DURHAM, N.C. – Millie Davenport, Clemson Extension area consumer horticulture agent and director of the Clemson Home and Garden Information Center, has been named the 2017 South Carolina Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent of the Year.

Millie Davenport

Millie Davenport
Image Credit: Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture

This award, sponsored by the Clemson Sustainable Agriculture and USDA Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) programs, recognizes South Carolina Extension agents who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices in the state through public service. Awardees are nominated and selected by their peers and stakeholders.

As director of the HGIC, Davenport oversees a program that provides South Carolina residents with research-based information on many topics including gardening, plant health, household pests, food safety and preservation, as well as nutrition. The HGIC answers thousands of calls each year on their toll-free hot line, and the HGIC website is the most visited website for Clemson Public Service Activities (PSA).

Davenport has written and developed numerous Extension fact sheets and educational videos to promote public adoption of more sustainable gardening methods. In addition, she also has been a leader in creating online educational programs for Extension to promote environmentally sound practices. She is co-creator of the Sustainable Small Farms and Backyards Program, a 6-week online curriculum offered to the public in 2016 that covered a range of topics including beekeeping, livestock, forages, fruit and vegetable gardening and marketing. Another online course developed by Davenport is Carolina Cover Crops ONLINE. This course introduces the benefits of cover cropping for soil and plant health, while teaching participants how to select and effectively manage cover crops in the garden and on-farm.

Davenport also serves as curator of the S.C. Crop Improvement Heirloom Seed Collection. She also writes a bimonthly gardening column for Carolina Gardener Magazine.

Tom Dobbins, director of Clemson Extension, commends Davenport.

“This award is indicative of the amount of work and time Millie puts in so that South Carolina residents can be sure they are getting the most up-to-date horticulture information,” Dobbins said. “This award is a testament to Millie’s efforts, the quality of her work and her reputation as an Extension agent and  consumer horticulturist.”

The award was presented at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s 32nd Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Durham, N.C. on Nov. 4.