Recently retired state veterinarian and director of Clemson Livestock Poultry Health Boyd Parr was awarded the Order of Palmetto at the South Carolina Farm Bureau Executive Committee meeting.
Parr still serves as an adjunct professor in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University.
“Boyd has had a significant positive impact on Clemson Cooperative Extension during his years of service,” said Thomas Dobbins, director of the Clemson University Extension Service. “From his work with dairy farmers to supporting 4-H youth with projects and judging competitions, he’s been an integral part of our community and continuously provided direction and leadership.”
The Order of the Palmetto is South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, recognizing individuals for their extraordinary achievements, service and contributions to the state. A once in a lifetime achievement, the award is presented only to natives or residents of the state.
Growing up on a dairy farm in Newberry, Parr has spent his life actively involved in the agriculture community. He earned his bachelor of science in pre-professional studies from Clemson University and received a doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia before returning to South Carolina. Prior to joining Clemson in 2004, Parr was in private veterinary practice engaging in bovine production medicine, serving clients in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, with a focus on dairy and cow-calf operations.
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“I’m grateful for my time and experiences at Clemson and the opportunity to meet, work with and serve so many South Carolinians. It has been a great honor to serve our state, and I want to thank everyone who has played a role in my career,” said Parr. “Going from being a pre-vet undergraduate to the South Carolina state veterinarian and director of livestock poultry health has been an amazing journey and the experience of a lifetime.”
His career has been dedicated to service, serving two terms on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health for USDA and the past president of the U.S. Animal Health Association and the Southern Animal Health Association. Parr also served in the AVMA House of Delegates for eight years representing South Carolina and is currently a member of the SCAV Executive Committee.
Parr’s work has been recognized by the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians as Veterinarian of the Year in 2012 and Distinguished Veterinarian of the Year in 2019. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the S.C. Pork Board in 2015 and 2021 and the Rowland P. Alston Sr. Award for Excellence in Public Relations in 2019. In 2017, he was inducted into the S.C. Dairy Hall of Fame, and in 2020, he was awarded the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award.