Special Edition- On location in Bethlehem Pa Industrial Hemp Field-Les Stark & Erica McBride of PAHIC
We were a part of Pennsylvania history!! Industrial hemp has been given back to the state of Pa. and we were there to see phase one of the process. We spoke with Les Stark and Erica McBride from the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council. They dropped a lot of knowledge on us right in the middle of the massive hemp field of Bethlehem Pa. We hope you enjoy this very special podcast.
The Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council seeks to accelerate the return of the Industrial Hemp Crop to the Pennsylvania agricultural landscape. To effectively achieve our aim of broad adoption of Industrial Hemp as a rotational crop by farmers, we will build a vital and effective collaboration of agencies, individuals and the general public.
Pennsylvania is a very strong agricultural state with over 63 thousand farms and almost 8 million acres of farm land. These farmers, the entire state, as well as the environment would benefit tremendously from the ability to grow industrial hemp. With our ideal climate and close proximity to major markets, we need to return this vital cash crop to our state.
Hemp can aid rural communities that need revitalization and opportunity by creating good paying jobs. Investing in research and development would build a bio-based economy that can provide solutions to real-world problems.
The United States annually imports hemp and hemp products at an estimated value of 500 million dollars. Hundreds of PA farmers and entrepreneurs have already expressed a desire to supply the national demand for hemp and its products not only to reap the economic benefits, but to create many products that can proudly be labeled “100% Made in the USA”. With our rich agricultural heritage and our first class universities and research facilities, Pennsylvania should absolutely be a leader in this new industry.