Kansas opens first industrial hemp academy to promote alternative crop

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DE SOTO, Kan. (KAKE) -

For over 100 years, farmers in in a small northeast Kansas community have had to adapt because of the changes in the economy and they’re hoping hemp is the next big thing.

Margit Hall tells KCTV that she and her family grew organic crops for whole foods In the 90s and early 2000s. She says the market went south when the grocery store was bought out and her farm has sat empty for years.

“It’s all been a very interesting rough ride for us as a family, but now this looks like some future potential not just for our own family but to help Kansas farmers,” said Hall.

She turned to America’s Hemp Academy and was part of their pilot program.

“I wouldn’t try to grow the crop without going through the training. It was a great program. It’s given you in a nutshell the essence of how to get this crop in the ground and produce it,” explained Hall.

Thursday was the hemp academy’s grand opening and ribbon cutting.

“We actually teach our students how to plant the seed properly, how to cultivate the seed properly, how to harvest the crop properly and then what to do with the crop after it’s harvest,” said America’s Hemp Academy founder Joe Bisogno, Founder.

Students learn to grow hemp from seed to sale, to make hemp products and they’re even connected with potential buyers.

Gov. Jeff Colyer says it’s a new industrial opportunity. He believes it could be one of the top five crops grown in the state and it can compete on the national and world stage.

Hemp is a cannabis plant that has nearly no THC, so it won’t get you high. There are several medicinal uses and products that can be made from it.

“That’s what’s going to be interesting to me to begin to understand about the different varieties and whether it’d be grown for the flower buds for CBD oil or specifically the fiber that can be put towards plastic, or paper, or kitty litter,” Hall said.

The new Farm Bill gives hemp businesses, growers and those companies selling and manufacturing Hemp or CBD derived products a big opportunity to grow and expand their business models with all Hemp Products. 

The law goes into effect January 1, and farmers hope to plant by April.

America’s Hemp Academy is a four-day certification course lead by agronomist and botanist experts, including classroom instruction, lab and greenhouse training, research programs and hemp product making workshops.

Students will graduate with an official training certificate upon completion of the program. 

Classes begin Jan. 14. For more information or to sign-up, visit americashempacademy.com.

Find more information from the Kansas Department of Agriculture, click here.

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