Legislators from the West African country of Ghana toured a farm in Blair as part of the Ghanaian and South Carolinian Legislators Exchange.
More than 20 legislators from the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in Ghana made a two-week trip to South Carolina as part of the Ghanaian and South Carolinian Legislators Exchange
. The purpose of the trip was for Ghanaian and South Carolinian legislators to exchange information and ideas concerning their governmental processes and to foster friendship, cooperation and close relationship between government officials of the two entities.
Four of the legislators who deal directly with agriculture visited Wico Farm in Blair during their visit.
Wico Farm is owned by lifelong Fairfield County resident William Coleman, who operates the farm, growing turkeys for Prestige Farms, raising beef cattle and growing wheat, hay, cotton and timber.
Wico Farm contains eight turkey houses, each of which measures 20,000 square feet.
The legislators toured the farm and spoke with Coleman about the day-to-day operations of the farm.
The Ghanaian legislators agreed that they were already aware of most of the agricultural information shared during the tour, but they noticed differences in the management of the farm.
The primary difference is that in Ghana, the entire process — from start to finish — is managed by a single farm or farmer. In Coleman’s case, the turkeys come from a breeding farm and are transferred to Wico Farm for growing.
Coleman — who is a fifth-generation farmer — also explained to the legislators that he and his son, a game warden who also helps manage the farm, try to be good stewards of the land.
He pointed out that there was no noticeable odor coming from the turkey houses, and that the only time there is a noticeable odor is during the times when litter is cleaned and spread onto the fields.
Established in 2010, the South Carolina Legislative Exchange was the product of a collaborative effort between the Benedict College Office of International Programs (BCOIP) and members of the South Carolina House of Representatives.
The program offers visiting legislators real-time, on-the-job training in the application of federalist principles at the state level as well as opportunities to share knowledge on specific new techniques and technologies that may offer solutions to difficult issues facing governments with limited resources.
New technologies such as renewable energy — i.e. solar, wind, bio-fuels, bio-diesel, ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells and geothermal energy production — are examined.
Examples of agribusiness models that blur the distinction between energy production and farming are also examined.