There is nothing like a farm to feel connected to the earth and nature. On our islands, and throughout the world, people yearn to be closer to the land -- to eat fresh, local food and to enjoy green landscapes and open spaces.
We at Raising Cane are part of the groundswell of farmers working to make agriculture local again for the community good. Our starter crop is sugar cane, and our St. Croix farm is the first in many decades to grow it on a production scale in order to create a local supply for our islands’ rum distillers.
With our fellow farmers, we are working to solve the problems of water infrastructure and access to land to make local farming increasingly viable.
Above all, we want to make farming an attractive career choice for the next generation; one that not only rewards the soul, but that also provides a good living.
By working together, we can reverse our reliance on agricultural imports and conserve this good earth for cultivation.
Are you a farmer at heart?
Let's join hands and bring agriculture home.
A serial Wall Street entrepreneur, Bob Apfel conceived Raising Cane on a tour of St. Croix's Cruzan rum distillery, where molasses made from foreign-grown sugarcane arrives continuously in giant tankers from far-flung ports. Seeing thousands of untilled acres in the St. Croix countryside, he wondered: why not grow the cane here? Since that day in 2014, Raising Cane has put over 1,000 acres into production on Puerto Rico and St. Croix, and is just getting warmed up.
St. Lucian by birth, Cornelius Cyrille left home in 1975 at the age of 22 to farm sugar cane on the Beauséjour estate in Grande-Rivière, Martinique. There he gained a reputation for producing the greenest fields in the region; knowledge he brings to Raising Cane. Cyrille has also successfully farmed bananas, and the edges of Raising Cane's fields are lush with fruit and root crops that he raises with the team for pleasure and profit.
Agricultural Associate, Prosperity
Hector Marti-Hernandez Manager, Coloso
From Cabo Rojo in southwest Puerto Rico, Hector Marti-Hernandez studied horticulture at University of Puerto Rico’s Mayaguez campus and landed his dream job: starting up a production agriculture enterprise on Coloso’s fertile farmlands. Hector has built a like-minded team of future farmers who together have repaired hurricane-ravaged drainage canals and are well advanced towards a goal of planting 500 acres of new cane before the advent of the 2022 rainy season (starting mid-May).
Hector is also a law student at the Pontificial Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce.
Shop Manager, Coloso
Felipe "Kenny" Mendez Bravo is Raising Cane’s mechanic-in-chief for all farming operations. With more than 25 years of experience in diesel and farm mechanics, hydraulics and welding, there is not a piece of agricultural equipment that Kenny can’t operate or repair. Previously he worked for an agriculture seed company in the south of Puerto Rico, and was the second team member Raising Cane hired at Coloso.
From the south of St. Lucia, Remy Toussaint is Raising Cane’s‘ Mr. Natural, a farmer in love with the natural world and at one with it. If it’s a fruit or vegetable, Remy can grow it. Rising at dawn, he cultivates bananas, taro, peas and lemon grass alongside the sugar cane fields, and goes to sea after work to spearfish.
Sammy Feliciano keeps Coloso running smoothly: sourcing parts, evaluating suppliers, and coordinating shipments between multiple overseas couriers to ensure the Sammy implemented Raising Cane's Coloso inventory management system as well as preventive maintenance programs for the farm's multiple assets.
Farm Equipment Manager, Prosperity
Lining up satellites that orbit the earth, Octavian William can set a tractor in motion at the push of a button to move up and down the field rows on the precise tracks that makes automation possible. A self-taught master of precision agriculture equipment, he generously shares his knowledge with the rest of the team.