While it is harder and harder for family farms to survive, Ben, Josh, and Will Freeman plan to keep their family farm going for a fourth generation.
The sons describe their father as a sage when it comes to understanding farming, and they value his advice. He had often told them that farmers have to reinvent their farms every 10 years because the world changes.
So, he wasn’t surprised when his boys told him that they wanted to start raising hemp for its CBD content. Their parents, Allen and Kathy Freeman, supported them in their new endeavor.
They didn’t jump right on-board raising hemp when the State of Tennessee started a pilot program in 2014, but when the federal government passed the Farm Act of 2018, they became interested. They had to apply for a license with the state.
According to the Freemans it is a simple process to be licensed and only people with felonies or related drug abuses are turned down.
Approximately 3,000 Tennessee farmers have obtained a license.
Ben said, “We saw an opportunity with hemp. It is a little like the wild west with it being a new product. There were lots of unknowns, but we were willing to take a chance and grow four acres the first time.”
The brothers wanted their mission to focus on bringing a higher standard to the CBD industry by raising a clean crop that yields high performing results. Their mission statement continues by adding the family touch stating that their family strives to provide customers with the best product Tennessee farmers have to offer.
It was easier for them to begin raising hemp than some farmers. They had helped their dad when he raised tobacco on the farm, so they knew that raising hemp would be labor intensive.
Another advantage the brothers had was the leftover equipment from their tobacco raising days. They had kept the plant setter and the tobacco barns could be used for drying out the hemp before they took it to the processor
After some research on the best way to sell the hemp, they decided to form their own company and be involved from start to finish by raising the hemp and marketing their own products. They have been able to keep the whole process local.
They found a processor in Franklin, Ky. who could process the bulk hemp to draw out the CBD oil. Then they were able to find a company in Westmoreland that could package the final product.
According to the brothers, by focusing on the product they could concentrate on quality rather than focusing on raising large quantities of bulk hemp to sell like tobacco is sold. Soon Highland Ridge CBD, LLC was created and the brothers were in business.
The product comes in 500 mg, 1,000 mg, and 1,500 mg bottles in a natural flavor and peppermint. They also have CBD for pets in 500 mg. They have a recommended dosage for pets based on weight, but owners may have to determine the best dosage for their pets based on their expected results. A hard candy featuring various flavors has been developed and is currently being sold.
People who have elected to use the product have reported relief from various health issues however, CBD is not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The product is available locally at Pied Piper Herb Shop, Bloomin’ Deals, and Harbin Hollow Local Market.
More information on Highland Ridge, LLC can be found on the Internet and Facebook under the name of the business. In addition, Ben Freeman has an informational booth at the Portland Farmers Market each Thursday, and the product is available for purchase.