David A. Williams
Educator and Agriculturalist
From farmer to vintner, “Daddy Ag,” as David A. Williams is famously known in Nesmith, has made his mark in South Carolina agriculture. In a career that began as a vocational agriculture teacher in the 1950s and 1960s, Williams was also a cotton and tobacco farmer. He later shifted his crops to muscadine grapes and in 24 years has transformed part of his farm to a five-acre vineyard.
His award-winning vineyard and farm won the 2009 “Preserving our Places in History Award” from the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission. In 2010, the Williamsburg Hometown Chamber named Williams the “Agriculturalist of the Year.” His other awards and recognition include four generations of the Williams family being pictured on the cover and featured in an article in the October 2009 Greater Pee Dee/Grand Strand Business Journal. The Williams Vineyard and Farm was cited as a tourist attraction in the August 15, 2010 edition of the Philadelphia Sun travel section article, “Smooth Traveler: South Carolina’s Heritage Corridor, Part Two.”
“Daddy Ag” is still actively involved in agriculture and considers his farm a source of pride as he faithfully makes the daily 30 mile round trip from Kingstree to Nesmith to pamper and fertilize, trim and nurture, and monitor the growth and development of his prized vineyard. The first black man in Nesmith to obtain a college degree, Williams was the 23rd child in the blended family of Rev. Gabriel and Mary Williams. He received his undergraduate degree from the former Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechanical College, now the South Carolina State University, in 1950.
His community involvement includes serving as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Friendship United Methodist Church, and overseeing the construction of the sanctuary, the largest African American church in Williamsburg County.