Bethel DuRant is a Clemson CAFLS alumni and Agriculture Alumni Board President. Learn more about his life after Clemson below!
How did you choose Clemson?
I was interested in agriculture because I was raised on a farm. Clemson had a very good reputation for this program at the time I was looking to attend. Also, my parents were big proponents of the importance of an education and expected that I receive a college education from an admirable university.
How did you choose your major?
My agriculture teacher in high school was an inspiration to me and influenced my decision to study agriculture education. I was also involved in FFA in high school and really enjoyed it.
What is the most important lesson or experience you had in college?
I learned many lessons from professors and classmates that I had close relationships with. Being in small classroom settings made the Clemson family that much more apparent and it became something I valued enough to maintain.
How did your education at Clemson prepare you for your career path?
I worked for the natural resources conservation service for 34 years within the USDA. Clemson allowed me to take different courses relating to agriculture education that catapulted my career. I needed to be well versed in all aspects of agriculture as I worked with farmers and landowners and needed to be able to advise them applicably. I directly applied coursework when I made conservation plans and engineering designs.
What advice do you have for current students or alumni hoping to pursue a career in your field?
Be extremely well versed in your major and don’t limit your focus to a particular aspect. If you’re looking for a career like mine you have to have a broad education. Being patient with the bureaucracy of the federal government is also necessary.
What is the most significant thing that's happened to you since graduating?
A significant even for me was meeting and marrying wife of 34 years and having our children. My wife is loving and supportive which allowed me great success within my career and life. The 3 children we had together have all graduated from Clemson and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments. I also value the Clemson family and keeping in touch with them post graduation. Having a Clemson ring opens so many doors for you.
This has been edited for length and clarity.