The Arkansas Times is hosting a two-day conference for farmers on adding industrial hemp to crop rotation from Feb. 14-15 in the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in downtown North Little Rock. Presenters of the Arkansas Farmer’s Industrial Hemp Conference are Green Remedies Group of Little Rock, which operates Indigenous Seed, Hawgs Hemp Farm and Hawgs Hemp Refinery, whose cofounder Brad Fausett will be one of 13 speakers. Fausett leads the industrial hemp program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University and will talk about common mistakes made by first-time hemp farmers.
Other speakers will include Arkansas farmers who grew industrial hemp last season, soil scientists, seedsmen, processors, marketers and regulators. Farmers will pass on lessons learned regarding varieties, controlling THC levels, pests and the marketing and sale of their crops.
Jason Martin, CEO of Tree of Life Seeds, will lead a session on creating a sound business model for industrial hemp farming. Jon Workman, president of the Arkansas Hemp Association and a fourth-generation row-crop farmer from England, will talk about hemp fiber products beyond CBD oil; industry expert Robert DeBin will talk about sourcing, growing, manufacturing and compliance issues; Dr. Brandon Thornton, CEO of Steep Hill Arkansas, will talk about testing crops to help farmers maintain low THC levels; and Kelly Carney, owner of certified organic North Pulaski Farms LLC, who got a hemp grower permit in March 2019 and later acquired a processing permit, will also speak.
Other speakers include state Rep. David Hillman of Stuttgart, who led the legislative efforts to legalize industrial hemp; Shawn Peebles, operator of Peebles Farm near Augusta and a hemp grower; Don Brewington, co-founder and CEO of Green Remedies Group; Scott Bennett, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation; Brian Madar, COO and co-founder of Tree of Life Seeds; farmer Jody Hardin of Grady; and Caleb Allen, the industrial hemp coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
About 90 percent of industrial hemp grown in Arkansas is processed into CBD oil, but as more hemp comes online, farmers expect the market to widen into products like hemp wood and insulation, hemp fiber and high protein animal food.
The conference kicks off at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, and runs through 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. Tickets are $99 and include a cocktail reception with the speakers Friday night and a box lunch on Saturday. The Arkansas Times hosts; for more information, email Alan Leveritt, publisher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 501-375-2985.