GORDONSVILLE — The Virginia Industrial Hemp Coalition hosted its first Virginia Hemp History Day at the Vanguard Ranch on Sunday in hopes of educating the public on the often misunderstood plant and to push for more widespread use of hemp in products.
The free event was open to the public and consisted of informational booths on hemp, as well as free samples of hemp products. There also were places for attendees to purchase food, beer, clothing, pet food and other products made from hemp.
Marty Phipps of Old Dominion Hemp, which sells bedding made from hemp for horses and small farm animals, set up a booth for his business to tell people about his product and how industrial hemp could be a benefit for the agricultural industry.
“We’re just out here showing people that there is another avenue for hemp to be distributed,” he said. “… people are familiar with the bracelets and stuff like that — and the food, of course — but we’re also showing that there’s an agricultural use for farmers to utilize this product.”
Jay Roskow, a Nelson County resident, said he came to learn more about the hemp industry and how the plant can be utilized.
“It’s the first one of these things that I’ve been to,” he said. “I figured I wanted to see what they had to say. Hemp farming, I think, could be a possibly very good thing for Virginia, so I wanted to see what kind of information there is here relating to that.”