Tony Melton Receives Order of the Palmetto

This week, long time Clemson Extension Agent Tony Melton was presented the state’s highest civilian honor for his unrivaled service to the citizens and farming community of South Carolina. Senator Kent Williams presented the Order of The Palmetto at a small ceremony in Florence on Wednesday attended by family, close friends, and a few of the farmers Tony has devoted his life to serving.

During the ceremony, Tony was repeatedly described as a role model, hard-working, and, most of all, humble. “This [award] is one deserved. This is not given. This is earned the old-fashioned way.” said Sen. Williams.

Tony Melton was presented the Order of The Palmetto by Sen. Kent Williams. Tony is joined here by his wife Mitzi and Clemson Extension Director Tom Dobbins. Photo from Jonathan Windham.

After a 40-year carrer with Clemson Extension, Tony retired earlier this summer to focus on his health. In addition to his work with fruit and vegetable farmers in the Pee Dee, Tony was a frequent guest on SCETV’s Making It Grow and was well respected in the community for his home gardening expertise.

Tony and Mitzi are flanked by just a few of the farmers that have been impacted by Tony’s life-long dedication and hard work. Photo from Jonathan Windham.

In September, a garden was established at the entrance of the Pee Dee Research and Education Center (REC) in honor of Tony.