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KDA Taking Applications for 2017 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program

Whitney Jones, WKMS

Kentuckians interested in participating in the state’s industrial hemp research pilot program next year are invited to apply to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

According to a news release, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles plans on expanding the program, building on work in the previous administration by developing research data on hemp production, processing, manufacturing and marketing. He said he wants to position the state’s growers and farmers so that if the federal government removes industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances they’ll be be in a position to prevail as industry leaders.

New measures for 2017 include strengthening KDA’s partnership with state and local law enforcement officers by providing GPS coordinates of approved planting sites. Applicants must comply with the 2017 Policy Guide and clear a background check. Participants must also contribute fees to aid in the KDA Hemp Staff workload without the use of additional tax dollars.

KDA operates the program under a 2014 federal farm bill provision.

More than 2,350 acres of hemp were planted this year, compared to 922 acres in 2015 and 33 in 2014, the program’s first year.

The application deadline is November 14.

More information on the KDA Hemp website

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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