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Kevin Royal
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The Clemson University Center for Agricultural Technology (CU-CAT) is growing and has added a new precision agriculture specialist to its staff.

Kevin Royal, the new specialist, is located at the Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville, South Carolina. His primary role is to provide support and technical assistance to Cooperative Extension Service agents and South Carolina farmers in adopting precision agriculture technologies. He will help farmers identify the most suitable technologies and practices for their operations.

“There are so many advantages to using precision technology on farms,” Royal said. “I am excited to use my knowledge and experiences to help South Carolina farmers benefit from using this technology.”

Precision agriculture aims to improve crop yields, optimize resource utilization (such as fertilizers and irrigation), reduce labor requirements and enhance crop quality through advanced sensors and data analysis.

George Askew, Clemson University vice president of Public Service and Agriculture, discusses the inspiration behind the Center for Agricultural Technology (CU-CAT) and CU-CAT’s new program: EATS (Ecosystem of Agricultural Technology Sharing). Askew also discusses the EATS mission and ways for external organizations to get involved.

Royal has experience in precision agriculture, including farm management, GIS software training and support, and collaboration with agricultural cooperatives on variable rate crop input systems. He understands precision agriculture is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

“It is a toolbox with various technology and data management tools,” Royal said. “The choice of tools depends on factors including farm size and operations.”

In addition to his precision agricultural work experience, Royal has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business and a master’s degree in geographic information science (GIS). He also has taught classes in precision agriculture.

Farmers across South Carolina can contact Royal for assistance with their precision agriculture needs. He can be contacted via mobile phone at 402.209.2291 or by email at

Head shot of Kendall Kirk
Kendall Kirk

CU-CAT is led by Director Kendall Kirk, Clemson Extension precision agriculture engineer. Staff members include Nathan Smith, assistant director; Mallory Douglass, business manager; Lisa Ballou, administrative coordinator; Benjamin Fogle, lead ag engineering specialist; Trey McAlhany, lead information technology specialist; Aaron Turner, student engagement coordinator; Fleming McMaster, ag support technician; Jerry Han, ag support technician; and Michael Masters, academic support technician.  

Kirk encourages industry involvement in all CU-CAT efforts. Interested industries can contact Mallory Douglass at for partnership opportunities.

“The Center for Agricultural Technology is a step forward in promoting sustainable and technology-driven agriculture in South Carolina, ultimately benefitting local farmers and the agricultural industry,” Kirk said.

More information is available at


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