I grew up within a family of farmers. I still visit my cousins near Cowpens, where as a child I spent weeks in the summer. Working early in the morning, planting seeds, gathering vegetables, canning, or just cooking them for lunch, with plenty of leftovers for supper, my memories of those days are embedded in my mind.
I believe there are many opportunities in agriculture that can be revitalized. Farming is a wholesome, family-oriented way of life, producing food for the table, a way to earn income, and sharing with others in the community. Our farms are also far more sophisticated than in the past, and highly productive. Farm products are vital to our state and make significant contributions to South Carolina's export business.
Big corporate farms have been able to take advantage of many tax benefits that the small farmers have not, driving them out of business. I will work to strengthen farm co-ops, and to assure that financing is available to smaller farms. The Farm Credit Bureau was established with this purpose in mind. Local farmers recycle their dollars back into their local communities, and we need to take advantage of every benefit available to help keep them profitable and these communities thriving.