Former South Carolina Agriculture Commissioner D. Leslie Tindal, Jr., a Pinewood seed farmer who held the state’s top ag post for 20 years, has died at 89.
Clemson University and the Stephens Funeral Home announced Tindal had passed away at home Tuesday. No cause was given.
Tindal served as commissioner from 1982 until 2002, serving at a time when South Carolina was on the verge of become more urbanized and economically diverse. The Department of Agriculture launched dozens of new programs under his leadership, including the Pee Dee Farmer’s Market, the Small Farms Program, and Ag in the Classroom. Recovery from Hurricane Hugo damage occurred on Tindal’s watch and he is also credited with helping bring the kiwi fruit to South Carolina.
Funeral services will begin 10 a.m. on Friday at Calvary Baptist Church in Pinewood. He will then be buried Burial will follow at Calvary Baptist Church Graveyard.
Prior to his time in state office, Tindal spent ten years on Clemson University’s board of trustees. After his election, the board made him a Lifetime Trustee Emeritus in recognition of his work. He also spent 55 years on the Black River Electric Cooperative Board.
Despite his ties to Clemson, Tindal actually graduated from Furman University before entering the farm business in 1949.