ACRE program awards funding to 7 S.C. entrepreneurs.

Seven entrepreneurial businesses ranging from a meat delivery service to a Gullah farm cooperative have received funding from the S.C. Department of Agriculture's Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship program.

Ten finalists pitched business plans to a panel of ACRE judges and were also evaluated on a video presentation and demonstrated history of business success, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Agriculture. The honorees represent six S.C. counties.

ACRE's fourth year of funding distribution included the program's first farming cooperative, first beef and pork agribusiness, first regenerative agricultural farm and first U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic farm, according to the release.

"Headed into our fourth year, we now feel like we are cemented in South Carolina's agriculture industry and in an even better position to help these agribusinesses grow and thrive," ACRE Executive Director Kyle Player said in the release.

The funding recipients are:

Bravo Steaks is run by husband-and-wife duo John and Emily Barnes in Chester County. The business ships individually packaged boxes of frozen beef and pork products as gifts and through a subscription service directly to consumers nationwide through their website.

Crescent Farm, a woman-owned, USDA-certified organic vegetable farm in Laurens County, sells carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash and kale to in-state food hubs Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery and GrowFood Carolina. The farm plans to develop new field space on 47 acres of recently acquired land.

Milky Way Jersey Farm in Anderson County, a fourth-generation, family-owned dairy farm, sells raw milk and low-temperature pasteurized whole and chocolate milk. The business recently invested in a state-of-the-art creamery and a robotic milking parlor.

Queen & Comb increases environmental awareness about the ecological function of bees and provides education experiences through hands-on beekeeping with its Host-a-Hive program in...

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