South Carolina: Twenty Farmers Selected for Industrial Hemp Pilot Program


By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In South Carolina, twenty farmers from fifteen counties will participate in South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s (SCDA) 2018 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. Throughout the state, 131 applications were submitted for the pilot program. Participants were selected based on agriculture experience, geographic balance across South Carolina, accredited college/university partner, purpose of the crop, processor experience and the ability to secure needed equipment and financing.

Farmers in the pilot program will be working with the University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, Clemson University and USC Beaufort.

“The Industrial Hemp Pilot Program creates a new opportunity for South Carolina farmers to increase crop diversity,” said Hugh Weathers, South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture. “This is a new industry for South Carolina, and we’re hopeful that these first 20 growers will lay a strong foundation for an expanded 2019 program.”

“Interest in the program was strong, and the Department of Agriculture worked diligently to select a broad representation of growers,” Weathers added.

Tom Garrison, one of the farmers selected for the program, has farmed his entire life in Anderson County.

“It’s going to be a huge learning process, finding all the specifics on how to produce the crop profitably,” Garrison said. “No one here really knows all the answers.”

The pilot program permits for hemp growing begin on Jan. 1 and last through 2018.

For more information about the program, visit

Photo Source: Washington Post

Photo Source: Washington Post