FORESTRY ASSOCIATION BANQUET - At the annual Saluda County Forestry Association Banquet, (top photo), Phil Perry was presented the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian award. Making the presentation on behalf of Gov. Nikki Haley were Senators Ronnie Cromer (pictured) and Shane Massey, and Rep. Ralph Kennedy. Smith Holmes (bottom photo), was named the Saluda County Forest Landowner of the Year.

County Forestry Association Annual  Banquet

By: Stephen Pohlman,
    Clemson Extension
Forestry Agent

  The Saluda County Forestry Association held their annual Christmas Banquet at Camp Barstow on December 8, 2014 and hosted 300 landowners and guests.
  Included in attendance were county council members, Senators Shane Massey and Ronnie Cromer, District 39 House of Representatives Ralph Kennedy, SC Forestry Commission’s Russell Hubright and Troop 21 Boy Scouts.
  A most delicious meal was prepared by Parklane Seafood and enjoyed by all.  Entertainment for the evening was provided by Michael Mills as the guest comedian for the night.  During the banquet, the Association presented scholarships and two special awards.
  The Association presented six $1000 scholarships to Saluda county youth who are looking to continue their education in forestry and forestry related topics at higher learning institutions.  This year’s recipients were Carson Buzhardt, Robert Coleman, Hannah Herlong, Ashley Owen, Lauren Nordin, and Jessica Rutland.  A special thank you to our sponsors this year who help made this possible. 
  Smith Holmes received the ‘Saluda County Forest Landowner of the Year’ award.  Mr. Holmes was chosen due to his lifelong commitment to managing healthy forests on his property for both timber revenue and wildlife benefit.  Through the course of life, Mr. Holmes has seen both sides of the forest industry as a forest landowner and as a procurement forester.  This in-depth knowledge of how the industry works has helped Mr. Holmes become the best steward of his land that a landowner can expect to be.  Smith Holmes is a true asset to Saluda County and his contribution to managing his land and the timber industry will be appreciated for a long time to come.
  Phil Perry, retired Saluda County Clemson Extension agent, was awarded the ‘Order of The Palmetto’.  Governor Nikki Haley considered and approved Mr. Perry for this award due to letters written on his behalf from numerous forestry consultants and the Saluda County Forestry Association Board of Directors.  The ‘Order of The Palmetto’ is the highest award to be given to a citizen from the State of South Carolina, thus Governor Haley only awards such an award to those that truly deserve.  While employed with Clemson Extension, Mr. Perry excelled at bringing large numbers of people together for food, fellowship and education while working tirelessly for 38 years for the landowners of Saluda County.  The award was presented to Mr. Perry by Senator Massey, Senator Cromer and Representative Kennedy. 


CARPENTER RECOGNIZED - Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Kyle Carpenter, was recognized by Governor Nikki Haley during her 2015 State of the State Address. Pictured above is Carpenter, standing with Representative Ralph Shealy Kennedy, immediately after the Governor’s 2015 State of the State address. Kyle received an extensive standing ovation by all present after he was recognized by Governor Haley.  Representative Kennedy stated, “We are honored by Kyle’s presence here tonight.  Words cannot express our appreciation and thanks for Kyle’s unselfish service to a grateful state and nation.”  Kyle is currently a student at USC and was accompanied to the State House by both his mother and father.  Kyle is a resident of House District 39, which includes Saluda County and the western portion of Lexington County, and is a graduate of Saluda County’s King Academy