Drive down Hwy 24 West in Burke County past some dusty dirt roads and farm land, and you’ll come to a family operated hand-harvested blueberry farm bordered by Rocky Creek and Story Mill Road. The Byne Blueberry Farm started in 1980 when Dick Byne planted 15 acres of blueberries on land passed down through the Byne family for five generations. While attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Dick dreamed of having his own farming business. After graduating, Dick Byne, father Ed Byne, Dr. Ed Byne Jr. and beloved mentor Roosevelt Chance helped him decide on planting blueberries. He started an organic blueberry farm before organic was even in the American vocabulary. Byne disagreed with the progressive trend to spray his crop with pesticides and herbicides.
The blueberries started out as a pick your own operation, but as Byne realized the health benefits and demand for the super fruit, he looked for new avenues to sell his crop. As time passed Byne’s family grew and so did the business. As his four daughters Diane, Janie, AnnNell, and Marian grew up, they began helping their mother Linda pick and pack the berries. It is Dick Byne’s belief that without Linda and the girls, the business would not have succeeded as it has. Dick Byne constantly dreams up new ways to use blueberries in all types of products.