Kentucky farmers may have a new crop to add to their list of products that could help people struggling in the business.
A farm bill passed in the House and Senate including provisions for industrialized hemp meaning small farmers could be seeing more green.
This farm bill is said to empower struggling farmers through industrialized hemp cultivation, and Kentucky farmers are not newcomers to this game.
Many farmers have been waiting to add a new crop to their bag, and with U.S, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s backing of the bill among others Kentucky farmers could see a boost through industrialized hemp production.
“How does a small farmer like me make a living,” says NE Farm and 5 Mile Marker owner Paul Glover.
Some Kentucky farmers are struggling, but with a farm bill passing industrialized hemp could be added to their list of crops helping small farmers compete with big corporations.
Paul Glover owns Ne farms and Mile Marker No. 5 in Hawesville and says the farm bill would help small farmers, and others.
“We produce an oil a tincture if you will that helps people with any neurological disease. Parkinson’s disease, children that have epilepsy it has stopped their seizures cold, and that is one of the big reasons I have been doing this for the past five years,” says Glover.
Kentucky isn’t new to the industrialized hemp world with research and pilot programs in recent years.
“Kentucky did have a four or five year advantage over other states such as North Carolina and Tennessee and if a few of the other states, but they have been climbing up the ladder extremely rapidly. We are still plotting along and we are still trying to figure out the program,” says Glover.
With the bill moving forward things could be looking up for farmers watching the bill closely for years.
Glover says, “I’m sure it will help keep competitive with these other states who are coming out of the wood work.”
The farm bill would also add crop insurance helping farmers like Glover who have taken big hits over the years.
“I was out probably about $12,000 dollars of my product which runs into a substantial amount of money I had no recourse. Crop insurance will help and it will also help the regulatory people in the U.S.D.A to help the farmer,” says Glover.
Industrialized hemp could be the green cash cow Kentucky farmers need.
“They can grow industrial hemp and if they market it correctly or sell it to the right individual or the right processor they can once again have a viable small farm,” says Glover.
Aside from the hemp stipulations the farm bill also fully protects crop insurance, makes significant improvements to rural broadband, and implements key changes to SNAP the supplemental nutrition assistance program.