SC Commissioner Weathers: ACRE Recipients

SCDA founded the Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) in 2018, to help identify and nurture new ideas and agribusinesses in South Carolina. Here to tell us more about the most recent batch of ACRE award recipients is SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers.

  • Ten finalists pitched their business plan to a panel of judges made up of three individuals, two of which were previous ACRE awardees.
  • Judges selected seven finalists to share $150,000 in funding after hearing presented business plans, five-minute video presentations and their demonstrated history of business success.
  • The seven awardees were:

Bravo steaks- run by husband and wife duo, John and Emily Barnes in Chester county. They ship individually packaged, subscription and gift boxes of their frozen beef and pork products

Crescent Farm is a woman-owned, USDA Certified Organic vegetable farm in Laurens County. They intend to continue growing while they develop new field space

Milky Way Jersey Farm, located in Anderson County, is a fourth-generation, family-owned dairy farm. They plan to continue the transition to a robotic milking system, allowing them to expand their pasteurized product line while mitigating labor stress

Thomas Knaust of Queen & Comb began his business to increase environmental awareness about the ecological services of bees and provides a Host-a-Hive service.

The Gullah Farmers Cooperative Association (GCFA) is a collection of 17 Gullah farm operations in South Carolina’s Lowcountry.

Pod Farms, LLC is a start-up company in Pickens County that is creating cutting-edge hydroponic smart gardens for indoor use.

Jeff Siewicki is the founder of Vital Mission Farm, a regenerative farm in Charleston County. He plans to expand his online sales of processed duck and his line of value-added products.

These seven awardees were from six different counties, and this was Chester and Laurens counties first year being represented by an ACRE advanced awardee.