This year the WAE23 was the biggest yet. More than 100k visitors attended the world’s largest Farm Expo; in Tulare, California.

The Hemp Exhibit was hosted by the California Hemp Association / Foundation, which included the National Hemp Association (NHA) the Standing Committee of Hemp Organizations (SCoHO) and the Hemp Farmers Guild, together with the Central Coast Green Building Council (CCGBC), and other member companies of the California Hemp Association.

The theme this year was building materials and other uses for Hemp fiber varieties. There were stalks from Hemp grown to 20ft tall on display. We had bales of Hemp, wall samples, and other hemp based products on display. The California Central Coast Green Building Council had a trailer with sustainable green building products on display. The whole exhibit was well received by the public attending the Expo.

Of note; we (CHA) introduced the first California Earthquake code approved Hempcrete Home / ADU, with building plans and engineering ready to go.

A fire demo showing the resistance to burning of a Hempcrete wall was shown, and can be seen on the website at:

The first day of the Expo had many members of the new Congressional AG Committee; including the new Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (Bakersfield, CA.) on site conducting a listening session for the new 2023 Farm Bill.

The usual speakers, such as Almond growers, Dairy Farms, SNAP Programs, and Food banks were among the groups presenting their needs for the the new Farm Bill. This listening session lasted for 2.5 hours. Hemp was presented to the Committee as our country’s first fiber crop along with the history of this plant in relation to our country’s founding fathers, our Constitution draft and Betsy Ross’ flag. Then the Committee was asked to include the Fiber / Grain Exemption language into the new Farm Bill. This presentation was made by Wayne Richman, President of the California Hemp Association / Foundation; who is also the Communications Chair of the SCoHO.

It was impressive to see the AG Committee in action as a Bi-partisan group, coming together for our Farmers. If you’ve never been to the World AG Expo in Tulare, CA; I’d encourage you to go next year, there is nothing like it.

Wayne Richman – Executive Director of California Hemp Association