INDUSTRIAL HEMP MEETINGS
300+ Kansans attended the four meetings recently held across the state!
The opportunity to grow a new specialty oilseed crop in Kansas offers potential for diversification for Kansas farmers looking for an alternative crop, or for new farming enterprises interested in cultivating industrial hemp. In a series of meetings across the state, Canadian farmer Rod Flaman shared how the Canadian hemp market has evolved and how he grows and markets his crop.
Flaman has raised commercial hemp on and off since it was legalized in 1998. “We’ve forgotten everything about hemp, the fibre, the pharmaceuticals, the food. So you’ve got to build this entire industry from square one and it’s a slow process re-inventing an industry that has been non-existent for 80 years,” Flaman said.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for farmers considering growing hemp in Kansas in the future to learn the basics and the challenges of growing and marketing industrial hemp directly from a large Canadian producer who has been doing it for years,” says Kansas Farmers Union President Donn Teske. “Rod knows what it takes to grow hemp, this year he has 500 acres that he is harvesting. We all hear of the magic of hemp, but so far the basics of just what it takes on one’s farm to grow and market it isn’t really out there yet in Kansas. Rod can give a perspective of that.”
In addition to Flaman’s presentation, the Kansas Department of Agriculture provided an update on what is in the industrial hemp law, rules and regulations and how to prepare to participate in this new adventure.
Josh Roe, Deputy Secretary, Kansas Department of Agriculture states, “The Kansas Department of Agriculture is committed to providing an environment that enhances and encourages growth in Kansas agriculture. We support opportunities to grow new alternative crop varieties in the state. Senate Bill 263 provides the opportunity for important research on the viability of growing, processing and manufacturing industrial hemp in Kansas.”
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE MANHATTAN SESSION
Kansas Farmers Union video taped the meeting held on Monday, October 22 at the Kansas Department of Agriculture Headquarters in Manhattan.
INDUSTRIAL HEMP: The Road Ahead
– State Advisory Board
– How We Got to the Law
– What’s in the Law
– Research as Outlined by Legislation
– Developing Regulations
– Kansas Regulatory Process
– Activities Conducted by Licensees
– Research License Application Approval Process
– Fees Schedule
– Grower Application
– Potential Business Opportunities
– Licensing Guide
INDUSTRIAL HEMP MEETING COVERAGE
THE FORGOTTEN CROP—Kansas legislature legalizes cultivation of industrial hemp
Like many farmers, Rod Flaman spends a fair amount of time thinking while sitting in his combine. Recently, hemp harvest had just begun, and he wondered if it would be on the upslope or the downslope of the seesaw trajectory that defined his experiences with growing industrial hemp since it was legalized in Canada in 1998. He also questioned the business acumen of a farmer willing to travel several thousand miles to give away hard-learned lessons to potential competitors in an already oversaturated market. It didn’t make sense.
And yet here he was in Manhattan, Kansas, for the first of four meetings around the state devoted to reinventing an industry that had been virtually non-existent for 80 years.
“I realized that there are no secrets in the world,” he said. “The cat’s out of the bag.”
The meetings, sponsored by Kansas Farmers Union and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, were a response to Senate Bill 263, which was signed into law by Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer in April, and went into effect on May 3. The bill enacted the Alternative Crop Research Act, allowing the Kansas Department of Agriculture to oversee the cultivation of industrial hemp.
From the start, developing the regulatory processes needed to carry out the act’s provisions were accelerated. Such processes normally take at least one year to complete, but staffers were given around seven months, or until the end of the year, said KDA Compliance Education Coordinator Dana Ladner.
Other meeting locations included Salina, Colby and Garden City.