COLUMBIA — Danny Ford, Clemson University’s first national championship football coach, and former state Rep. Chip Limehouse of Charleston, are among the 20 farmers who can legally grow hemp in South Carolina under a law approved earlier this year.
Ford, who led Clemson to its 1981 title, plans to grow hemp on 16 acres in Pickens County, while Limehouse, a Republican, will grow it on 20 acres — the maximum allowed — in Aiken County, according to the state Agriculture Department.
More than 130 people applied to participate in the pilot program’s inaugural year. The agency announced the 20 permit winners this week.
“I think South Carolina is poised to be on the front end of hopefully, a great new agricultural boon,” said Limehouse, who did not seek re-election in 2016 after 22 years in the House.
“This could be the next indigo, rice, or cotton for South Carolina,” he said.
Factors weighed in selecting the 20 winners included their agricultural experience, ability to secure financing and their farm’s location.
“We tried to do a geographic dispersion around the state and a little clustering