The 2017 Laurens County Spotlight on Agriculture was held last night in the Family Center at Clinton’s First Presbyterian Church. The event, highlighting the diverse agri-business industry here in Laurens County, was held in memory of County Agent Merrit L. Outz, who created the annual event in 1974.
Awards for accomplishments in 2016 were presented in several categories last night. They included adults recognized for their service to youth, as well as outstanding youth in agricultural pursuit. The Laurens County ‘Rose Torrey Memorial’ 4-H Volunteer Leader of the Year for 2016 was Edwin Terry of Fountain Inn. The Clinton High School Outstanding FFA Member of the Year award was presented to John Michael Lapromarda of Clinton. The Laurens District 55 High School Outstanding FFA Member of the Year was Nicole Whitt. A new feature of the Spotlight on Agriculture this year was announced by Extension Advisory Committee Chairman David McKittrick. He presented the first annual $1,000 scholarship to Clinton High Senior & Future Farmers of America member, Kyle Smith. Smith will be attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.
In the forestry category, the Laurens County Woodlands Manager of the Year award was presented to William B. Ferguson of Clinton.
The Laurens County Outstanding Beef Producer of the Year for 2016 was Don Jackson of Ware Shoals. Turning to Dairy, the Laurens County Outstanding Dairyman of the Year Award is shared between Ed and Cheryl Ettinger of Kinards. In the area of poultry agribusiness, the 2016 Laurens County Broiler Producer of the Year was Nelson Crisp of Cross Hill. The Special Commodity Producer of the Year award went to Crescent Farm, southeast of Clinton. Margie Levine, along with Jon and Holly Welch were recognized for their work.
Three awards recognized agribusiness men and women from a broad ranges of fields. The M.L. Outz Memorial “Outstanding Extension Supporter of the Year” was Ellington Willis of Fountain Inn. The Laurens County Farm Family of the Year was Glen and Marilyn Easter of Laurens.
And the Laurens County Agriculturalist of the Year for 2016 was Gene Holiday of Laurens.