Oftentimes, agriculture has been accurately accused of preaching to the choir. This new statewide event will be one step toward changing that trend.

“Companies want to invest where they can enhance their competitiveness and profitability. South Carolina is that place. The South Carolina Agribiz & Farm Expo will help spread the word.”

Weathers is supporting the new show with more than his words. He serves on the expo’s advisory council and onFriday, Jan. 18, from 7:00 a.m. until 8:15 a.m.,  attendees can join him for breakfast and an update on the outstanding year of 2012 for South Carolina agriculture and the opportunities for the graduates of the South Carolina Commissioners School of Agriculture and other students in the future of this booming industry.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, attendees will get a chance to not only hear, but taste the many benefits of South Carolina agriculture during a Taste of South Carolina Agriculture.

Invited guests will include: agriculture leaders, agriculture organizations, political leaders, commodity groups, commodity boards, exhibitors, economic developers, and farmers. 

This will be the premier place to meet and mingle with the who’s who involved in all aspects of the business of agriculture.

“We expect the South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo will lead to a stronger agricultural industry in the state with increased economic opportunities for those currently involved and to bring new agricultural industry development to our state,” says David Winkles, president of the South Carolina Farm Bureau.

The event will feature South Carolina grown and processed food and beverage and will also spotlight key agribusiness companies, leaders, advocates and the South Carolina Heritage Farmer of the Year.

The Expo will also feature updates on major crops and up-and-coming crops that promise to be a future part of South Carolina’s booming $34 billion agriculture industry.

The list of speakers expected to provide farmers and agribusiness leaders attending the meeting with updates on agricultural production in South Carolina and neighboring states is somewhat unique in size and scope in the Southeast.

Only North Carolina, which brings together cotton, corn, soybean and small grains together in one meeting, comes close to bringing so much agricultural production expertise to one place at one time.

The educational program, which will be ongoing during the Expo includes the following scheduled presentations:

• “Farm Bill update — what farm bill and how will it affect your operation,” which will be presented as part of the opening session for the expo by Ted Etheridge, president of ARMtech Insurance Services and David Ruppernicker, CEO of the Southern Cotton Growers Association and the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association.

• “The Future of Agriculture — up and coming traits and technologies, chemistries and crops: Battling resistance through GMO’s.” This presentation is scheduled to be presented by Alan York, former Distinguished Professor of Weed Science at North Carolina State University; Mike Marshall, a weed scientist and assistant professor at Clemson University and by Wes Everman, a weed scientist and assistant professor at North Carolina State University.