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GREENVILLE – Duke Energy is continuing its long history as a vital participant in South Carolina’s economy by announcing $500,000 in support of the state’s main industry: agribusiness.
Grants from the Duke Energy Foundation will help fund education and diversity initiatives statewide.
“Agribusiness is South Carolina’s premier industry, and Duke Energy is proud to power thousands of family and commercial farms and related businesses across the state,” said Mike Callahan, president of the State of South Carolina at Duke Energy. “As a company born in South Carolina and essential to its success, we are constantly looking for ways to help fuel the state’s economy. That’s why it’s important for us to support efforts that not only build the diverse 21st century workforce this industry will need to thrive and grow, but also help more farmers and of minority landowners to protect family lands and develop working landscapes.
In this school, A is for agriculture
- SC Governor’s School for Agriculture – ($150,000) – Grant will be used to develop curriculum and teach sustainable farming practices and equipment needs, as well as establish a scholarship program for students pursuing their education in agricultural programs at SC State University, Clemson University, or Technical State University. colleges. In partnership with Agriculture Advocates, part of the funding will go towards the creation of the Martin Eubanks Memorial Gardens at the Governor’s School.
- Center for Inheritor Property Preservation – ($150,000) – The center works to assist minority farmers and landowners with the legal aspects of inherited land and timber harvesting opportunities. These funds will help expand their services in the Pee Dee area (Florence, Darlington, Marion, Dillon and Marlboro counties).
- Future Farmers of America (FFA) – ($200,000) – Funding will provide microgrants to FFA high school locals and will also target all school districts that have agriculture teachers and programs with enrichment grants (130 professors of agriculture across 96 FFA chapters across the state).
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“This grant will allow us to expand our sustainable agriculture program here at our school. With the world’s population growing, we need to be proactive in training our future farmers to sustainably grow our food and fiber,” said Timothy Keown, president of the SC Governor’s School for Agriculture. “One of our lofty goals is to grow at least 50% of the food our students and staff consume in our cafeteria. This will teach our students that self-sufficiency is an attainable goal. Without the grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, this goal would not be possible for years. »
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“We are very grateful to Duke Energy for including the center in their generous grant,” said Dr. Jennie L. Stephens, CEO of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation. “We appreciate Duke Energy’s focus on agriculture and their concern for farmers, ranchers and foresters and the issue of black soil loss, especially in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Our mission is to protect the property of heirs and promote sustainable land use to provide increased economic benefits to historically underserved landowners. This investment in the work of the Center will have a positive impact on the whole region.
According to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, agribusiness is the state’s #1 industry, accounting for nearly 250,000 jobs and $46.2 billion in annual economic impact. Agriculture has always been a very important player in local economies and continues to have a big impact today in communities across the state.
Like agribusiness, Duke Energy has played a significant role in South Carolina’s economic success for more than a century and continues that impact today. Duke Energy maintains a significant economic presence in South Carolina as a major employer investing heavily in the region – the company’s current economic impact on the state is approximately $7.6 billion annually.
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The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation gives more than $30 million a year in charitable donations and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. For more information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program, visit duke-energy.com/foundation.