Youngsville Sugarcane Farmer Featured On ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’
The story of a Youngsville sugarcane farmer is now going global thanks to a recent feature on GMA.
Nearly a decade ago, Eddie Lewis III was living his life as a stockbroker, until he got the news that his father passed away working in the sugarcane fields—the same sugarcane fields that his family has been farming for generations.
Lewis said the next day he quit his stockbroking job to save his father's crop and to continue the legacy of his family business. ABC's Robin Roberts featured his story on Good Morning America for the world to see.
But it's not an easy job. Lewis and his brothers are part of a very small percentage of African-American farmers in the country.
According to the USDA, less than 2% of farmers in the United States are African American.
If you go back a quarter-century, there were about 40-50 African American farmers in the business, according to Lewis. Now, he says there are around four who are still actively farming. Add that to the pressure of big corporations and it only reiterates how important it is for farmers like Lewis to plant the seeds for the next generation.
I hit the fields, get on my tractor, no matter what problem I run into, it's not going to be big enough to stop me. This job is not meant for everyone but the people who dedicate themselves to doing it end up making it worth their while.
Lewis says he knows his father would still be in the fields keeping the business going if he was still alive, which brings an enormous sense of pride to him and his family members.
As someone who went to school with Eddie and knows him personally, I can vouch for his character and it makes me proud to see him represent the numerous farmers in our area who take pride in their hard work on a national and global stage.
Good job, Eddie. We're all proud of you.