Sugar cane farming is more than a job to Eddie J. Lewis III, it’s a way of life. As early as the 1920’s, Eddie’s ancestors started growing sugar cane in Louisiana with only 4 acres of land. Through generations of hard work and commitment, they have grown to as much as 4,000 acres at their largest. As a 5th generation sugar cane farmer, the family business is a point of pride for Eddie and his family. His son, age 10, is now the 6th generation to cultivate sugar: operating tractors, managing his own few acres and improving the family legacy as a young entrepreneur. At one point in the early 80’s their family farm had 30 employees and every single one was a blood relative. Eddie shared that “aunts, uncles, we had everybody in the field,” and then as the growth continued, they started hiring in the community.Eddie and his son

After growing up farming with his family, Eddie’s father encouraged him to leave the family business and pursue a college degree. Eddie reluctantly left the family business and became a stockbroker after graduating from University of Louisiana. Despite his desire to return to farming, Eddie found great success as a stockbroker and honored his father’s wishes to keep his corporate job until his father passed away in 2011 and he knew the family business needed him.

Together with his brothers, they are working to make their father proud. “Growing sugar cane is like riding a bike. I wouldn’t know what to do without a harvest and planting season. All I do is think about sugar cane, it’s crazy,” Eddie shared. The Lewis boys also raise beef cattle, chickens, and grow enough corn, okra, sweet potatoes and produce for their family, employees and animals to live off.

Eddie and sugar caneEddie and sugar caneA graduate of Leadership Louisiana, Eddie had the idea to go beyond growing, harvesting, and processing his family’s sugar cane. They also have partnerships with Bhoomi Cane Water, Cajun Sugar Co-op, and Christina Milian’s Beignet Box. Eddie shared that the popularity from these partnerships has opened doors for lots of additional partnerships with rum makers and fresh juice makers. On top of all that, Eddie also advocates for the sugar industry from his seat on the federal trade advisory agriculture committee where he is currently the youngest member.

Eddie knows consumers just want to know where their sugar is coming from, so getting the word out that sugar comes from his farm to your table is the message he wants to impart. If you ever find yourself in Youngsville, LA you must try a Lewis Boy Margarita at Blue Apache, Eddie’s favorite way to enjoy sugar!


Cover photo credit: Rinald Mamachev, Kreol Magazine

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