The American Farm Bureau Federation, the largest farming organization in the United States, passed a resolution at its annual convention calling for research that could lead to the re-introduction of hemp into the American farm economy.
The resolution, adopted by a unanimous vote of the 51 state presidents and all 300 voting delegates, reads: “We recommend that [the] American Farm Bureau Federation encourage research into the viability and economic potential of industrial hemp production in the United States. We further recommend that such research includes planting test plots in the United States using modern agricultural techniques.”
Often described as “marijuana’s misunderstood cousin,” industrial hemp is from the same plant species that produces marijuana. Unlike marijuana, however, industrial hemp has only minute amounts of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient that gives marijuana its euphoric properties. Industrial hemp is currently grown legally throughout much of Europe and Asia and is being cultivated in test plots in Australia and Canada.
Andrew Graves, incoming president of the Fayette County chapter of the Kentucky Farm Bureau and vice-president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, introduced the resolution at the convention. “What we are asking for is research to determine whether industrial hemp can once again become a profitable agricultural commodity for American farmers just as it is for farmers around the world,” Graves said in his presentation. “Where would agriculture be without research?”
In a separate resolution, the AFB also voted to affirm its policy in support of government efforts to eradicate illegal drugs, including marijuana.
For more information on the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, please contact Andrew Graves at (606) 293-0579 or write to P.O. Box 8395, Lexington, KY 40533. The American Farm Bureau Federation may be contacted at (202) 484-3600.