Laura's Mercantile provides hemp and full-spectrum CBD products extracted from hemp grown on Mt. Folly Farm, one of Kentucky's largest certified organic farms. Our CBD products fall under the Homestead Alternatives brand and our hemp chocolates fall under Laura's Hemp Chocolates.
Producing a hemp or CBD story? Get the unique perspective of Laura Freeman, CEO of Mt. Folly Farm and Homestead Alternatives, and long-time Kentucky farmer and entrepreneur. Laura is available for speaking opportunities, interviews, quotes, podcasts, and more.
Members of the press should contact Abi Felix at email@example.com.
About Laura Freeman
Founder of Laura’s Lean Beef Company and Mt. Folly Enterprises, as well as a well-known innovator, Laura Freeman began her career in agriculture in the fall of 1981.
After graduating summa cum laude from Duke University in 1978, Freeman was a newspaper reporter before she returned to her family’s farm, a Clark County feeder cattle and tobacco operation. She, her husband, and new child faced difficult times when the 1983 drought was followed by the 1986 dairy buy-out, landing a one-two punch on the Kentucky farm community.
Freeman’s mother was in need of the income from the tobacco crop in the 80’s, and has “kept” the tobacco money ever since. Laura’s husband at that time was no farmer, so she had to figure out a way to make ends meet. Coming from a long line of entrepreneurs, in 1985 she founded the Laura’s Lean Beef company, raising and selling beef from cattle raised without growth hormones or antibiotics.
As CEO of the company for 23 years, she developed and built the brand, traveling on business in every state in the union except Alaska, and in Canada. Given that the production cycle for naturally-raised beef is approximately 2 years, her work life was absorbed balancing cattle supply to retail sales, and developing and testing ways to move retail cuts profitably, in balance. All the while she built the brand, making it the most valuable brand in the natural beef arena. The company, with sales of $135,000,000, was sold to Meyer Natural Food in 2008.
An accomplished equestrian, in 2005 Freeman had a horseback fall that changed her life. It took Freeman years to recover, and she considers this her greatest accomplishment. Hemp from CBD was central to her come back.
Now, Freeman owns and runs Mt. Folly Farm LLC, one of the largest organic farms in Kentucky. She founded and is President/CEO of Mt. Folly Enterprises, the company that owns Laura’s Hemp Chocolates, Homestead Alternatives Hemp CBD products, and Wildcat Willy’s Distillery.
Freeman was a founding member of the Community Farm Alliance, and traveled to Europe, countries of the former Soviet Union, and Central and South America through agriculture programs funded by the Kellogg Foundation. In 2008 she was elected to the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame. She is a fellow of the Donella Meadows Institute and a member of the Policy Committee of the Organic Farmer’s Association.
To request an interview with Laura, members of the press should contact Abi Felix at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura In The News
NBC Nightly News: "
Craze Getting National Buzz"
WKYT: "Kentucky hemp farmers react to likelihood of new Farm Bill"
WKYT: "Hemp is giving a Kentucky farmer a new lease on life"