Just as Napa Valley in California is associated with wine, owners of what is now Golden Piedmont Labs hope their brand will come to mind when people think of Southside Virginia and northern, central North Carolina.
Co-founders Sterling Edmunds and Rick Gregory, both Halifax County natives made the announcement of the name change from Blue Ribbon Extraction on Wednesday.
Golden Piedmont Labs is set to be a large-scale industrial hemp processing and cannabinoid (CBD) oil extraction facility located at 2525 Houghton Ave., South Boston.
The new name will be “a tribute to the farming heritage of rural southside Virginia,” says co-founder Sterling Edmunds, noting the change to Golden Piedmont Labs “will not impact our business plan or our determination to improve the economy in southern Virginia.”
The previous name was a tribute to the former Blue Ribbon Creamery, owned by Edmunds’ grandfather.
The cofounders have a shared concern about the decline of rural economies. Determined to reverse the declines over recent decades, they say that every investment they make in the company is designed to revitalize, strengthen and sustain the rural economy for the betterment of the community.
The Golden Piedmont Labs facility was built to meet the demand of large purchasers of CBD products by providing the ability to supply the purchaser with a traceable and reliable supply of raw ingredient products such as crude oil and isolate products.
According to Gregory, to build an operation with this industrial scale, he and Edmunds raised, with other investors, over $6,000,000 in investments for the Halifax County facility, making it one of the largest private investments in Halifax County in recent years.
Edmunds and Gregory believe that great CBD products begin with great hemp growers.
Edmunds shared, “We have partnered with regional growers for over 550 acres of hemp this season and hope to double or even triple that amount for next year’s crop. Our growers and their families have worked their farms for generations, and we saw partnership as an opportunity to invest in their expertise.”
Halifax County farmers have reported to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that they’re growing 86.63 acres of hemp in 2020 compared to the 37.3 acres grown in 2019.
Attempts to reach Josh Ludgate of Golden Piedmont Labs to receive an update on contract numbers with Halifax County farmers was unsuccessful as of press time Thursday.
“This is an exciting time for Halifax County, our business community, and hemp growers across the region. Our region is brimming with possibility in the hemp industry, and we are grateful to Golden Piedmont Labs for their investment in bringing another critical piece of that industry to Halifax County,” said Brian Brown, executive director for Halifax Industrial Development Authority.