Hemp is Coming to Pennsylvania!
This historic crop of our ancestors is poised for a dramatic comeback. Lancaster County’s original Hempfield Township was named for the “vast quantities of hemp raised there”. Between the years of 1720-1870 there existed more than 100 water-powered hemp mills in Lancaster County alone with dozens more in all of the surrounding counties – hundreds throughout the state.
We are going to bring back an industry that will create jobs, help the environment, provide raw materials for biodiesel, hempcrete, pellets, horse bedding, livestock feed, paper, textiles, food products, fiberboard and other composites, and any number of the thousands of products that can utilize the hemp fiber, stalk, cellulosic material, seeds or oil, and, put money into the pockets of American farmers.
We have a great opportunity here in this state. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill passed last February now allows the cultivation of hemp in states that have passed pro-hemp legislation. A handful of farmers grew hemp this year in Vermont as well as some in Washington state. Colorado grew hundreds of acres of hemp and hemp was grown in at least eight pilot projects throughout Kentucky.
Next year, even more states plan on growing hemp. If we do not act quickly and decisively we may get left behind and that would be a real shame. There is no reason for Pennsylvania to be left behind.
If we get seeds in the ground by spring of 2016 we will start out two years on behind. However, we have the ability and tremendous agricultural industry and top notch research facilities to not only catch up but become leaders in this exciting new opportunity.
If you want to learn about hemp or show your support, come to the Pennsylvania Hemp Conference at the Pennsylvania Farm Show on Saturday, January 10 at 4:30 pm.
During this event state Senator Judy Schwank, and state Senator Mike Folmer will be having a press conference to introduce the Pennsylvania Hemp Bill.
In the coming weeks we will fill you in on all the details as we put together the best hemp event possible. We are most likely going to have a hemp millstone from one of the historic Lancaster County hemp mills and we are planning some great stuff. We’ll keep you all posted