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Walther Farms and FRED Reach Agreement

South Carolina Department of Agriculture

Hugh Weathers, Commissioner
Media Contact: Kelly Coakley, 803‐734‐2196,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 28, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Walther Farms and Friends of the Edisto River (FRED) reached an agreement today regarding concerns over the farm’s surface water withdrawal usage from the Edisto River. FRED has agreed to drop a lawsuit recently filed against the farm. As part of the agreement, the Walther Family will implement a number of changes to
reduce water usage.

Several weeks ago Walther Farms made a commitment to Commissioner Hugh Weathers and other farm leaders to listen to and address public concerns. Existing strong coalitions between South Carolina agriculture and conservation groups helped foster behind the scenes discussions that made this agreement possible.

“I am pleased that Walther Farms and FRED engaged in open communication and compromise. Like other farmers in our state, the Walther family values natural resources and has demonstrated a willingness to help protect the Edisto River,” said
Commissioner Weathers. “Agribusiness is the state’s leading industry and it is equally important to promote future growth. This agreement shows that we can work together to meet the goals of both agriculture and conservation.”

Some of the changes Walther Farms agreed to include reducing existing surface withdrawal registration amounts by half and adding a backup well for ground water irrigation for a drought contingency plan. The family will also make adjustments to the
farm’s second track of land, and irrigate with ground water rather than withdraw from the Edisto.

For more details on the farm’s proposal, visit



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