An announcement was made in Indianapolis, Indiana last week, revealing the formation of the United States Hemp Growers Association (USHGA), a national farmer-directed hemp trade association focused on providing world-class market and educational development resources.
The USHGA, which was founded by a diverse group of leaders, plans to conduct industry research and supply networking opportunities with the goal of unifying hemp farmers to actively engage in relevant and critically important advocacy efforts.
Founding partners of the USHGA include First Crop, Hoban Law Firm/International Solutions, the U.S. Hemp Farming Alliance, HiLo Seed, GenCanna, and Farm Journal.
“I am honored to be a part of this historical moment in U.S. agriculture and lend my experience and expertise to the emerging commercial hemp industry as we develop this organization,” said USHGA executive director Caren Wilcox. “The forward-thinking industry leaders who have partnered on this endeavor can see the potential for hemp as an agricultural commodity and understand this industry can contribute to the environment and sustainable products that benefit, at the grassroots level, farmers and consumers.”
Wilcox is an experienced agriculture and food leader whose past roles include executive positions at Hershey’s, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Organic Trade Association.
The USHGA plans to meet in late February in San Antonio, Texas to secure founding partners and assemble the Association’s first board of directors, a majority of whom will be active hemp farmers.
More than 300 members have been included as part of USHGA’s initial launch.
First Crop Founder Michael Bowman says that industrial hemp provides a unique economic opportunity for farmers, as well as the rest of rural America.
Bowman says that USHGA will focus on promoting regenerative farming practices to nurture the soil for current crops as well as future generations.