R Britt Farms produces livestock and various commodity crops. In order to expand the farm operation and keep it profitable, Lee Britt, owner and operator, will begin cold-pressing premium oils for large wholesale buyers as well as local restaurants. The oils will be obtained from peanuts and sunflower seeds that are raised on the farm. According to Britt, these crops can produce a “heart healthy” oil that consumers can use to prepare healthier meals. The seed ‘cakes’ that are produced as a byproduct can also be used as a supplemental feed for livestock. This year, Britt plans to retrofit a structure on the farm for producing cold-pressed oils.
Currently, the sunflowers are maturing at R Britt Farms. Britt also expects his oil press to be delivered soon. It was ordered from a German company and will be shipped from overseas. Lee shared his product design and marketing efforts with us when we visited in early July. He is working toward non-GMO certification and NC Grown labeling that will make his product stand out as locally-made and naturally grown. We were impressed by his entrepreneurial spirit and desire to create a thriving business in rural Hertford County. Lee has also purchased a building in downtown Harrelsville where he will locate the oil press and house the central operations for the cold-pressed oil. He hopes that the facility will bring life back into his small, struggling hometown and create economic opportunities for more businesses in Hertford County. Lee is a young farmer and is also disabled. He works closely with his father, Ricky, in their farm business. Although faced with challenges, Lee and Ricky form a father-son partnership that serves as an inspiration to all family operated farms. With this support, the two will have a large impact on their family farm and their community.