County News April 2016



Beaufort County FB Board member Louis Ackerman, Women’s Chair Ann Ackerman and Women’s Committee member Laura Hansen met with others from the Coastal District at the Charleston Ronald McDonald house to present 200 pounds of pop tabs, $215 of groceries and a check for $100 for Our Food Link.

Attending women’s day at the statehouse were Ann Ackerman, Laura Hansen and Hope Mcleod Cappelmann.

Beverley Brown, Clemson Extension 4-H agent hosted a farm day for a group of 8, 9 and 10th grade students from Beaufort Academy.  The first stop was at Rest Park Farm/Pinckney Produce owned and operated by Urbie West and son Ashby West to learn about and to see an actual vegetable farm from “seed to harvest to consumers.” They enjoyed the experience of the U-pick strawberry patch and had some to take home.  

Next was Chisolm Plantation animal farm for a tour.  Laura Hansen drove a Massey Ferguson tractor which pulled a 16’ trailer loaded with hay for a 4 mile hay ride to visit a pasture of Angus cattle.  Louis Ackerman drove a John Deere tractor which carried a round bale of hay for the students to see the feeding of cattle. When the bale got small enough for them to unroll, they took turns and had a great time unrolling and tumbling over the bale.  They also got to pet a tame cow, see a horse, a donkey, a large goat, alligators and many species of birds.   Finally the students were given the history of phosphate mining on this plantation, shown what the phosphate rock looks like, and how it was used.  

From this farm they went to Lowcountry Produce for a nice lunch and a tour of the canning facility and then to Deep Sigh Horse Farm to learn about horses.  Their fun day finished by making Ag in the Classroom ice cream.

Aluminum tabs were collected at several schools to deliver on Our Food Link day.

Attending the legislative update meeting in Santee were Board members Claude McLeod, Eugene Duncan, Charles Barnard, Ashby West, Dannie Lesesne and Louis Ackerman in addition to Women’s Committee members Ann Ackerman and Brenda Lesesne.

The book of the year, “The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen,” as well as books of past years and other agriculture books, was read at a number of schools.  Ag lessons were also presented and the students were given pictures about farm life to color.



Bo Norris, vice president of the Chesterfield County Farm Bureau, farms some of the same dirt his ancestors worked 150 years ago. But they would never imagine how he farms outside Society Hill, SC today. He has been an eager adapter of technology. The 2,100-acre farm does all its own grid sampling and variable rate spreading. Norris has purchased RTK steering options for his planting tractors. He has auto boom section controls on his sprayers. And, the farm is moving toward deploying variable rate seeding and row command controls for his planters.

If there is a word to describe Norris Farms, it is change. "We changed our planting practices quite a few times to suit the land we have, and the land conditions we have," Norris explains. "In the long run, even though we burn a little more diesel fuel, we get more of that high-priced seed to where it can make us money."

Norris Farms produces corn, soybeans and wheat, rows of cotton, grain sorghum and canola. Norris also tends to oats, sells hardwood and pine from 300 acres of scattered timber stands and coastal Bermuda hay. He owns a couple of turkey houses, runs 70 Simmental brood heifers and their angus-mix calves, and has a custom farming arm.

Norris is a member of the Wallace First Church of the Nazarene. He has recently retired from the Chesterfield County Farm Service Agency board. In 2004, he was selected as the South Carolina Young Farmer and Agribusiness young farmer of the year. In 2009, he and his wife, Patti were named the South Carolina's Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Rancher Achievement Award winners. Bo and Patti have a daughter, Sunny.


Pictured are the 2016 DTN/the Progressive Farmer Best Young Farmers and Ranchers Program honorees. Front row, left to right: Bo Norris, South Carolina; Marty Williams, Oklahoma. Back row, left to right: Andrew Crush, Virginia; Matthew Elfrid, California; Cody Goodknight, Oklahoma. (DTN/The Progressive Farmer photo by Jim Patrico)









On February 3, 2016, Mrs. Rhett Bacot and Mrs. Faith Truesdale presented Briggs Elementary 4H Club with a $300 sponsorship check for their chicken coop building fund.


On February 25, 2016 Mrs. Rhett Bacot’s granddaughter, Summer Bacot, read “Who Grew My Soup” and “The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen” to students at Delmae Elementary School in Florence, SC.


On February 25, 2016, Mrs. Rhett Bacot, Mr. Charles and Mrs. Judy Brigman, and Mrs. Barbara Britton donated $100 in food items and a $200 monetary donation to the McLeod Guest House in Florence for Our Food Link Week.


On March 15, 2016, Mrs. Judy Brigman and Mrs. Barbara Britton attended Women’s Day at the Statehouse.


On March 21, 2016, Mrs. Rhett Bacot read “The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen”  to students at Dewey L. Carter Elementary School in Florence, SC.



Several Greenville County FB board members attended the Mid-Year Legislative Update meeting held in Newberry County.  


Pictured are Jim Scott, Roy Jones, Lem Dillard, Allen Kellett, Chris Talley, Bennie Blakely, Mike Armstrong, Terry Blakely and Cecil Parks. 










“Adventures in Agriculture Project”    

Greenville County FB Women’s Committee members helped children plant trees and jessamine flowers at Robert E. Cashion Elementary School, a Title 1 school, on their playground area with the purpose of providing shade for the children as well as teaching them how to plant and take care of the trees and flowers.  Additional vegetable plantings will be done in the Fall and the children will water and take care of these with adult supervision.  Thank you to several Greenville County members who helped the Women’s Committee with this project.  Also a big “Thank You” to Lowes of Simpsonville and Manager Kevin Stredney for the generous donation of equipment toward this project.




















 Hand written and drawn “thank you” from one of the school children to the “tree workers"












Greenville County Women’s Committee partnered C.F. Sauer who gave a generous donation which enabled Greenville County Farm Bureau to donate over $900 worth of food items to Greenville Ronald McDonald House.

Katie and Clint Moore, Greenville County Board members, attended the Young Farmer and Rancher’s Convention in Clemson and were awarded $500 and an Excellence in Agriculture Award.  They were in the top three in the state.


Horry-Conway FB

WASHINGTON, DC—Richard and Megan Floyd of Horry-Conway Farm Bureau were appointed to the American Farm Bureau national Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee for the 2016-2018 term beginning in March. The committee is comprised of 16 positions representing all regions of the U.S. An individual or a couple may hold each committee appointment.

Outgoing AFBF President Bob Stallman announced the appointment last December.

"The individuals selected to serve are great leaders and have already given so much back to their communities," said Stallman. "I look forward to the work they will do on the YF&R Committee as well as watching them become even stronger advocates for today's agriculture."

Committee members are responsible for YF&R program planning, which includes the coordination of YF&R competitive events during AFBF's Annual Convention each January and the Harvest for All program. They also provide support in planning and implementing leadership conferences.

National committee members are nominated by their respective state Farm Bureaus. They study farm and food policy issues, participate in leadership training exercises and hone other professional skills during their two-year terms as committee members.


Laurens County FB                      

Marilyn & Glen Easter of Laurens County were inducted into the South Carolina Dairy Hall of Fame in April for their major contributions to the dairy industry within South Carolina.

Despite the fact that the Easters are husband and wife, they were inducted as individuals and not as a couple. Both are highly respected and have been honored as recipients of a number of prestigious awards and positions within the dairy industry in SC, as well as regionally and nationally.

The couple moved to Laurens in April 1978 from Addison, Vermont where they established Eastglen Farms. They are the proud owners of 300 head of Jerseys and are widely known for producing high-quality animals for their personal operation, as well as national and international milk markets.

The ceremony was held at the headquarters of the South Carolina Farm Bureau where they were joined by their family and invited guests. Included among the guests were Dr. Tom Dobbins, Director of the Cooperative Extension Service under the College of Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences at Clemson University; Dr. Boyd Parr DVM, Director of the Clemson University Livestock and Poultry Health programs for Clemson University; and Larry McKenzie, representing the President of SC Farm Bureau, Harry Ott.  Mr. Rick Doran, Chairman of both the SC Farm Bureau Dairy Advisory Committee and the Dairy Hall of Fame Nominating Committee, served as Master of Ceremonies.

Portraits of all inductees, as well as individual biographies, are displayed at Clemson University on the wall of the first floor within Poole Hall, commonly known as the Plant and Animal Science Building.

The Dairy Hall of Fame originated in 1966 and was established to honor dairy producers, processors, dairy extension and educators along with related agri-business professionals for outstanding contributions to the support and advancement of the dairy industry within South Carolina and nation. The Hall of Fame is sponsored by, Clemson University Agriculture, Forestry & Life Sciences, the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation and many other supporters.

Marilyn and Glen Easter 












Newberry County Farm Bureau held their Annual Legislative Banquet on February 1st.   Representative Walt McLeod, along with Newberry County Council members, Newberry County School Board members and Sheriff Lee Foster, were in attendance. Mr. Harry Ott, President of South Carolina Farm Bureau, also attended and addressed the group.

Fifteen Newberry County Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers attended the South Carolina Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Ranchers Conference February 5th – 7th. Jimmie Lee and Katie Shaw were selected as the 2016 South Carolina Farm Bureau Achievement Winners and were presented with a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado. Jimmie Lee and Katie will represent South Carolina at the AFBF Convention in January 2017 in the AFBF Achievement Award competition.   Jimmie Lee and Katie also attended the 2016 AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Kansas City, MO February 12th-February 15th.

The Women’s Committee of Newberry County Farm Bureau donated items to the Ronald McDonald House for Our Food Link Day along with a $100.00 donation to the Ronald McDonald House.



Pickens County FB has started the year off right. Our county president, George Bryant and his wife, Yvonne, attended the American Farm Bureau Federation Conference in Florida. He stated that the farms he toured had some very innovative practices for production that could be implemented in the Upstate. Our Women’s Committee Chair, Sharon King (King’s Nursery), has been elected the new Chair for the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association for a two year term. Her main platform is speaking with legislators about advertising the renewed interest in our tree production. She also donated and helped plant two trees for Easley High School.

Our ladies reached out to the Ronald McDonald House with a donation in honor of Our Food Link week. We had eight ladies attend the Women’s Day at the State House. It was Agriculture Week and we attended the presentation of recognition of the week on the State House steps.

We plan on some exciting things to happen at the Farm Bureau this year!


York County News

Clint and Carolyn Boyd attended the AFBF Convention in Orlando on January 10-13. They thought it was a very rewarding and learning time. They also attended the Agri Biz Expo in Florence on January 14.

York County YF&R members Jesse & Tracy Miskelly and Lee & Taylor Gibby attended the State YF&R Leadership Conference in Clemson, SC, on February 5-7. The conference was held at the Madren Center located on the grounds of Clemson University. The couples were able to attend workshop sessions and hear from a panel of South Carolina legislatures. The conference was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance.

York County YF&R hosted a joint meeting with Western York County’s Young Farmer & Agribusiness Chapter on Tuesday, February 9th. York County YF&R members Caci Nance and Tracy Miskelly presented to the group on the importance of joining Farm Bureau and how to get involved in YF&R. There were approximately 65 people in attendance. Attendees were able to pick up membership forms if they were not already members of Farm Bureau.

Peggy Harshaw, Annette Boyd, Annie Turney, Helen Myers, Faye Linberger and Carolyn Boyd went to the Ronald McDonald House in Columbia on February 10th for the Central Districts Our Food Link Day. They took 41 toiletry bags, and a $500 gift card and food to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House. They all had a very rewarding day!

York County YF&R members Jesse & Tracy Miskelly attended the National YF&R Leadership Conference in Kansas City, MO. The conference was held at the Kansas City Convention Center on February 12-15. Jesse & Tracy, also members of the State YF&R committee, were able to hear keynote speakers from around the country and network with other young farmers.

York County YF&R members Tracy Miskelly & Beth White along with YCFB Board members Clint and Carolyn Boyd attended the Legislative Update for the Central District on March 10th in Newberry. The Farm Bureau Government Relations team updated the group on certain legislation that pertained to agriculture and encouraged everyone to get in touch with their legislatures at every level.

 Clint and Carolyn Boyd, Tracy Miskelly & Beth White










Five ladies from York County attended Women’s Day at the State House on March 15. They were Helen Myers, Faye Lineberger, Annie Turney, Tracy Miskelly and Carolyn Boyd. They also celebrated National Ag Day while there.










Ag Day Proclamation ceremony at the State House












The 2016 York County Swine Project Show and Sale was held on Saturday March 26, 2016 at the Chester Livestock Exchange. Forty-three 4-H and FFA youth showed their prize pigs, competed for prize money, belt buckles, blue ribbons, trophies and most important, bragging rights. Grand Champion was raised and shown by James Moser, and Wyatt Nance had the Reserve Champion. Average Daily Gain winner was Leanna Moser.

Thanks to all of our volunteers and sponsors. Sponsors include United Way for our premium money, Sherri & Blake Wisher for use of their facilities and our Average Daily Gain trophy, York County Farm Bureau for our Show Participant Awards, Bank of York for our Grand & Reserve Champion Cash Awards, York & Clover FFA and York & Chester County 4-H for our Showmanship Award belt buckles. Our judge was Richard Melton, a former NC Extension Agent. Swine Project Show & Sale Committee members are: Kelsey Anderson, Brian Beer, Carrie Bolin, Robin Currence, Steve Hucks, Faith Isreal, Kenneth Johnson, Katie Knight, Jesse Miskelly, Mary Miskelly, Blake Wisher and Sherri Wisher.

York County YF&R hosted the Third Annual Run 4Agriculture on April 2. This 5K sponsors a scholarship in memory of Sara Ann Comer, a former YF&R member. The YF&R committee decided to change the location to Hickory Grove, Sara Ann's hometown, and the town was very receptive to that decision. The 5k, which was held in conjunction with the annual Hickory Grove Fire Department Hash & Tractor Show, drew in over 150 people. The committee believes moving the event to a road race, instead of a trail run like in the past years, will help grow attendance and proceeds. This year's event profited over $6,000!

The YF&R committee will be meeting in April to select two scholarship recipients from the applicant pool. We look forward to sharing the news with the Board in May!

Arthur Q. Black, President of York County Farm Bureau, announced the upcoming 2016-2017 York County annual Scholarship Program. This scholarship is awarded annually to a worthy student pursuing a higher education in agriculture or in an agriculturally related field, after completion of a first semester at a (4) four year school of higher education. The amount of the scholarship awarded will be $1000. This will be awarded $500 each semester with the check payable to the institution and the student.

The purpose of this scholarship is to provide assistance to the young people of our county’s farm families or from farm oriented backgrounds with an interest in pursuing a higher education in agriculture or a related field. It is also desired that this scholarship will result in the encouragement of young people to develop the knowledge and skills to assume positions of leadership in agriculture, civil affairs, and public service.

This scholarship will be awarded to a resident of York County based on character, demonstrated leadership abilities, and dedication to agriculture or a related field.

Applications for this scholarship should be picked up and returned to York County Farm Bureau no later than Friday, June 27, 2016.           

Questions may be directed to Sandra Robbins, York County Farm Bureau, phone 803-684-4235.