Cynthiana farmer Brian Furnish has a successful tobacco and cattle operation but wants to make life better for his family and many other Kentucky farmers who once depended on tobacco for their living.
“I’ve seen what’s happened with the decline of tobacco,” said Furnish. “Central and eastern Kentucky need a new crop. If we can build an industry around hemp here, it’ll be beneficial to growers.”
Furnish is also the chair of the Kentucky Hemp Industry Council, a 16-member group from around the state and nation that represents various stakeholder in hemp’s future, from farmers and crop processors to industries and retailers that want to process and sell hemp products. Hemp’s fiber and oil can be used in a multitude of goods, including food, paper, building materials, beauty products and much more.
Kentucky is entering its second year of industrial hemp pilot projects. The first round in 2014 produced a wealth of data about production methods, seed varieties, harvesting, processing techniques and uses for harvested hemp.
FK – How sad that in a ‘free country” farmers have to get permission to grow a crop…