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Duke Energy empowers South Carolina economy with $500,000 in grants for education and diversity

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Duke Energy continues its long history as a critical participant in South Carolina's economy by announcing $500,000 in support of the state's top industry: agribusiness. The grants from the Duke Energy Foundation will help fund education and diversity initiatives across the state.


"Agribusiness is South Carolina's top industry, and Duke Energy is proud to power thousands of family and commercial farms and related businesses across the state," said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy's South Carolina state president. "As a company born in South Carolina and critical to its success, we are constantly looking for ways to help power the state's economy. That's why it is important for us to support efforts that not only build the diverse 21st century workforce this industry will need to prosper and grow, but also help more minority farmers and landowners protect family land and grow working landscapes."


Grant recipients

  • S.C. Governor's School for Agriculture – ($150,000) – Grant will go toward building curriculum and teaching of sustainable farming practices and equipment needs, plus establishing a scholarship program for students continuing their education in agriculture programs at S.C. State University, Clemson University or the state's technical colleges. In partnership with the Advocates for Agriculture, a portion of the funding will go toward the establishment of the Martin Eubanks Memorial Gardens at the Governor's School.

  • Center for Heirs' Property Preservation – ($150,000) – The center works to help minority farmers and landowners with the legal aspects of legacy land and timber farming opportunities. These funds will help with the expansion of their services into the Pee Dee region (Florence, Darlington, Marion, Dillon and Marlboro counties).

  • Future Farmers of America (FFA) – ($200,000) – Funding will provide microgrants to local high school chapters of FFA and will also target all school districts who have agriculture teachers and programs with enrichment grants (130 agriculture teachers through 96 FFA chapters across the state).

"This grant will allow us to expand our sustainable agriculture program here at our school. With the growing world population, we must be proactive in training our future agriculturalists how to sustainably grow our food and fiber," said Timothy Keown, president of the S.C. Governor's School for Agriculture. "One of our lofty goals is to grow at least 50% of the food that our students and staff consume in our cafeteria. This will teach our students that self-sustainability is an achievable goal. Without the grant from the Duke Energy Foundation, this goal wouldn't be possible for years to come."


"We are so grateful to Duke Energy for including the Center in their generous grant funding," said Dr. Jennie L. Stephens, CEO for Center for Heirs' Property Preservation. "We appreciate Duke Energy's focus on agriculture and their concern for farmers, ranchers and foresters and the issue of Black land loss, particularly in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. Our mission is to protect heirs' property and promote the sustainable use of land to provide increased economic benefit to historically underserved landowners. This investment in the Center's work will make a positive impact on the entire region."


According to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, agribusiness is the state's No. 1 industry, accounting for nearly 250,000 jobs and $46.2 billion in annual economic impact. Farming has historically been a very important player in local economies and continues to have a large impact today in communities across the state.

Much like agribusiness, Duke Energy has played an important role in South Carolina's economic success for more than a century and continues that impact today. Duke Energy maintains a sizable economic presence in South Carolina as a major employer investing heavily in the region – the company's current economic impact on the state totals about $7.6 billion annually.


Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts, and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.


Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America's largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.


Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.


Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2022 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' "America's Best Employers" list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


Media contact: Ryan Mosier 800.559.3853

SOURCE Duke Energy



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