September 16, 2022

USDA Grants $21 Million For Hemp As A Climate-Smart Commodity!

USDA Grants $21 Million For Hemp As A Climate-Smart Commodity!

This week, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the first round of grant recipients for its Climate-Smart Commodity Program and we’re excited to share that two projects selected will be receiving a combined total of up to $21 million for hemp research and development.

Iconoclast Industries, LLC will receive up to $15 million for the project titled “Industrial Hemp for Fiber and Grain” spanning the states of Florida, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The project aims to expand climate-smart markets and remedy lack of available data on environmentally beneficial practices for hemp production by providing open-accessible data and training and enabling monetization of climate-smart practices through a pilot designation in a digital marketplace. Additionally, this project develops an inclusive workforce that specializes in implementation of climate-smart practices by engaging underserved producers and financially supporting them as they learn these practices. Other major partners for the project include Cedar Meadow Farm LLC, University of Florida, University of Georgia, Stockton University, The Shaffer Group, Texas A&M University, Pecan Street Inc, CultivateAI, Florida Department of Agriculture, Green Ocean Sciences, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Ganjanesh Bioscience, INDHemp, Global Hemp Association, 357 Hemp Logistics, SB Friedman Development Advisors, M4MM, Canndigenous, EntreVation LLC, Stillman College, and Legacy Farms Group.

A project led by Lincoln University, “Scaling Up the Industrial Hemp Supply Chain as Carbon Negative Feedstock for Fuel and Fiber,” will receive up to $5 million and take place in the states of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. This project will help with commercializing and marketing climate-smart hemp crops while driving soil carbon sequestration and climate resilience. The project aims to provide effective valuation and monetization of environmental services, including carbon dioxide removal via implementation of new genetics and management practices to increase sustainability of hemp as an annual crop in the U.S. Major partners for the project include the National Hemp Association, Kansas Farmers Union, Missouri Farmers Union, Missouri Organic Association, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Oklahoma Farmers Union, ShowMe State Hemp Association, Missouri Department of Agriculture, Donald Danforth Plant Science Research Center, Oklahoma State University, Prairie View A&M Univ., St. Louis Univ., Southeast Missouri State Univ., Univ. of Missouri, Benchmark Design, Cquester Analytics, DTE Materials, HempWood, Midwest Natural Fiber, New West Genetics, REA Resource Recovery Systems, Rockwater, and Renaissance Fiber.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable would like to congratulate these two groups for being selected by the USDA for funding that will go toward projects greatly benefiting the hemp industry, particularly in the development of sustainable production and uses of hemp fiber and grain.

The USDA has indicated this is just the first round of recipients and that a second round will be announced later this year. As part of this second round – that provides priority to projects that promote racial justice and equity — the USHR is proud to have joined a partnership led by Tennessee State University, alongside the University of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and the Hemp Alliance of Tennessee for the implementation of climate-smart production practices to create methods for measuring, monitoring, and verifying the carbon capture and greenhouse gas benefits, and to develop markets for hemp as a climate-smart commodity by enhancing availability and access to industrial hemp through a sustainable supply chain, from planting to production. Learn more here.

We look forward to receiving a response on this proposal during the next funding announcement!