Research

Research, Agriculture, Industry and Nature (RAIN) Conference

Research, Agriculture, Industry and Nature (RAIN) I, was a conference held at Coastal Carolina University (2004) in which nutraceuticals were explored and discussed as a viable value added approach to South Carolina agricultural efforts in the coastal Pee Dee area. This conference focused on research and associated benefits of the use of plant derivatives as medicine and supplemental nutrients for human health. Speakers included research professors from Clemson University and Dr. Robert Bibb and Mr. Greg Hyman, who co-founded Dermacon, Inc., a Conway, SC based nutraceutical company. For more information about RAIN, please visit the RAIN site directly.

Research, Agriculture, Industry and Nature (RAIN) II, was a conference held at Coastal Carolina University (2005) at which Muscadines were explored as viable crops for nutraceutical products as well as supplemental or transition crops for coastal Pee Dee area farmers. RAIN II also included a visit to Hyman Vineyards. Speakers included Muscadine experts from across the nation including Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. The conference was funded by SC EPSCoR/IDeA, Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University, Dermacon, Inc., Conway, SC and Integrated Environmental Technologies, Little River, SC. For more information about RAIN, please visit the RAIN site directly. Thanks for your participation and support!

Research, Agriculture, Industry and Nature (RAIN) III, was a conference held at Clemson University’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center (2007). Because of interest generated by RAIN Conferences I and II, a new growers association has been formed. The Carolina Agri-Solutions Growers Association is the focus of RAIN III with respect to the advantages in research, agriculture, industry and nature that a growers association provides the individual producer. The conference is funded by SC EPSCoR/IDeA, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University, Hyman Vineyards, and Integrated Environmental Technologies. For more information about RAIN, please visit the RAIN site directly. Thanks for your participation and support!

The Carolina Agri-Solutions Growers Association (CASGA)

The Carolina Agri-Solutions Growers Association (CASGA) is a grower’s cooperative that brings area South Carolina producers together to:

  • preserve and sustain agriculture for the overall quality of life and profitability of the Carolina Region;
  • develop and market enhanced, value-added agricultural products, practices and services; and to
  • facilitate the production and marketing of new or alternative fruits, vegetables or other botanicals that can help improve public health while simultaneously rejuvenating agriculture in the region.

For additional information on CASGA or to get involved in CASGA efforts, please contact Hyman Vineyards or Greg Hyman at: (843) 397-2100.

The South Carolina Herb Project

The South Carolina Herb Project was a project, initiated by Hyman Vineyards owner, Greg Hyman, Clemson University and the SC USDA, to grow non-traditional herbs in the state of South Carolina. The South Carolina Herb Project established approaches by which Hyman Vineyards involves growers and introduced Hyman Vineyards to non-traditional crops.

The Muscadine Initiative

The Muscadine Initiative was an effort that evolved from the South Carolina Herb Project. The Muscadine Initiative grew out of an unrecognized parallel and collaborative effort in the educational and farm communities – at a time when both parties recognized the need to address the future of South Carolina agriculture. It was at this time that Mr. Hyman met members of the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, agriculture financing institutions, farm organizations and political leaders – all of whom supported and continue to support the further development of Muscadine vineyards in the state of South Carolina. Also during this time, Mr. Hyman met with and further developed relationships with the following local universities; Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University and Francis Marion University.

Hyman Vineyards, in conjunction with Clemson University and Coastal Carolina University, began to play a major role in the organization and initiation of the South Carolina Muscadine Initiative. The initiative focused on the Muscadine grape as a crop to replace and supplement tobacco as a major economic agriproduct in the coastal Pee Dee Region of South Carolina. Numerous research studies done at the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and Clemson University indicate that the beneficial effects of red raspberry compounds are more highly concentrated in Muscadine grapes. The Clemson Extension Service has recently initiated and is cultivating an experimental Muscadine vineyard in support of this initiative in Florence, SC.

Due to the retail and commercial potential of indigenous Muscadine products in South Carolina, a concentrated effort began to bring interested people together. These efforts included a series of meetings termed RAIN Conferences (Research, Agriculture, Industry and Nature).