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Press Release: South Carolina Department of Agriculture

June 13, 2008

Hugh Weathers, Commissioner

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Summertime means more farm machinery on SC highways

COLUMBIA, SC – Hugh E. Weathers, South Carolina’s Commissioner of Agriculture, urges drivers to use caution when driving near tractors and other large farm equipment on the highways around the state.

Each spring and summer there is an increase of tractors and other large farm machines that travel South Carolina’s back roads as farmers work their fields. Every year there are collisions involving farm equipment and vehicles across the state and the Department of Agriculture encourages everyone to drive with care as they approach any farm machine on the road.

“Tractors and combines on the roads are a part of South Carolina,” Weathers said. “I urge all drivers to slow down, be patient behind large tractors that may be driving slowly, and pass with care.”

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety offers these tips when driving near large farm equipment on the highway:

  • Don’t follow too close. Driving too close reduces reaction time.
  • Slow done when approaching farm machinery on the road. Large pieces of equipment drive slower than most people think.
  • Pass with caution and use good sight distance. Remember tractors and combines are wider than standard vehicles.

For more information on safety tips, please contact Sgt. Kelley Hughes, community relations officer with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, 803.896.8164.


Watermelon field day to be held at Edisto REC

COLUMBIA, SC – A Watermelon Field Day will be held at the Edisto Research and Education Center located at 64 Research Road in Blackville, on July 10, 2008.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the office complex, followed by an indoor session held in the auditorium. Topics discussed include: SC Watermelon Board and Association activities; The South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Certified South Carolina Grown branding program; and a Watermelon Variety Trial and Research update. Following the indoor sessions, there will be field tours to look at research projects and variety trials.

The field research tours will include numerous topics including: Irrigation and Grafted Watermelon Research Project, Root Coring Demonstration, Multi-state Rootstock Grafted Trials Results, seedless watermelon replicated variety trial with 26 different varieties.

For more meeting details and directions to the Edisto Station, contact the Edisto REC at 803-284-3343 Ext. 273, or Brad Boozer with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture at 803-734-2225, or your local Clemson Extension Agent. Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) and Pesticide License credits will also be offered.


Commissioner Weathers greets Boys and Girls State delegates

COLUMBIA, SC – Hugh E. Weathers, South Carolina’s Commissioner of Agriculture greeted delegates from Boys State and Girls State during a ceremony held on the State Capitol’s north steps, June 13, 2008.

Commissioner Weathers met with, and escorted, Reid Schwartz of Wilson Hall in Sumter County and Vanessa Capers of Manning High School in Clarendon County during the hour-long ceremony. Schwartz and Capers were both elected to the post of Commissioner of Agriculture for Boys State and Girls State.

“Our outlook in South Carolina is in good hands with future leaders like these,” Weathers said. “I really enjoyed sitting and chatting with these two young people.”

Each year, more than 1,500 young men and women from across the state descend on the Capitol City for the week-long program designed to teach them about our governmental system and the politics that make it run. They are selected by their teachers and counselors to attend, and it is an honor to be chosen as a delegate. Only those with outstanding qualities of leadership, character, scholarship, loyalty and service to their schools and community are considered for selection. Boys State is held at USC while Girls State is held at Columbia College.

Boys and Girls State is called a “Laboratory of Government,” because during the week, these young men and women has the opportunity to run for and be elected to mock political offices ranging from city level to state constitutional offices such as lieutenant governor and governor. It is considered to be as much leadership training as it is an opportunity to learn about and participate in government and politics.

The Girls State attendees also attended an ice cream social hosted by the Department of Agriculture on June 13.

See photo attached. (Left to right: Vanessa Capers, Commissioner Weathers, Reid Schwartz)

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