Ryan and Launi Higgs, Blue Ridge Apiaries

$6,000 — Value-added Diversification with Session Mead Production

Before starting their successful small-scale apiary that now supplies 12% of the total North Carolina honey crop, the Higgs were employees of the largest winery in the east. Combining the skills acquired at the winery with their honey production expertise, the Higgs will start a unique low-alcohol mead operation to add an additional revenue stream to their business. Diversification is essential for their business, whose sole product production levels can fluctuate from year to year. The mead will add value to their commodity and help insure economic sustainability for the farm. The grant will pay for the equipment to start the meadery – 2 Brite tanks, a fermentation tank, filters, a cool-bot, glassware, lab equipment and small fermenters.

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Caldwell County

Contact the Local Extension Agent


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