HURON, S.D. — To show support for industrial hemp, South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) will join other supporters in Pierre for South Dakota Hemp Day, held October 7 from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the Ramkota Hotel ( 920 W Sioux Ave).
“South Dakota farmers and our rural economy could benefit from this new crop and the in-state processing opportunities it provides,” said Doug Sombke, SDFU President and a fourth-generation farmer from Conde.
Support for industrial hemp is among many issues SDFU members voted to include in SDFU policy. As one of the state’s largest agriculture organizations, its members were disappointed in Noem’s decision to veto the opportunity to grow industrial hemp during the 2018 Legislative Session.
During Industrial Hemp Day, attendees can expect to learn about the opportunity to grow hemp in South Dakota; gain a better understanding of how the markets for hemp byproducts like fiber, grain and oilseed are expanding and what industries are engaged. They will also have the opportunity to learn about potential for hemp meal for livestock and poultry and ways to get involved as advocates for industrial hemp in South Dakota.
Hope for 2020 Legislative session
Currently, South Dakota is only one of three states where growing and processing industrial hemp is not legal. After the 2018 farm bill made growing industrial hemp legal at the federal level, 47 states passed bills making it legal on the state level. The USDA is just days away from approving a new regulatory framework so farmers can have the opportunity to grow hemp in the 2020 growing season. Countless hemp food, beauty or clothing products or by-products are already available on store shelves in South Dakota today.
SDFU will be among many organizations urging our state’s legislators to pass an industrial hemp bill in 2020.
“South Dakota is home to some of the brightest entrepreneurs, business owners, and farmers on the planet. It’s unfortunate that the state is throttling back our participation in this quickly growing industry,” says Reid Vander Veen, director of marketing for Hemp Processing Solutions, a Sioux Falls-based agricultural equipment manufacturer.
For more information on industrial hemp, visit www.hempbusinessjournal.com.
— South Dakota Farmers Union
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