Big Ideas Set to Take Off: Industrial Hemp Entrepreneurs Discover Seeds of Innovation as Technology Advances Industry
Many new innovations are emerging that will drive the industrial hemp market in the future, and many are available today that producers can take advantage of in terms of farm and harvesting machinery, drone and data collection technology, extraction and processing equipment, analytics and testing, product development, packaging and more. Register Here for FREE for the Experience Hemp SUMMER SOLSTICE Virtual Conference and Trade Show, June 16-19, 2020, to learn more.
Nebraska-based farmer and agricultural leader Andrew Bish’s big idea to grow hemp started way before he even put seeds in the ground. Bish, a third-generation midwestern grain farmer, recalls he was working in a sorghum field near the Kansas-Colorado border when he realized that hemp was more sustainable and viable than other grains.
Andrew now works with his family’s company, Bish Enterprises, which has been serving the heartland community of Giltner, Nebraska, for 40+ years. Bish Enterprises has been recognized as one of the first innovators to specialize in hemp farming equipment. Today, Andrew Bish is a notable industry expert and combines his passion for hemp farming with innovative technologies and practices that are driving the industrial hemp market.
Hemp activist and legal advocate Joy Beckerman, from Hempace International, remembers her a-ha hemp moment when she was at a Grateful Dead concert in the 90s. “I was handed a hemp pamphlet and knew immediately that I had to learn more about the many facets of hemp,” said Beckerman. “As soon as I realized it’s potential, I discovered one aspect after another. Ultimately, that educational journey led me to where I am today – working and helping others thrive in the industrial hemp industry.”
Stories like Bish and Beckerman are among many as more and more entrepreneurs and business leaders discover the many uses of hemp. According to the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, hemp has been a leading cash crop for centuries and was critical to the United States during both world wars. Industry trade journals also estimate there are more than 50,000 different uses of industrial hemp from textiles to sustainable building materials to food and potential energy sources.
“The dialogue is changing, and we’re starting to discuss new ways to work with hemp – as a stalk material and as a potential food source for animals,” said Andrew Bish, COO, Bish Enterprises. “Realizing we can do more with hemp provides an extra layer for our industry. Identifying and discovering more options for hemp helps educate and inform the public, which is key to the future of this industry and what makes our community thrive.”
In addition to working on a proprietary hemp-based grain feed for livestock, Andrew and his team have been working on establishing secure drone technology for the fields. They have created new harvesting machinery and equipment, including the world’s first-row crop header designed specifically for CBD hemp production.
But Bish is not alone in the field of innovation. The organizers of the NoCo Hemp Expo acknowledge that groundbreaking ideas are about to take flight. That’s why they are kicking off their first session of its 4-day Experience Hemp SUMMER SOLSTICE Virtual Conference and Trade Show, June 16 – 19, 2020, with a live, virtual webinar, Innovation: Technology Advances Across the Hemp Supply Chain.
The ‘Innovation and Technology’ panel will feature entrepreneurs, business
leaders, software/system developers, agricultural experts, including both Bish and Beckerman, among others. Collectively, the panelists will discuss emerging trends, such as machinery for farm and harvesting, drone and data collection, extraction and processing technology, supply chain management systems, and more.
“We’re at the intersection of where big ideas meet farming, building to composite materials, fashion, health and wellness, and the food industries. Hemp’s variety of use is quite wide,” said Morris Beegle, Producer of NoCo Hemp Expo. “The technology has opened the door to hope, change, and inspiration. Hemp’s powerful and positive impact is something we need right now, everywhere.”
From Buds to Bricks
Beckerman, who consults with hemp building and hemp trade associations, thinks this is a pivotal time for commercial and residential construction companies to use hemp building materials. Ever since the legal passing of the Farm Bill in 2018, hemp has been showing up in familiar places, even right at home. According to news reports, there are more than 50 homes made with hemp materials in the U.S. alone, with houses popping up in North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Hawaii.
“We need to expand research on the idea of hemp and pyrolysis, which is the heating of organic material in the absence of oxygen. Pyrolysis, will be the next big topic of conversation because the process essentially speeds up the decomposition of hemp, which means you can process it at a quicker pace,” explains Beckerman. Pyrolysis converts hemp stalks for power generation and helps with the production of industrial feedstocks and other purposes.
As materials become readily available at better prices, Beckerman notes that “the time is now for discovery, for new ways of thinking, and for new technologies to reframe businesses sustainably.”
If you’re interested in learning more about innovation and technology, Register for FREE for the Experience Hemp SUMMER SOLSTICE Virtual Conference and Trade Show, June 16-19, 2020. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear insights relating to analytics, innovations in testing, product development, packaging design, and the chance to exchange ideas with the panelists. Additional details below:
Innovation: Technology Advances Across the Hemp Supply Chain
The ‘Innovation and Technology’ discussion will take place on Tuesday, June 16, at 11:00 am MDT and is one of six, 90-minute live webcasts, taking place throughout the week. Each Supersession will be offered twice a day, on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, June 16-18.
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