(WIS) - Cotton Hills Farm in Chester County has been a family enterprise since it was founded by J.E.B. Wilson's great-great grandfather in 1880. These days J.E.B., his two brothers, and their families keep the farm going.
"We grow peaches, watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, and we grow a whole lot of pumpkins, about 100 acres of pumpkins," Wilson said.
In his role, J.E.B. often works 13-14 hours a day, but his business is really non-stop with trucks on the road overnight sometimes making deliveries. Farming is a high-risk profession and industry, often with low returns. But it's necessary to our health and economy.
Every year, the SC Farm Bureau aims to show our state's farmers just how much they are appreciated with "Palmetto Palate," a celebration of South Carolina food, chefs, and farmers.
Many farmers in the state supply restaurants and shops in your community with the food and fresh produce that makes it onto your dinner table. When you're out shopping at the grocery store or your local market, make sure to look for the Department of Agriculture's "Certifed SC Grown" label. That's how you know you are getting the best and freshest product South Carolina growers have to offer.
Farm Bureau spokeswoman Stephanie Sox says local is better. "You're getting a better product if you're eating something just picked off the vine yesterday rather than hauled across the country," she said.
Thursday, July 19th at the South Carolina State Museum, dozens of tapas-sized dishes will be served to guests from an array of South Carolina farmers and chefs. In addition to supporting our state's farmers, the event also aims to connect South Carolinians with the people growing and making their food.
"Now more than ever, people want to know where their food came from, who grew it and that's one of the things we've been able to do with Palmetto Palate," Sox said.
The South Carolina Farm Bureau is one of the industry's biggest advocates from local to national issues. Agribusiness is a $42B industry in South Carolina, employing around 212,000 people. It's the biggest economic driver in the state.
Money raised from Palmetto Palate goes to support scholarships for South Carolina students pursuing agribusiness careers. If you'd like to learn more about the South Carolina Farm Bureau or purchase tickets to Palmetto Palate visit their website.