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Locally Grown, Pesticide-Free Produce Advances Big-Time in SC

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Agribusiness is big business in our state and an announcement last year for a $314 million ag-tech center in Hampton County has made it even bigger. Using artificial intelligence and blockchain technology on a 1,000-plus acre site with a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, produce will be shipped within 24 hours of harvest to an estimated 50 million people in the Southeast. Not to mention that the facility is also expected to create over 1,500 new jobs over the next five years.

Mike Switzer interviews John Fleming, a project manager with the Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance in Barnwell, SC.

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After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.