Stephen Cole

Director, Regulatory Services
Head, Department of Plant Industry


Office: 864.646.2122

Department of Plant Industry

511 Westinghouse Rd, Pendleton, SC 29670

B.S., Wildlife and Fisheries Science, University of Tennessee
M.S., Agricultural and Extension Education, University of Tennessee
Ed.D., Adult Education, University of Georgia

Dr. Cole is the interim Director of Regulatory Services, which includes the Department of Plant Industry, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Plant Problem Clinic, and Homeland Security. He continues as head of the Department of Plant Industry, which protects South Carolina's agricultural resources and natural ecosystems from the introduction and spread of plant and honeybee pests and invasive species. The department also enhances the efficiency of South Carolina's agricultural producers by providing unbiased, third-party quality assurance programs for the fertilizer, organic and seed industries; and staffs and equips the S.C. Plant Emergency Response Team. Dr. Cole joined Clemson University in 2012 as head of the Department of Plant Industry, which conducts the state's nursery and greenhouse inspection and certification, plant pest quarantines, and certification of seeds and organic farms; conducts inspection and laboratory analysis of fertilizer, lime and soil amendments; and operates laboratories to detect and identify plant diseases. Previously, he managed regulatory programs in the Georgia Department of Agriculture for more than a decade, most recently as director of the department’s seed, fertilizer and feed section, and served as a county Extension agent in Tennessee. He was promoted to interim director of Regulatory Services in 2013.