Illinois Agriculture Director Hopes for Hemp Information Sessions This Winter

Illinois Agriculture Director Hopes for Hemp Information Sessions This Winter

ILLINOIS (IRN) — As Illinois farmers eye growing hemp for industrial production, many want more information, a service the state’s agricultural director wants to provide by hosting seminars this winter.

Hemp is the non-intoxicating form of marijuana. Both the federal and state governments have legalized industrial hemp production.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Richard Guebert said after six years of economic downturn in the agricultural community, farmers want to diversify.

“Whether it’s fiber, for the oil, or for the seed, it gives them many opportunities to expand their operations, bring a son or a daughter back into their farming operations,” Guebert said. “But there’s still a lot that we need to learn about it.”

Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan said the No. 1 discussion he’s had so far during his tenure has been about growing hemp.

“There’s a lot of interest and not a lot of answers,” Sullivan said. “I’m talking about maybe doing some seminars over the winter here to try to educate us as a department and certainly growers and processors about hemp.”

He said he wants Illinois to lead the nation in the years ahead in hemp production. But it’s not just growing hemp that Sullivan is excited about.

“I would love to see, and I’m really excited about the fact that we’ve had a lot of processor licenses issued and applied for here in Illinois,” Sullivan said. “But wouldn’t it be great if we were in an area where there’s a lot of growers and someone says ‘well we have the growers, we have the product, let’s go ahead and have a manufacturer or a processor here.’ ”

“If we did that, especially in the rural parts of the state, it’d be an opportunity for some real job creation,” Sullivan said.

Concert Calendar

James Taylor w/ Jackson Browne

James Taylor w/ Jackson Browne

December 4 @ 7:30 PM Legendary singer/songwriter James Taylor & His All-Star Band with special guest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jackson Browne and his band at Enterprise Center. ON SALE • Friday, August 27th @ 10am PRICES • $59.50, $79.50, $125.00 Click HERE to purchase tickets

Dream Theater

Dream Theater

POSTPONED!! Dream Theater with special guest Arch Echo at Stifel Theatre on Saturday, December 4th ON SALE • NOW PRICES • $24.50, $36.50, $51.50, $66.50 and $82 Click HERE to purchase tickets

Local Weather