By Thomas Ivory, Jr.
Many farmers are un-biased to what agriculture they are producing as long as it is easy to grow and can be sold at a profitable price.
To gain the best profit per acre, working with a co-operative is access to knowledge and information, planting and harvesting techniques, processing abilities, and the most appealing, providing outlets for the product to be sold.
Dr. Grant Orvis and the Colorado Hemp Cooperative provide answers to a lot of questions. For instance, with access to a community of contributed research, the issue about certified Industrial Hemp seed can be addressed.
The Cooperative has people involved in the Industrial Hemp market that are as versatile as the plants’ uses.
Dr. Orvis was kind enough to answer a few e-mailed questions.
(NOCO) What is the goal of the Colorado Hemp Cooperative?
(Grant Orvis) To help farmers make more money per acre than if they were to sell their product on the open market. We have had a lot of help in developing our model from the Frenchman Valley Cooperative in Nebraska and Eastern Colorado.
(NOCO) What type of people are involved in an Industrial Hemp co-operative?
(GO) People who are interested in the hemp industry. We have farmers, lawyers, book keepers, entrepreneurs engineers and even IT people.
(NOCO) With the re-introduction of Industrial Hemp back into American agriculture, how can farmers acquire viable and certifiable seed?
(GO) The truth is that they can’t. Any seed that a farmer can buy comes from hybridized genetics. It is on us to make it happen and the Cooperative has begun developing several cultivars that are in need of testing in farmers fields. We have found some very interesting genetic mutations and will discuss the results from our experiments in my talk.
(NOCO) Are there opportunities for funding of your genetic experiments?
(GO) Absolutely. In fact, State law allows for up to $10 million of recreational tax dollars to be put aside for a hemp research grant program. The Cooperative will actively pursue these grants to further benefit our farmers.
(NOCO) Processing Industrial Hemp is the farmer’s next challenge after growing and harvesting. Can the co-op assist in processing Industrial Hemp?
(GO) We are partnered with a hemp seed processor and this vertical integration is one way in how we help farmers make more money.
(NOCO) If someone wanted to learn more, where would you direct them?
(GO) I’d say that this short video should help: