CLEMSON — Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences Dean Emeritus Tom Scott and South Carolina Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler were named 2014 Advocates of the Year at the annual meeting of the South Carolina Advocates for Agriculture at the State Farmers Market in Columbia.
South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers and the president of the South Carolina Advocates for Agriculture, Ronnie Summers, presented Peeler and Scott with their awards.
Peeler, of Gaffney, is a dairyman/businessman who has served in the state Senate since 1981 and is a 1970 graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science in dairy science. In 2009, Peeler was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humanities by Clemson University.
Advocates for Agriculture honored him for his years of service in the Senate working on behalf of the agribusiness sector of South Carolina. His fair and balanced approach to working with agribusiness, along with his contributions to the advancement and continued expansion of the industry were praised by Weathers. Peeler and his family were the owners and operators of Peelers’ Dairy in Gaffney until 1998, and he continues to operate Harvey Peeler’s Farm Inc. also of Gaffney.
Scott has served Clemson for 28 years as a faculty member, department chair and school director. Most recently, he served as the college dean for five years, leading advances in teaching, research and service that resulted in increased student enrollment, several new faculty hires, a larger research budget, construction of the 100,000-square-foot Life Sciences Facility and more than $19 million in donations and gifts.
Scott has returned to the animal and veterinary sciences department to resume teaching, student advising and research. He will lead a new college-wide program in professional development and leadership for students called CAFLS Plus that will prepare students for successful entry into their chosen careers after graduation.
South Carolina Advocates for Agriculture is a non-profit organization initiated through the state Department of Agriculture in 2005 to assist in marketing and promoting South Carolina agricultural products and the overall industry of agriculture in the state. A diversified group of business people representing various areas and organizations directly associated with agriculture comprise the membership. The members have a vested interest in agriculture in South Carolina and are dedicated to its continued growth and development.