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New forestry agent to help with timber education

Colleton County has received an additional forestry and wildlife agent, with the new area agent being a woman who will focus on landowner education.
Janet Steele has joined the Clemson University Cooperative Extension team as a forestry and wildlife agent. She will be serving Colleton County, along with the counties of Orangeburg, Lexington, Calhoun and Hampton.
She started her new role on Dec. 10th of 2018. According to her, she is one of three women on the Forestry and Wildlife Team for Clemson Extension: these women cover multiple counties across South Carolina.
Steele holds a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Wildlife from Virginia Tech. She also holds a master’s degree from Clemson University in the specialty area of Forest Resource Management. For the last 20 years, her career has included her focusing mostly on landowner education.
This is something she will bring to Colleton County residents to further enhance the county’s timber crops and industry.
“The issues that landowners face vary from county to county, but a lot of it is about timber education and about issues that we are facing in the logging industry, with aging drivers and insurance costs going up,” she said. Steele also cited aging timber, which a chunk of that finally ready to harvest from the post-Hurricane Hugo replanting.
“With Colleton County, we are growing more timber than ever, so we are going to work with landowners to continue to be a profitable industry,” she said.
“We want to continue to keep our timber land productive.”
Steele has previously worked with the S.C. Forestry Commission in Orangeburg, Newbery and in Walterboro. “I’m excited to have an opportunity to work with landowners in all five counties. I think the extension has a lot of programs to offer,” she said.
According to information released by the Clemson Extension on Steele’s new hire, she will work closely with “extension specialists and researchers” to give landowners information on a variety of topics, including wildlife habitat management, reforestation, insects and disease and non-native invasive species.
Anyone interested in receiving landowner education, wants a site visit on their property, or who has a forestry need, can contact Steele via email at jmwatt@clemson.edu. She can also be reached at her office, which is located in Orangeburg at 803-534-6280.
The Colleton County Clemson University Cooperative Extension Office is located at 611 Black Street, Suite 210, in Walterboro.