CHESNEE, SC (WSPA) – Agriculture is South Carolina’s number one industry. However, for many farmers, population growth results in loss of land.
Governor McMaster and the Agriculture Commissioner addressed issues like this at a forum in the upstate on Monday.
The governor spent the afternoon checking out the local produce and talking with the people who grow it, talking about the issues facing the farming community.
South Carolina has 25,000 farms with over four and a half million acres of farmland.
“Agriculture is the only industry that is an absolute necessity of life,” said Jason Wright, a farmer from Greenville County.
For farmers in the north of the state, they fear their land is becoming scarce due to overdevelopment.
Wright said, “We are giving up all of our land to build anything on it. Houses, industry or whatever, and then we’ll be at the mercy of someone else for our existence because we have to have food.
Governor McMaster said: “What we need to do is sit here and think about what we can do to improve it.
While the farmers talked about their concerns, the governor, pen in hand, wrote them down.
Farmers have also expressed concern over who will take over their farms when they retire, as fewer young people are entering the field.
“People in schools and counties don’t know what we’re doing,” one farmer told the forum.
Governor McMaster is committed to addressing these concerns.
“It is of great interest that we do all we can to support the agriculture and farmers of our state, that we preserve and protect the land,” said McMaster.
Tuesday is Farmer’s Day in South Carolina, and the governor is asking people to take the time to show their appreciation to local farmers in your town.