Steve Cole

Director, Regulatory and Public Service Programs
Regulatory Administration Office, Regulatory Programs, Department of Plant Industry, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Agricultural Services Laboratory, Fertilizer and Seed Certification, Invasive Species Program, Nursery Licensing, Plant Problem Clinic, Organic Program

Office: 511 Westinghouse Rd. Pendleton, SC
Phone: 864-646-2122
Fax: (864) 646-2178


 Educational Background

Ed.D. Learning, Leadership, and Organization Development
The University of Georgia 2010

M.S. Agricultural and Extension Education
The University of Tennessee 1997

B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
The University of Tennessee 1993

 Courses Taught

Forestry 4130/6130 Integrated Forest Pest Management
Forestry 4131/6131 Integrated Forest Pest Management Lab
Plant & Environmental Sciences 4450/6450 Regulatory Issues and Policies (Guest Lecture)
Agriculture Education 4160/6160 Ethics and Issues in Agriculture and the Food and Fiber System (Guest Lecture)


Dr. Cole is the Director of Regulatory Services, which includes the Department of Plant Industry, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Plant Problem Clinic, Agricultural Service Laboratory, and Homeland Security. He is also the 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 director of Regulatory Services in 2014.