Agribusiness Planning Curriculum
Darlington, SC | Ty and Tracy Woodard
Based on a third-generation row crop farm, Covered in Cotton uses their own cotton and an all-Carolinas supply chain to produce high-end throws, hand towels, and blankets. Driven by a past medical crisis, the Woodards have also donated over 165 throws to children’s hospitals around the state. They used the ACRE grant to expand their product line, and, later in the year, were named the overall winner of the Garden & Gun Made in the South Awards. Determined to capitalize on this early success, Tracy reflects that ACRE support has “allowed us the opportunity to network with industry professionals, connect with much needed small business resources, and fund our new product lines.
Pickens, SC | Steve Lorch
After doing nonprofit work with Kenyan tea farmers in 2006, the Lorches decided to see if this ancient crop could survive in Upstate South Carolina. And survive it did: today, Table Rock Tea Co. has over 25,000 plants, oversees a local tea consortium network, receives over a thousand tourists every year and carries a wide range of tea products. Lorch states that “the ACRE grant helped us purchase a bagging machine that we could not otherwise afford. As a result, we’ve picked up more clients and have seen an increase in retail interest. We are grateful to the folks at ACRE for recognizing and investing in our potential.
Aiken, SC | Ben Crawford and Rebecca Goldberg
Woodland Valley Mushrooms is an ambitious startup in Aiken, SC that plans to bring a proprietary container farming system and local mushroom production to the entire county and beyond. Goldberg relates that the curriculum program “gave us a strong understanding of our current finances, and in addition to business plan development, we gained critical knowledge in networking, marketing and finance.” With their ACRE grant, they plan to purchase and outfit another shipping container, “tripling our production capabilities and income.”
Pomaria, SC | Alicia Holbrook
Located in Newberry County, this innovative farm sells yarn products made from the fleece of their alpaca herd. Their participation in the curriculum helped them refine their business plan and identify areas for growth, and over the next year, the farm saw their online sales increase by 20% and farm visitor numbers by 25%. They used their ACRE grant to update their website and increase marketing efforts and are still seeing the effects today.
Pickens, SC | Belinda Smith
Briar Hill Farm provides specialty cut flowers to retailers and stores in the Upstate. Smith has a passion for giving everyone the opportunity to buy quality, local flowers, and has diligently grown her farm through grit and determination. She used her ACRE grant to purchase equipment to scale up operations at the farm.