Welcome to the National Hemp Association’s In Conversation Series where we highlight our business members and affiliates.

In this installment, NHA Executive Director, Erica Stark, interviews Rachel Berry from the Illinois Hemp Growers Association

In this installment of “In Conversation With,” we hosted Rachel Berry, founder and president of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association (IHGA). Rachel’s journey and contributions to the hemp industry are inspiring.

Rachel, a first-generation farmer, started IHGA in 2018 to support hemp growers and advocates. She has been cultivating hemp since 2019, experimenting with various plants and learning the nuances of hemp farming. Her involvement in the hemp community includes serving on the Board of Directors for the US Hemp Building Association and advocating for hemp legislation in Illinois.

Rachel’s passion for hemp began in 2016, shortly after acquiring her 13-acre farm. Faced with the decision of what to grow, she chose hemp for its potential to impact her community positively. Her grassroots efforts were instrumental in pushing the hemp bill in Illinois, benefiting the Midwest region.

Rachel and her husband, Chris, co-founded IHGA and have been high school sweethearts, making their partnership in life and work unique. They look forward to the future of the hemp industry and initiatives like the upcoming 2024 Hemp Research Open House.

Rachel’s story is a testament to resilience, community, and the transformative power of hemp. Her journey encourages us all to advocate for what we believe in and work together for a sustainable future. For more insights, watch the full interview below.