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NRCS Chief Lohr Visits South Carolina

Chief conference

Chief Lohr presents at the American Forage and Grassland Council Annual meeting in Greenville, SC.

NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr visited South Carolina January 5-6, 2020, and attended the American Forage and Grassland Council's Annual meeting.  The meeting was held in Greenville, SC and Chief Lohr was the luncheon keynote speaker on Monday, January 6. 

The American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) is an international organization made up of 20 affiliate councils in the United States and Canada.  The organization has a total individual membership of about 2,500. Their primary objective is to promote the profitable production and sustainable utilization of quality forage and grasslands.

During his presentation, Chief Lohr briefly discussed NRCS priorities, the 2018 Farm Bill and highlighted two farms in South Carolina that received NRCS assistance for the management of grasslands.  At the completion of his presentation, Chief Lohr visited the local Greenville county field office for a round table discussion with NRCS local staff, as well as Greenville Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) employees.  Chief Lohr was also able to visit with two local producers residing in Greenville County that have contracts with NRCS. 

DC Lynne Newton

Chief Lohr and District Conservationist Lynne Newton review the Robertson's operation.

The first stop was with Kirsten Robertson. Robertson is a farmer whose life has been completely changed by NRCS on a local level.  She and her husband, John, have farmed small ruminants on 10 acres in Greenville County for 30 years.  They continuously grazed goats for milk and sheep for meat for 25 of those years until Kirsten learned about soil health through NRCS.  She cost-shared with NRCS on a watering tank and fencing to start her rotational grazing, and then received a CIG to drought-proof her farm in 2013.  Since then, she has lowered her hay use by 50 percent the first year, and was able to increase her stocking rate by 30 percent.  She is currently the president of the SC Forage and Grazing Lands Coalition (a state affiliate of the National Grazing Lands Coalition).

At the second stop, Chief Lohr visited Edmund Woo. Woo is the owner of Saskatoon’s restaurant near downtown Greenville.   He wanted to extend his growing season to provide more fresh vegetables for his restaurant, which he previously grew on his property near the kitchen.  Mr. Woo contacted NRCS for assistance in November of 2017. He was subsequently approved for a high tunnel through EQIP funding, and completed construction in January 2019.

South Carolina NRCS appreciates Chief Lohr visiting with local producers and staff in Greenville, and look forward to return visits in the future.

Edmund wooChief Lohr and Edmund Woo, owner of Saskatoon Lodge Restaurant and
EQIP participant for a seasonal high tunnel.