The S.C. Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship has awarded $125,000 in grant money to agricultural entrepreneurs from across the state.
“The future of South Carolina agriculture depends on innovation — we must grow and develop to survive,” Hugh Weathers, the S.C. agriculture commissioner, said in a news release. “I hope these seven entrepreneurs inspire continued development and innovation across South Carolina agribusiness.”
The seven nominees selected by a panel of judges participated in the center’s advanced entrepreneurship program track, according to the release. The center, founded in 2018, also offers a fall course to mentor fledgling business owners in the state’s agricultural industry.
Recipients of the grants include:
- Project Victory Gardens owners Kara and Matthew Rutter will expand their Aiken County agritherapy and military veteran agricultural education program facilities, including a teaching kitchen.
- Aiken’s Woodland Valley Mushrooms owners, Ben Crawford and Rebecca Goldberg, plan to grow their gourmet mushroom operation with the grant.
- The brother and sister co-owners of Twin Creeks Lavender in Anderson County will make use of the funding to build a drying and production barn at their Williamston lavender farm.
- York County’s Nance Farm Creamery, operated by a 12th generation farm family, was awarded funding to extend dairy products to a local market.
- Alicia Holbrook expects to expand remote educational offerings at her Newberry County alpaca farm Carolina Pride Pastures.
- Orangeburg County’s Lowcountry Creamery, a value-added dairy operation located in Bowman, was awarded funding to provide milk and yogurt direct to consumers.
- Kristen Beigay, owner of Pickens County worm farm Earthen Organics, will purchase new equipment to grow her family’s organic worm castings business.