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Thursday, May 10, 2012

SC Farm of the Year Contest

(This is a re-print of an article by Tony Melton, Florence County Extension) If you are a regular reader of this article you know that my mind has a mind of its own. I will always have a S.C. Farm Boy view of the world because I realize that I learned all the important things in life growing-up watching mama pick cotton and as soon as I could drag a harvest sack picking cotton myself. My education really hit high gear when granddaddy switched from growing cotton to butterbeans. Every bean had to be what we called “full” so I had to inspect every bean before picking, but still I only received 50 cent for every bucket picked. My parents brought me up to take myself lightly but work hard and take pride in my work. After working with other S.C. farmers for over 50 years I believe most farmers were also taught this by their parents. However, in today’s society it seems that many folks want to jump up and down and let everyone know how great they are - without the work to back it up. Humility and dignity has been tossed out the window. This may be one of the reasons why it is so hard for me to get farmers to apply for our “S.C. Farm of the Year Contest.” Really this is also one of the reasons why we call it the “Farm of the Year” instead of the “Farmer of the Year Contest.” Every farmer should be with no reservations proud of his farm – his life’s work. This is where each of you may help. It is fashionable today to connect to where your food comes from so if you are or know of anyone who is a S.C. farmer please have them send the following information by May 20th to Tony Melton, Florence County Extension Service, 2685 S. Irby St., Florence, S.C. 29505 or email to amelton@clemson.edu. 1. All contact information. 2. Farm Name. 3. Farm Size 4. Farm Cropping/Livestock. 5. Describe how you manage your labor, machinery, and technical assets to maximize efficiency. 6. Describe your plans to boost biodiversity, protect natural resources, reduce carbon footprint and engage with the public. 7. Do you participate in agritourism or other agribusiness ventures? 8. Are you a member of South Carolina Certified Grown? ArborOne Farm Credit has graciously agreed to sponsor the “3nd Annual S.C. Farm of the Year Contest.” “A little recognition for a job-well-done especially with a prize – Never hurt anybody,” like my daddy would say. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer. ArborOne Farm Credit is a member of the national Farm Credit System and provides financing for agriculture, agribusiness, land, equipment and homes in the country. ArborOne's territory is the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina.

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