Furman Agricultural Icon Sets Example
When he died on June 26, 2017 at age 89, former South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture David Leslie “Les” Tindal, Jr. (Iota–Furman ’48) left more than just memories and material possessions behind. He left a legacy of passion and excellence in the vocation he chose for all the men of Kappa Alpha Order to aspire to.
Tindal truly loved farming and the people who were engaged in it, and began his own farming career after graduation from Furman in 1949. He raised livestock like swine and beef cattle, and also grew corn, wheat and soybeans. But his involvement with farming didn’t simply stop with his own large acreage, as he made his mark as an agricultural icon for over half a century. He was South Carolina’s Secretary of Agriculture from 1982 to 2002, as well as a member of the Black River Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees for 55 years, and its chairman from 1982-86. He also had a love for higher education, and was a trustee for Clemson University from 1973 to 1982. In addition, the always-busy Tindal served as president of South Carolina Crop Improvement, South Carolina Cattlemen, South Carolina Seedmen, and the South Carolina Soybean Association, in addition to serving in various capacities in other local, state and national offices. In 1972 he was named by Ford Motor Company as one of the Top 15 Farmers in America.
Tindal retired to his hometown of Pinewood, SC in 2002 after some 53 years of being involved in the field he loved, literally, having impacted the progress and future of agriculture. He was a true leader and servant in his chosen occupation, and a fine role model for all men of KA to emulate.