SCFB Celebrates 75th Annual Meeting, Recognizes Grassroots Leaders
Myrtle Beach, S.C. – The South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation (SCFB) opened its 75th Annual Meeting in Myrtle Beach Nov. 29, highlighted by a number of awards and a State of Farm Bureau address from SCFB President Harry Ott.
Nearly 1,000 Farm Bureau members from across the state gathered not just to prepare for the year ahead, but also to celebrate accomplishments of volunteers and progress made in the General Assembly. More than 100 individuals were recognized for their dedication to SCFB at this year’s convention.
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers greeted attendees Thursday night at the Government Relations awards dinner. He spoke on the importance of farmers and agriculture in our state. David Wasserman, from The Cook Political Report, delivered the opening session keynote address Friday morning. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duval, a Georgia farmer, updated members on Saturday morning about issues Farm Bureau will face in 2018.
South Carolina legislators Representative Dennis Moss (R-Cherokee) and Senator Kent Williams (D-Marion) received 2018 SCFB Legislator of the Year awards for going above and beyond in their duties to support family farmers in South Carolina through key legislation. Both legislators have been dependable supporters of Farm Bureau, leading the way for agriculture, agribusiness and family farmers at the statehouse.
Seven individuals were named the 2018 Government Relations All-Stars for their progressive advocacy of SCFB’s priority issues in the General Assembly. They were Dale Wilson (Abbeville), Paul Sommerville (Beaufort), Harry DuPree (Berkeley), Gary Youmans (Hampton), Marilyn Easter (Laurens), Lewis Hicks (York) and Beth White (York). Each received a clock representing the time they dedicated to the work of Farm Bureau.
Clyde and Betty Jackson (Edgefield) received SCFB’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, as the highlight of the Awards and Recognition Program Nov. 30. The Jacksons have given greatly to SCFB through their many years of dedication and selfless volunteerism to agriculture in South Carolina.
Jimmie Lee Shaw (Newberry) took home an EZ-Go Golf Cart, $500 in STIHL merchandise and $250 cash after winning the SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet. Shaw competed against nine other contestants in a face-to-face discussion about agricultural issues today’s farmers are facing.
Two farm families – Samuel and Lindsey Hall (York) and Dean and Sara Hutto (Orangeburg) – were named finalists in the 2019 SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award Contest. As finalists, each family received a check for $1,000 compliments of the Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company. They also have the opportunity to win a new Ford truck.
Finalists for the SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award were also announced. They are Clint and Katie Moore (Greenville), Michael Robinson (McCormick) and Chris and Alisha Stevens (Horry-Loris). The finalists will be competing for the opportunity to win $500 and a Polaris ATV.
The contest winner for both the Achievement Award and the Excellence in Agriculture Award will be announced in January at the 2019 SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Columbia. State winners also have the opportunity travel to the 2020 American Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Austin to compete nationally against other state contest winners. The SCFB Young Farmers and Ranchers awards are made possible through generous donations from SCFB, Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Polaris dealers, STIHL, Garrett’s Golf Cars and Specialty Vehicles and Ford.
Each year, one South Carolina educator receives the Betty J. DeWitt Outstanding Educator Award. This year Jeff Murrie, a teacher at Briggs Elementary School in Florence County, received the award plus $500. The award is presented to a teacher of grades K-12 who has designed and implemented a lesson plan about the food and fiber industry.
The annual meeting came to a close after the business meeting of the South Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, where two individuals were re-elected to positions on the organization’s Executive Committee, including SCFB Central District vice president William Coleman (Fairfield) and SCFB Piedmont District vice president Doug Stewart (Laurens).
South Carolina Farm Bureau is a grassroots, non-profit organization celebrating and supporting family farmers, locally grown food, and our rural lands through legislative advocacy, education, and community outreach. By connecting farmers to the larger community, Farm Bureau cultivates understanding about agriculture’s importance to South Carolina’s local economies. To learn more, log on to scfb.org.