Lavonna and Linda started Black Bear Ridge Farm in 2020 after having a multitude of businesses. Lavonna grew up locally and bought the farm from her grandmother. Witt grew up with the Treadwell family and had a close relationship with the family through her parents.
No strangers to running a successful business, it is with a true entrepreneurial spirit that the pair begins their new farming endeavor. Previously Witt and Topping operated a carpentry business, Two Handy Gals, where they have gained the grit needed for hard work. They also operate a pool service. When the time came to build the infrastructure needed to grow hemp, the pair relied on their knowledge of pool pumps, irrigation, coral reefs, and construction in the buildout of the field.
In their spare time, Witt and Topping farm and grow exotic corals and aquariums. Witt said that their background with corals helped them truly understand the delicate nature of the soil and nutrients required to successfully grow hemp.
“We worked hard, but I now have a new appreciation for farmers and understand the amount of brutal work that goes into growing something,” said Witt.
As first-generation farmers, Witt and Topping made a decision to join Witt Family Farms and We Todd Farms to grow a three-acre plot of hemp to be processed through Treadwell Farms and made into a CBD product for their community.
Holding a strong sense of community has been a hallmark of Black Bear Ridge Farms and as new farmers, they give credit to the strong bonds of Florida Hemp Farmers to help make a successful hemp crop.