CLEMSON — Cutting-edge research and entrepreneurial innovation are two reasons agriculture remains South Carolina’s top economic sector.

To highlight that fact, a group of Clemson University administrators, professors and staff will be taking a statewide tour of agricultural research centers and industries May 20-24, and the public is invited to follow along through social media.

The public will be able to follow the Clemson Ag Tour on social media will May 20-24.

The public will be able to follow the Clemson Ag Tour on social media will May 20-24.

Images, videos and live interviews from the Clemson Ag Tour will be posted on Facebook @ClemsonExt, Twitter @CUESNews, and on Instagram @clemson_extension. To follow the tour, use #ClemsonAgTour. Information also will be available at www.clemson.edu/public/tour. People who follow the tour through Clemson social media channels can become eligible to win prizes such as Clemson Blue Cheese and Clemson athletic and Extension swag.

Participants will learn about innovative technologies and research that are helping keep South Carolina farmers competitive on a worldwide scale and feed a growing global population.

The tour will show off drones, tractors guided by Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and high-tech sensors engineered by Clemson scientists and used by South Carolina producers to increase farming efficiency and sustainability. The tour will also feature a close-up look at drought- and pest-tolerant crops optimized for South Carolina and Southeastern growing conditions that are being developed using cutting-edge gene-mapping technology.

Clemson Ag Tour stops include: Overbridge Farm, Newberry; Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center, Columbia; Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, Columbia; Sonoco Products, Hartsville; McLeod Farms, McBee; Clemson Pee Dee REC, Florence; Baruch Institute of Coastal Science, Georgetown; Carolina Seafood, McClellanville; Clemson Coastal REC, Charleston; White Hall Plantation, Green Pond; Collum’s Lumber Products, Allendale; Clemson Edisto REC, Blackville; and Titan Farms, Ridge Spring.

The Clemson Ag Tour is a tradition that began about 15 years ago. The tour was last held in September 2016.