Chue and Tou Lee, Lee’s One Fortune Farm
Grant Award: $8,000
The Lee’s used their 2020 AgOptions grant to purchase a small-scale combine harvester, which allowed them to add an additional 6 acres to their family farm, the only rice producer in WNC. Building on their success, they will add a rice huller to offset the heavy labor of hulling rice (removing the tough outer husk). At this time, they are limited to what can be hulled using small appliances such as blenders and leaf blowers.
Traditionally, most of the growing and processing is done by hand, so small-scale mechanization is greatly needed in order to allow their family to plant larger fields and expand the operation to meet the demand of their customers.
Lee’s One Fortune Farm supplies rice to over a dozen restaurants and at multiple Farmers Markets and Tailgate Markets throughout WNC.