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2 Lexington County agribusinesses awarded grants for their innovative work in the industry

Dixiana, SC 05/30/2024 (Paul Kirby) - The South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) awarded $200,000 in grants to 12 businesses across the state as part of its Advanced Entrepreneurship program. Of those 12, 2 are located in Lexington County.


The finalists pitched to a panel of judges on May 15 and were scored based on their business plans, a five-minute video presentation, and their demonstrated history of business success.


In addition to funding, the awardees will also receive access to a network of business advisors, and professional assistance with further state and federal grant applications.

The diverse group of awardees encompass animal agriculture, specialty food producers, produce farms, and new and established farmers. The 2 Lexington County workers were:


1.     Crossroads Processing (Lexington County) was founded in Leesville in 2022 with a focus on deer processing, but quickly expanded into processing different kinds of meat, including livestock, to address gaps in the local market. Their goals for the company are to increase direct-to-consumer processing, increase local meat processing infrastructure, and to shrink the gap between farmers and consumers.

2.     Heartworks Farm (Lexington County) is a specialty crop farm producing tomatoes, microgreens, cut flowers. They intend to build on a multi-functional packing and processing building with a dedicated processing area, cold storage, and a flexible space for educational workshops and farm events.


“Every year, I’m so impressed by the creativity, drive and diversity of the entrepreneurs who compete as part of the ACRE Advanced Entrepreneurship program,” said ACRE Executive Director Kyle Player. 


ACRE was founded in 2018 to help identify and nurture new ideas and businesses in the Palmetto State’s agribusiness sector.  ACRE also partners with Clemson Extension to offer a fall curriculum program to train, and mentor beginning agricultural entrepreneurs and prepare them to seek advanced award funding. To learn more, visit


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