NELIGH, Neb. — After a successful 2019, educating over 700 farmers at five hemp forums in Clatonia, David City, Pilger, York and Syracuse, Midwest Hemp Forum is proud to announce the first event of 2020, the upcoming Neligh Hemp Farmers Forum on Feb. 21 hosted by the Neligh Office of Economic Development and Antelope County Ag Society. Learn from farmers currently growing hemp, local harvesting equipment experts, professors, processors and other hemp experts.
The Neligh Hemp Farmers Forum take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Antelope County Ag Society Exhibit Building, 709 E. US-275 Neligh, NE 68756. Doors will open at 11 a.m.
“The Neligh Office of Economic Development is thrilled to sponsor Midwest Hemp Forum’s Neligh Hemp Farmers Forum. There are over 700 farms in Antelope County alone. With corn prices in the mid $3.50 range, we need to offer an alternative crop to Nebraska producers. Hemp could be that alternative crop. Hemp could reduce the cost of insecticides and herbicides as well as the use of precious water resources. The environmental benefits could be a game changer in many industries. The plant is 100% utilizable and can be manufactured into over 25,000 products to help northeast Nebraska manufacturers and entrepreneurs prosper — creating a greater export product basis for the county and ultimately for Nebraska,” said Lauren Sheridan-Simonsen, director of economic development for the city of Neligh
“The Midwest Hemp Farmers Forum is the educational event that Nebraska needs to ensure its farmers have the knowledge and resources to succeed, as well as building a network of producers interested in this new commodity,” said Jacob Bish of Bish Enterprises & Hemp Harvest Works, a Giltner, Neb.,-based ag implement dealership and Midwest Hemp Forum participant.
Forum participants include Andrea Holmes, a Doane University chemistry professor and past president of the Nebraska American Chemical Society. Holmes oversees and administers Doane University’s Cannabis Certificate program which has certified over 1,700 individuals across the U.S. with skills to work in various areas of the hemp marketplace.
“Before prohibition the Midwest had a comparative advantage in hemp production. Nebraska was the third largest agricultural hemp producer in the United States after only Kentucky and Illinois. Since that generational knowledge has been lost, we have been hosting these forums across Nebraska to allow farmers the ability to learn a little about the crop and make a proper opportunity cost decision about diversifying with hemp on their operations in 2020 or 2021,” said Colin Fury, event organizer of the Midwest Hemp Forum.
Participants also include 20-year hemp farmer Jeff Kostuik of Hemp Genetics International. Kostuik is a Manitoba, Canada, based hemp producer passionate about the use of hemp, whether it be for fiber, grain, oil or a nutraceutical, and grows hemp seed hearts for Manitoba Harvest.
“The hemp forum was a real eye opener for me. I think people saw just how versatile hemp can be,” said Brent Broberg of Tilden-based Broberg Organics.
“Bish Enterprises has been providing innovative harvest technology since 1976, and we’ve continued this tradition with hemp as it’s come onto the market. Beyond developing new equipment solutions, we work with other equipment manufacturers to provide hemp producers all of their equipment needs,” said Jacob Bish.
“The best part of the Forum are the outstanding innovators and agricultural producers you meet at the event — folks like Brent Broberg of Tilden who raises organic earthworm castings, which are a great fertilizer option for hemp producers. And we are excited to see Blackburn Manufacturing and so many other Antelope County businesses take interest in what Forbes estimates will be a $22 billion American industry by 2024,” said Colin Fury.
“Hemp plants and worm castings are a great match. We’ve had a lot of interest and look forward to helping hemp farmers with their fertilizer needs,” said Brent Broberg.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture began licensing hemp processors and producers on Feb. 3. To learn more farmers can visit https://nda.nebraska.gov/hemp/.
“It is morning for hemp in Nebraska, and we will have NDA licensing applications available to any attendee of the Forum interested in growing hemp on their farm in 2020,” said Fury.
The legalization of hemp at the federal and now state level has opened up a new industry for Nebraska. If you’re interested in adding hemp to your rotation — for oil, seed, or fiber production — this event is for you.
The Neligh Hemp Farmers Forum is free, and lunch will be served. Tickets can be claimed online at www.midwesthempforum.com. To follow, like “Midwest Hemp Forum” on Facebook.
For more information, please visit www.midwesthempforum.com.