Ohio has a long, rich agricultural history, with know-how and ingenuity that dates back generations. From soybeans to sweet corn – to winter wheat and tomatoes – Ohio produces diverse, world-class crops.
The small Ohio farmer, however, has struggle in recent years, and sadly, many small farms have succumb to market trends, giving way to mega-corporate farms.
One only has to drive through farmland to see the landscape dotted with once grand barns in disrepair, the red varnish giving way to rust and weathered wood.
Simply put, the small family-owned farms needs help and diversification of crops can be a socioeconomic lifesaver to help reverse this trend.
Enter industrial hemp, which might be such a lifeline. This is because industrial hemp has evolved over the past 4 decades and new uses and products have emerged, greatly increasing the demand for high quality hemp and by-products.
Indeed, the uses of hemp are variegated and include textiles, geotextile, cartage, biochemical applications for industry, chemical absorbents, fiberboards, biofuels, solvents, lubricants, pultrusion fibers, paper and so forth.
Times are Changing:
Because of increased demand and use industrial hemp, the federal government ended the prohibition against cultivation in 2014, allowing states to resume production. Prior to this, the only source of industrial hemp in the United States was through importation, which provides socioeconomic benefits to the countries that could produce this crop.
As more states opt to allow commercial cultivation of hemp, importation has decreased as domestic production has increased. This has allowed farmers to diversify their fields and enter a new market with new and profitable income streams. The once weathered barns of disrepair are being brought back to life with new paint, new crops and needed income.
Ohio farmers, through experience and agricultural knowledge, are well situated to diversify and tap into this new market.
Grassroots Ohioans understand the emerging industrial hemp market and the plight of small family-owned farms as they try to remain viable and profitable. We want to cultivate a new market in Ohio and assist small farmers in crop diversification.