Ronnie Bracey Wins Dillon County Tomato Champion Title

June 23rd, 2022 marked another year of Dillon County’s infamous tomato growers contest and banquet, to name the best tomato growers in the county for 2022.
After two years without a celebratory supper due to COVID-19 restrictions, it was extraordinary to have veteran growers and newcomers come together in fellowship and good fun.
This year there were 15 adult entries. However, only 13 opted to participate in the final judging that took place on June 21st.
Growers selected four of their best tomato plants and three judges from Clemson Extension, all horticulture agents, based their scoring on quality, color, general appearance, insect/disease-free, and yield.
Even with terribly dry growing conditions this year, the growers did a fantastic job, with the judges having tough decisions to make for the top spots.
The banquet was held at the Dillon Wellness Center, with the main meal of pork bog provided by Mr. Henry Brunson.
Other participating growers in the contest provided all the sides, drinks, and desserts. After door prizes were given, it was time to announce winners.
Dillon County Clemson Extension Agent Heather Benjamin announced the winners and handed out awards.
The youth winner was Miss Haley Lewis from Hamer. For the adult category, third place went to Mr. Henry Brunson of Latta. Second place was awarded to Mr. Andy Wallace of Little Rock.
Most importantly, first place went to Ronnie Bracey of Hamer, who stood up for his acceptance speech to say, “everyone was a winner, but there could only be one champion.” Not to be forgotten, the finalists for this year included Chad Snipes, LaRue Bracey, Donna Sellers, Charlotte Sellers, Autrey Moody, Thomas McRae, William Turner, Teresa Brown, Neil Campbell, and William McRae.
In addition, at least two friendly family rivalries were settled by mother-daughter duo Donna and Charlotte Sellers, and a sibling challenge between brothers Thomas and William McRae, with Ms. Donna and Mr. Thomas winning their respective familial competitions.
Clemson Extension put on the program. They appreciate the sponsors of the event. They can’t wait to do this again next year!
Follow Clemson Extension Dillon County Facebook® page for announcements and opportunities to support the Dillon County Tomato Contest in 2023.

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