wasn't able to move, not until they put a cylinder around me and then put an auger to pump the grain out of the smaller cylinder. I personally know several families who suffered tragedies because of grain-bin accidents,” he said. “It is a very important issue.”
Attendance at the Expo was about 3, 000, said Show Manager Jody Martin, “All of our partners considered that a good crowd.”
A third Expo will be held January 15 and 16, 2015, again in Florence, he said, and Commissioner Weathers is optimistic that it will grow.
“The South Carolina AgriBiz & Farm Expo had a great second year,” he said. “The event put agribusiness in the spotlight, reminding everyone that our industry is vital to South Carolina.”
The growth between the first Expo last year and this speaks to the potential of the event, he said. “If we listen to our sponsors and participants and take what they have to say (in consideration), we can make it even better. We want to give everyone a good return on their time and energy.”