Charleston, WV - A West Virginia agriculture-based company has been announced
as a finalist for the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) 2018 Farm Bureau
Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge. Hawk Knob Appalachian Hard Cider and Mead of
Lewisburg, WV will compete against three other companies for the Farm Bureau
Entrepreneur of the Year of Award. The winner will be chosen January 7, 2018 at
the AFBF's 99th Annual Convention in Nashville, TN.
are extremely proud of these graduates from WVU's Davis College. They earned
their education from an in-state institution, saw an opportunity through
agriculture and started a thriving business in West Virginia. That should be
the goal for every college student in our state," said Commissioner of
Agriculture Kent Leonhardt.
be eligible for this competition, a business had to be food or agriculture
based, be for profit and a current member of the Farm Bureau. Additionally,
applications had to submit a pitch video. See Hawk Knob's submission here.
There were 471 applicants for the 2018 award.
so excited to represent West Virginia on a national stage. The state often gets
a bad rap nationally, so we're going to show people what we're capable of in
Appalachia," said Joshua Bennet, co-owner and founder. "The money
that we've already won is going back into our business to help with some
equipment upgrades and marketing."
Knob is a locally-sourced distillery that produces hard cider and mead (a
fermented honey and water alcoholic beverage). Owners and founders Josh Bennet
and Will Lewis are both 2009 graduates of West Virginia University's Davis
College of Natural Resources and Design. Hawk Knob has already been awarded
$15,000 for being selected as a finalist and will compete for this year's top
prize, an additional $15,000. If they are not selected as this year's winner,
they can also be awarded an additional $10,000 by winning the People's Choice
For more information about the competition,
Crescent Gallagher, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 304-558-3708 or 304-380-3922