Rodney Willis, Willis Farms
Sorghum Syrup and Cornmeal Process Upgrades
Grant Award: $6,000
Rodney and Lynn plan to construct a metal-frame processing building for their sorghum syrup and cornmeal that meets current food safety standards. The processing facility will be located adjacent to a recreated 1800’s farmstead which includes several log structures with period furnishings.
The new facility will feature a sealed concrete floor, hot water for sanitation, stainless steel sink, screened processing/evaporation area, painted wooden surfaces and countertop space for bottling operations. The upgrades will allow Willis Farms to begin marketing its cornmeal (currently, all cornmeal is given away) and expand sales of both products to local supermarkets, restaurants, farmers markets, community events, and online.
The facility will also better position the farm as an agritourism destination by providing a safe environment for showcasing manufacturing operations while visiting the recreated farmstead. The Willis’s have created a marketing video of the process of growing and producing sorghum using the farm’s draft horses.