Five South Carolinians who have worked to support and promote the state’s agricultural industry, recently received special recognition by the South Carolina Advocates for Agriculture.

During the Advocates for Agriculture annual meeting at State Farmers Market’s Phillips Market Center, the following people were honored for their efforts to help agriculture thrive:

Lifetime Achievement Award in Agribusiness —  Laurie Lawson:

Lawson was a full-time farmer until 1993, when he was appointed the State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA). He then worked for Clemson University as the assistant to the vice-president of Public Service and Agriculture. He was re-appointed as the state executive director for FSA by the Obama Administration and retired last year.

Advocate of the Year, Private Sector —  David Winkles:

Winkles has served as the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation president since 1997 and works closely with various agricultural groups and organizations. He is also a life-long farmer from Sumter County.

Advocate of the Year, Public Sector —Representative Gary Simrill:

Representative Simrill of District 46 - York County, serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. He has been a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives since 1993 and was a strong supporter for agriculture during the last legislative session.

Resolutions for Work with Advocates for Agriculture —Beth Crocker & Trent Rushton:

Crocker worked as general council with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture for 10 years, and is currently serving as an assistant general counsel for Clemson University.

Rushton served as the State FFA president for 2012-2013 and was an ex officio member of the Advocate for Agriculture Board of Directors.