Evelyn G. Edmunds of Clover has been honored by Gov. Nikki Haley with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor in South Carolina.
State Sen. Harvey Peeler presented the award to Edmunds during the annual Partners in Agriculture and Conservation Legislative Dinner last week in York.
She was nominated for the award by the York County Soil & Water Conservation District, where she has served as a commissioner for 19 years.
Edmunds, 87, has farmed since 1950 and, when her husband died in 1978, she assumed full management of Circle E farm while raising her six children.
She has been active in South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Bureau, often being the only woman in the room at committee meetings.
She also blazed a trail of leadership, and was so successful in earning the respect of her male peers that today there are many women at the table in agricultural organizations.
She has served at the state and national level of many organizations for more than 30 years.
According to the conservation district, countless young people have pursued agricultural careers because of Edmunds’ work with 4-H, Scouting and Angus associations.
At 87, Edmunds is still active on her farm, a contributing member of several farm organizations and is still helping youngsters raise and show livestock.
The Order of the Palmetto is given for extraordinary lifetime service and achievements of national or statewide significance.
The conservation district and York County Farm Bureau hosted the Partners in Conservation & Agriculture Legislative Dinner, where two local awards also were presented.
The Champion of Conservation Award, sponsored by the Conservation District, recognizes a local farmer who has been a leader in conservation and agriculture. The award was presented to the Rusty Thomson family of Blue Lake Farm in Sharon.
The Conservation Teacher of the Year Award is cosponsored by the Conservation District and York County T.Y.L.E.R. program, or Teaching York County to Live Environmentally Responsible. It is presented to an educator who has worked to enhance environmental and conservation education. The award was presented to Alice Hildebrand, a teacher at York Road Elementary School in Rock Hill.