Blanche and I send you greetings from the crossroads of rural South Carolina!
Each and every day I realize that it is an honor and privilege to serve our state. Each and every day, the passion that I have for agriculture and for our state motivates me to work a little harder, staying focused on the challenges ahead.
We have achieved some significant successes in South Carolina agriculture during the time that I have been your Commissioner, including growth in our rural agribusiness economy and more farmers and agriculture-related jobs in South Carolina.
While it is assuring to think about our progress, I remained focused on serious challenges confronting the future of agriculture in South Carolina. Where will our next generation of farmers come from? Can they afford the investment to pursue their dreams? What new crops will dot the South Carolina countryside over the coming years? Will Washington, DC regulations force our farmers out of business? And finally, can we grow our rural farming economy in a sustainable way that maintains the natural resources of our beautiful state for our generations of farmers not yet born?
These challenges have to be met with hard work and leadership. Leadership to be as efficient as possible with tax dollars, but leadership that is also effective in creating opportunities for growth while meeting the many responsibilities of this office. In asking you to support me for another term as Commissioner, I bring what I hope you see as proven leadership as well as a passion to move our state forward.
I ask you to say a little prayer for all our farmers when you see the Department of Agriculture sticker on the gas pump. Also, please say one for Blanche and me as well as we get around the state to meet with as many of you as possible over the next few months.