Vice President's Message

Dr. John W. KellyWith interest continuing to grow in alternative fuels, South Carolina growers may have an opportunity to produce new cash crops as feedstocks for biofuel refineries. The 2008 S.C. Bio-Energy Summit noted a variety of crops that are suitable for fuel, including switchgrass and soybeans in addition to corn.

A coalition of education and business groups, called FastTrac, is helping entrepreneurs create, manage and grow successful businesses. With help from Clemson’s Institute for Economic and Community Development, one Newberry company won the S.C. Rural Small Business Award for its positive influence on the area’s economy and community.

In a Lowcountry forest, biosystems engineers are studying the movement of water through streams and wetlands. By understanding how the natural systems function they can offer recommendations to prevent flooding if the area is developed in the future.

Bitter melon, a plant used from China to Brazil, may offer an alternative to drugs for treating diseases such as diabetes, cancer, ulcer, hepatitis and measles. At least 22 medicinally active chemicals have been identified in the plant and research is underway to identify the medicinal compounds and growing guidelines for South Carolina farmers.

Through a partnership between the S.C. Department of Education and the Youth Learning Institute, tenth-grade students and their faculty mentors are building a culture of servant leadership. The goal is for these skills to benefit their schools and communities, and prepare the students to become productive citizens.

Sincerely,

John W. Kelly
Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture