Non-profit organization hosts “Farm to Table” event at Delvickio’s in Broomfield in support of the growing hemp supply in the U.S.
This “seed to shelf” initiative by National Hemp Association brought together over 80 people in an attempt to connect the needs of entrepreneurs and farmers in Colorado and acknowledge each unique roles in bringing to life the hemp market nationwide.
“We have important work to do. We are the state that is making hemp appear,” says Neshama Abraham, Communications Director at NHA, and she is sure that this is the year it will be brought back to American shores.
NHA has announced two bills into congress as of January 2015, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act H.R.525 and S.134.
Given the recent overturn of hemp legislation in over 28 states nationwide, federal de-scheduling of the long-verboten crop is what’s on the agenda for these hemp activists and organizations in 2016.
The amendments would remove the crop from its current position as a schedule 1 drug, allowing farmers nationwide the opportunity to grow hemp once again.
Over 69 House members and 14 Senate have sponsored the bills including Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY), Rep. Jared Polis (D- CO), and Sen Cory Gardner (R- CO).
Farm to Table
Attendees introduced themselves one by one, identifying their needs and offerings as we passed the mic around the fully-packed space.
Organizations like FOCUS (Foundation on Cannabis Unified Standards) were represented at the event along with up and coming natural food brands, product developers, farmers, processors, end users, and entrepreneurs.
Several speakers participated in the event including Matt Birkholz, Founder of Colorado Hemp Works, a dry processing and seed oil pressing facility located in Longmont, CO.
Colorado Hemp Works offers whole seed pressing, crushing the oil out where all that remains is seed cake, a hard pellet of flower protein and fiber isolate.
“Deshelling the seed consists of breaking it open, where various parts are separate into casing and fines/dust,” says Birkholz.
“Hemp seeds have a high nutritional value and market value.”
Colorado Hemp Works processes 500 lb. of seed/hour and oil press up to 20,000 lb. of seed/day.
Processors in Colorado like Aqua Das cater to a variety of farmers from large scale to small, providing high-germination with strong economic potential for genetics.
He describes decortication as “the process of separating fiber from the hurd,” and offers multiple decoridicators as well as a mobile equipment trailer which includes oil press, seed cleaner, combine, and other necessary machinery for properly harvesting your crop.
“We can make house calls to any scale of farmer.”
At Chimney Rock Farms, Rich Becks offers a similar deal for farmers working with CBD isolates via a mobile extractor machine using organic alcohol methods. The Colorado based CBD farm goes “beyond organic” which applies to organic matter and fertilizers, homemade compost tea, and no to minimum till among other measures to ensuring the highest quality product.
Chimney Rock is currently looking for farmers across the nation to join in and offer consultation, extraction, as well as channels for product once harvested.
“We see this as a craft industry forming around botanical oils, and there is full potential for it,” says Becks. Farms can run from 5-20 acres which leaves “plenty of room for small players who care about their products, and we believe there’s an industry waiting to happen.”