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Department of Agriculture Selects Hemp Growers

South Carolina Department of Agriculture
Hugh E. Weathers, Commissioner

Media Contact: Sally McKay; 803-734-2196; smckay@scda.sc.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 21, 2017

Department of Agriculture Selects Hemp Growers, 20 farmers to begin pilot program

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) has selected 20 farmers to participate in the 2018 SC Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. The famers represent 15 South Carolina counties.

Permit Recipient County Acres

Dupree Atkinson

Marion

20

Steven Neal Baxley, Jr.

Marion

20

Lynell Braught, Ph.D.

Hampton

18.43

David Bulick

Charleston

19.95

Albert Bueno

Orangeburg

19.54

Patrick Edward Burch

Florence

20

Kevin R. Dean

Charleston and Williamsburg

20

John Andrew Fogle

Orangeburg

20

Danny Lee Ford II

Pickens

16

Thomas Garrison

Anderson

20

Patrick Jamison, Jr.

 Orangeburg and Lexington 5.46
Deborah Justice  Oconee 20
Harry Bancroft (Chip) Limehouse III Aiken 20
Robert Mason Marion 20
Matthew H. O’Brien Fairfield 20
Janel Ralph Horry 5.97
Nat Bradford Sumter 20
Robbie Springs Florence 20
Joesph Watson

Saluda

20
Robert Wilkins, Jr. Florence 20

 

“The Industrial Hemp Pilot Program creates a new opportunity for South Carolina farmers to increase crop diversity,” said Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture. “Interest in the program was strong, and the Department of Agriculture worked diligently to select a broad representation of growers.”

The 20 permit recipients were chosen from 131 applications. Selection was based on several key factors, including:

  • Completed application
  • Agriculture experience
  • Geographic balance across South Carolina
  • Accredited college/university partner
  • Purpose of the crop
  • Processor experience and location
  • Ability to secure needed equipment and financing

Five accredited universities will work with pilot program participants: University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, Clemson University and USC Beaufort.

Governor Henry McMaster signed H.3559 into law in May, making it legal for 20 South Carolina farmers to grow up to 20 acres of industrial hemp in 2018 for research purposes, in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill.

“This is a new industry for South Carolina, and we’re hopeful that these first 20 growers will lay a strong foundation for an expanded 2019 program,” said Weathers. “Ultimately it’s about growth and expansion for our farmers and our economy.”

For more information about the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, visit https://agriculture.sc.gov/divisions/external-affairs-economic-development/industrial-hemp/.

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Department of Agriculture Selects Hemp Growers Press Release


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