Bob Scott, (Retired) President, SC Forestry AssociationJack Shuler, President, Palmetto Agribusiness Council
South Carolina's agriculture and forest industry represent an economic value of $33.9 billion, and together have the greatest impact on South Carolina's economy. Agribusiness reaches every corner of the state and extends far beyond the boundaries of the farm and forest.
Subclusters within Agribusiness include:
"The agribusiness cluster may be the one that can have the quickest, most dramatic impact on our economy. But it will only be successful if we have a thoughtful, innovative strategy," said Darla Moore, chairman of the Palmetto Institute, which is leading research on Agribusiness in South Carolina.
When the Palmetto Institute undertook a comprehensive study of South Carolina's Agribusiness sector two years ago, they knew Agribusiness -- food, forestry, and processing -- was a major economic driver in South Carolina's economy. Research has confirmed that Agribusiness represents more than $30 billion in economic impact on the State and is tied to nearly 200,000 jobs.
A focus on three areas has led the beginnings of a formal Agribusiness Cluster, lead by Jack Shuler of :1. Awareness. The agribusiness cluster will develop an organized campaign to inform both the policymakers and general public of the existing economic strength of agribusiness in South Carolina and its potential to grow even stronger given the appropriate support.
2. Lead Entity. An "umbrella" group is being identified to create, oversee and support the various agribusiness sectors in South Carolina. This group will be a public-private entity that collaborates with existing entities to speak for and strengthen the position of agribusiness.
3. Marketing. The existing branding and marketing program by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture has been well received and should be supported and expanded.
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