Conference showcases agribusiness for the 21st century

By Peter Hull

Clemson scientist working with vinesSouth Carolina growers and farmers glimpsed the future during the fifth annual RAIN conference, held in January at Clemson University’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center in Florence.

RAIN is an acronym for Research, Agriculture, Industry and Nature. The theme of this year’s daylong conference was “Agribusiness for the 21st century through value-added collaborations - a South Carolina initiative.”

More than 85 attendees heard presentations from a host of industry experts, including the Palmetto Institute, S.C. Department of Agriculture and the Carolina Agri-Solutions Growers Association.

Topics covered included how to establish a successful vineyard, the state of agriculture in South Carolina and the growth of agritourism in the state.

The keynote speaker was Kenneth Meinhardt, owner of Meinhardt Vineyard and Winery in Statesboro, Ga., one of the largest wineries in the Peach State.

The conference was sponsored by Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University and Clemson University.

For information: Jody Martin, 843-661-4800 ext. 115,