The food and agricultural system in South Carolina demands strong leadership on every level. Through seminars, site visits and study tours, SC LEADS inspires and develops South Carolina’s future agribusiness leaders in three key areas:

Knowledge and Awareness of Relevant Issues Surrounding Food and Farming
The demands of running a successful agricultural enterprise often leaves managers with little time for issues and relationships that aren’t of direct of immediate concern. But to be a leader requires a broader perspective than that. The program’s variety of seminars, tours, and travel experiences are designed, in part, to develop that perspective. As a SC LEADS participant you will be exposed to best practices in food and farming and leave the program with the tools necessary to be a more effective business person and community member.

Civic Engagement and Policy Study
The program has a strong focus on getting involved in public policy issues. All participants will graduate with a better knowledge of how government works and will have had the opportunity to meet personally with their elected officials at the local, state and national level.

Leadership Skill Development
The agriculture system in South Carolina demands strong leadership on every level. To meet that challenge, the program offers training and practice in public speaking, conflict resolution, critical thinking and team building.


Leadership: Participants will be challenged to further develop their communication and analytical skills, problem solving techniques, and to exchange ideas;

Education: Through seminars, class discussions, group activities and travel studies, participants will become educated in local, state, national and world affairs regarding agriculture, forestry, and natural resources, as well as relationships between these and other sectors of society;

Action: Armed with an expanded understanding of advocacy and public policy, participants will be challenged and motivated to get involved;

Development: Through participation in this program, strategies will be developed to identify and address pertinent issues facing our state now and in the future;

Service: Upon completion of the program, both as a class and as individuals, participants are encouraged to put their skills into practice through community service projects.

SC LEADS is one of Clemson University’s Public Service programs. It is based at the Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development, located at the Sandhill Research and Education Center.