South Carolina’s Agribusiness Industry Cluster includes the agriculture, forestry and processing sectors. According to the most recent economic impact study of the industry, the cluster has a $34 billion economic impact on the state’s economy and supports nearly 200,000 jobs.

The Palmetto Agribusiness Council (PABC) was formed in 1999 to facilitate collaboration of the different agribusiness sectors on critical issues and economic development efforts. The PABC has also developed an organized campaign to inform policymakers and the general public of the existing economic strength of agribusiness in South Carolina and its potential to grow even stronger given the appropriate support.




Jack W. Shuler

Palmetto Agribusiness Council

Cathy Novinger

Executive Director
Palmetto Agribusiness Council


V I S I O N   &   M I S S I O N

PABC’s vision is to grow the forestry and agriculture sectors from an annual economic impact of $34 billion and 200,000 jobs, to $50 billion and 290,000 jobs by the year 2020 by focusing on:

Food processing, labeling and packaging. Packaging companies and engineering firms are located throughout the state. Leveraging these resources, a food processing, labeling and distribution industry can be built. Collaboration with rural communities to develop certified agricultural sites is critical to this effort.

Adding value to forestry and horticulture sectors. Forest products fall into two distinct products: 1) paper and paperboard; and 2) solid wood products. Nearly 90% of both products are shipped to secondary processors, some of which are located in South Carolina. Today, the greatest opportunity for forest products involves secondary paper and paperboard where fiber is recycled. There are two primary avenues to grow the subcluster. One is to process more wood through primary manufacturing, and the other is to add value to the wood that is processed through secondary manufacturing. Both options are dependent on the housing market’s supply and demand.

Genomic research incubators. Clemson University has the largest genomic catalog of plants in the world. The state can leverage this resource through genomic research at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center, develop new plans, test them for viability, educate area farmers about how to grow them and then introduce them to the world market. Examples include seeds, plants, soil management, agro chemicals, irrigation, plant nutrients, specialty machinery, robotic development and green technology.

Agritourism/niche industry development. Collaboration with the SC Department of Agriculture, the SC Forestry Commission, and the SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to expand a nature-based tourism program for the state. Potential opportunities include wildlife observation, “vacation on farm,” hunting, hiking, camping, horseback riding, and packing/merchandising of SC grown products and others.

There are many states known for one crop or agriculture product. For example, Georgia is known as the Peach State, even though South Carolina produces more peaches. If collaborative action is taken to leverage the state’s agribusiness assets, South Carolina can become dominate on the national and global stage as the “State of Agribusiness.”


O T H E R   R E S O U R C E S

Certified South Carolina Grown – a marketing and branding program developed by the SC Department of Agriculture to increase the consumption of South Carolina agriculture products.

Making Small Farms into Big Business: A plan for infrastructure investments to connect small farms in South Carolina to local markets (September 23, 2013), produced by Crossroads Resource Center.

The Economic Impact of the Agribusiness Industry in South Carolina (September 2008).

Weathers, Hugh. 50 by 20 – A Ten Year Plan for South Carolina Agriculture, (November 13, 2009).