The new farm bill includes a provision to allow industrial hemp production in the U.S. While the crop may be an option for farmers looking to diversify their system, there’s a lot of information to gather and consider before major decisions are made.

U of M Extension will host a “Hemp 101” workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at the St. Charles City Hall in St. Charles, Minn., to provide an overview of hemp uses, production, markets and the potential for cooperative formation.

Harold Stanislawski of the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute will provide an introduction to hemp and discuss research. Bryan Parr of Legacy Hemp will share information on the production side of the crop. Kevin Edburg of Cooperative Development Services will discuss the potential for hemp cooperatives, markets, and financial resources. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Supper is included with the $10 cost of the program and will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m. Space is limited; preregister using the online form at https://z.umn.edu/hemp19, or call the Winona County Extension Office at 507-457-6440.

This workshop is a part of a series, “Emerging Markets in Ag,” that aims to provide information on alternative crops and markets for farmers interested in diversifying their operation. Future topics for 2019 include niche opportunities in dairy and meat processing and marketing.

For more information about workshop topics or to become involved with future meetings on co-op formation, fill out the form at https://z.umn.edu/emergingmarket or call the Extension office at 507-457-6440.

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