CARMEN KETRON: Remembering Tony Melton | Agriculture

CARMEN KETRON Clemson Extension

Anthony “Tony” Melton, a longtime Clemson Cooperative Extension agent, died on Saturday, April 2. Tony was the original author of this weekly home gardening and agribusiness column.

Many people in the Pee Dee credit Tony with getting them excited about their lawns, about growing gardens, and about starting a farm business. Tony had a massive presence in the Pee Dee and across the state as the renowned vegetable specialist and the person you went to for all your plant questions. However, his dedication and drive to help people grow good plants were secondary to his kind heart, wonderful stories, and delightful spirit for those who knew Tony.

Tony hailed from McBee, South Carolina. Growing fruits and vegetables in the fields of McBee helped hone his natural talent for producing anything. He went on to Clemson and was called to serve fellow farmers and gardeners through his natural gift to educate people. He always had an answer for any question and usually a great story to go along with it.

He taught hundreds of people to be master gardeners in the Pee Dee. There isn’t a grower in this area who didn’t have Tony out on their property in the rain, heat, and hurricanes, checking on fields and helping to get crops to market. Tony was also an excellent researcher. He had a passion for keeping regionally important crops relevant in research, including his muscadine and butterbean projects. Tony was an extraordinary public servant and worked tirelessly from sunup to sundown to help the growers in our community.

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The family of Tony Melton will receive friends from 3 to 4 pm today at Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church at 2317 Hoffmeyer Road in Florence. A church-led service will follow at 4 pm in the church sanctuary.

In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to Clemson University Foundation; please memo in memory of Tony Melton for the Tony Melton Scholarship Fund. Mail to the Clemson University Foundation, Annual Giving Office, PO Box 1889, Clemson, SC 29633.

The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political belief, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status, and an equal opportunity employer.

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