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SC Agribusiness Industry Turns Over New "LEAF"

Kirby Player
Mike Switzer/SC Public Radio
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According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in South Carolina is now approaching 60, continuing an upward trend for the past 30 years.  This is concerning to our Upstate flagship university because agribusiness is actually our state’s largest industry bringing in over $42 billion to our economy.  So they’ve decided to do something about it.

Mike Switzer interviews Kirby Player, director of Clemson University’s new Palmetto Leadership Program for the Environment, Agriculture and Forestry, or Palmetto LEAF.

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.