Laura’s Mercantile provides hemp and full-spectrum CBD products extracted from hemp grown on Mt. Folly Farm, one of Kentucky’s largest USDA-certified organic farms. Our CBD products fall under Laura’s Homestead Alternatives and our hemp chocolates fall under Laura’s Hemp Chocolates.

Writing a hemp or CBD story? Get the unique perspective of Laura Freeman, CEO of Mt. Folly Farm and Laura’s Homestead Alternatives, as well as long-time, successful agricultural entrepreneur. Laura is available for speaking opportunities, interviews, quotes, podcasts, and more.

Members of the press should contact us here.


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.

Laura Freeman, Hemp and CBD Press Interviews


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. CBD from hemp 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, Laura’s Homestead Alternatives, 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 has served on the administrative council (the governing body) of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, and is a fellow of the Donella Meadows Institute, a board member of the newly-formed Kentucky Organic Hemp Cooperative, 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 us here.

Laura In The News

NBC Nightly News: “What You Need To Know About CBD Oil, The Health
Craze Getting National Buzz”

TODAY Show: “Walgreens To Start Selling CBD Products: What To Know”

The Washington Post and SFGate: “Is the hype about CBD, or cannabidiol, real?”

Keeneland Magazine: “Ahead Of Her Time”

WKYT: “Kentucky hemp farmers react to likelihood of new Farm Bill”

WKYT: “Hemp is giving a Kentucky farmer a new lease on life”