“How to” information for South Carolina and the world
By Tom Hallman
South Carolina farmers have come to Clemson for advice and information since the college first opened its doors. They still do. But now they’re joined by senior officials from around the country and the world. Recent delegations from Cambodia, China, and Washington came to learn about Extension, regulatory and research programs for farmers, pesticide applicators and natural resources management.
Three senior Cambodian agriculture officials came to Clemson to learn how to manage a widespread community of small farms through an exchange program with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“What we learn here, we can adapt to how we work with our farmers,” said Heng Chhun Hy, deputy director of Cambodia’s Department of Plant Protection.
Cambodia’s problem is exacerbated by lack of infrastructure, said Guido Schnabel, a Clemson plant pathologist who has made the trek to Cambodia, along with Meg Williamson, a diagnostician in Clemson’s Plant Problem Clinic.
“They are trying to extend this knowledge to a million farmers in remote areas of a country that doesn’t have the same infrastructure that we do,” Schnabel said. “The challenge is to get information to the farmers who need it.”
A five-person Chinese delegation came to study Clemson’s system of regulating pesticides through an exchange program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We are specifically interested in the laws, regulations and processes for pesticide application,” said He Caiwen, deputy director general of the Department of Crop Production. “We appreciate this opportunity to share information and exchange ideas on best practices.”
Joe Krausz, director of Clemson’s Department of Pesticide Regulation, led the Chinese team through the system that registers about 14,000 pesticide products and licenses more than 12,000 pesticide dealers and applicators in South Carolina.
“We conduct about 3,000 inspections annually,” Krausz told the delegation. “Every product has to have a label, whether it is a small container or a 55-gallon drum.”
Clemson’s Intelligent River® research initiative drew visitors from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
“We are putting in place a network of remote sensors to deliver real-time information on water quality, stormwater runoff, even tree growth, to policy makers and natural resource managers via a website,” said Gene Eidson, who leads the Intelligent River research team.
The research fits the needs of sustainable environmental programs that can be an economic driver, said Nancy Stoner, EPA acting assistant administrator for water. “EPA is committed to fostering the use of innovation and technology to advance our common goal of clean and safe water, and projects like Clemson’s Intelligent River help address these critical issues,” she said.
Catherine Templeton, DHEC director, agreed. “Water is this state’s most precious resource. We applaud Clemson for their foresight and innovation in preserving and managing such a vital resource.”
Learn more about Regulatory Services at Clemson:
Learn more about Clemson’s Intelligent River research initiative: