Building Brilliance Workshop Focuses on Agriculture Industry | Local News

Three local entrepreneurs discussed their businesses Wednesday during the Building Brilliance workshop on Zoom, a program sponsored by the Center for Innovation and Commercialization and the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce.

Susan Bell of S&B Bell Farms said her family decided in 2015 to raise alpacas. One thing led to another, and before they knew it, they had a host of livestock on their farm, including goats, sheep and of course, alpacas.

Bell said getting into farming didn’t come cheap and they knew from the start that they had to treat it like a business.

“We knew it was going to be a business and not a hobby,” she said. “That was an important differentiation to make.”

John and Jessica Hodges, of Modern Heritage Farms in Glendale, spoke at the workshop about their operation. John described their property they operated as small, but very intensively managed, being less than two acres. Both grow crops year-round and seek to ensure that they are good stewards of the soil they cultivate. They offer a community-supported agriculture program where customers pay a weekly fee of $25 and get 7-10 seasonal items from the farm. But they’re also flexible on that, according to Jessica.

Instead, customers can get a cash-loaded card that grants them access to a weekly order form, as well as early access to produce from the couple’s farm.

“That’s a lot of vegetables, and some people just don’t like the element of surprise of not knowing what they’re going to eat each week,” she said.

Caleb Queens talked about his company, Heartland Hydro Seeding. Queens said he wanted to fill a niche in the market he discovered while getting a quote for a client.

“I started researching and realized the only hydroseeding company in that area was about two hours away,” he said.

Hydroseeding is the application of a slurry made up of seeds, water and mulch, according to the Queens website. He said the community has been very supportive of him and he attributes them to the success of his business.

On some projects, Queen said something could go wrong and they would lose money, but their goal is to provide quality customer service and experience.

He said he likes to recommend the lawn care industry to young entrepreneurs because of the low barrier to entry, saying a middle school or high school student can go out and mow a lawn to earn money. money.

Seth Dukes can be reached at 270-505-1413 or [email protected]

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