SC Commissioner Hugh Weathers: ACRE Awardees Named

Seven agricultural innovators will receive money for their businesses from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship. Here to tell us more is SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers.

  • Founded in 2018, ACRE helps identify and nurture new ideas and businesses in the Palmetto State’s agribusiness sector
  • In addition to the Advanced Entrepreneurship track whose 2020 awardees are announced here, ACRE offers a curriculum program each fall to train and mentor beginning agricultural entrepreneurs
  • Recently, entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of judges who selected seven to share $125,000 in funding based on their business plans, presentations and demonstrated history of business success
  • The recipients are:
    • Kara and Matthew Rutter of Project Victory Gardens in Aiken County. They plan to expand their agritherapy and agricultural education program for military veterans
    • Ben Crawford and Rebecca Goldberg of Woodland Valley Mushrooms in Aiken County plan to expand their Aiken-area gourmet mushroom operation
    • Twin Creeks Lavender in Anderson County will build a drying and production barn to ensure expanded crop production at their Williamston lavender farm
    • York County’s Nance Farm Creamery, was awarded funding to help market its dairy products locally
    • Alicia Holbrook intends to expand remote educational offerings at her alpaca farm Carolina Pride Pastures in Newberry County
    • Orangeburg County’s Lowcountry Creamery. Awarded funding to provide their milk and yogurt direct to consumers.
    • Kristen Beigay of Pickens County worm farm Earthen Organics intends to purchase new equipment to expand her family’s organic worm castings business