American Veteran Farmers, Our Hemp Heroes

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    Carlo Suits
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    In honor of all U.S. veterans, the Hemp Marketplace would like to say Thank You for all you have done serving our country. For Veterans Day 2019, we share this inspiring 13-min. video entitled “Harvesting Hemp” produced by Patagonia four years ago.

    This documentary tells the story of U.S. veteran and Kentucky hemp farmer Mike Lewis who, along with a group of American farmer veterans, grew the first registered industrial hemp in KY. His non-profit Growing Warriors received a grant from Patagonia to build a machine to hand harvest their hemp crop. In the film, there’s a beautiful sequence showing the hemp being dyed blue by hand and hand-stitched into an American flag made of hemp.

    Mike Bowman, then Board Chair of the National Hemp Association (NHA), and I helped arrange for this American hemp flag to fly over the U.S. capital on Veteran’s Day on November 21, 2015. This was a collaborative effort of Zev Paiss with NHA, Hemp Industries Association, and Eric Steenstra with VoteHemp — an example of what’s possible when we work together toward a shared goal.

    We’ve come a long way since then. While the Growing Warriors hemp was hand-harvested, we now see large machines that can harvest and dry hemp. Back then the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still considered hemp a controlled substance. Now hemp is fully legal at the Federal level.

    Thank you to every man and woman who has every worn a uniform and put their life and safety at risk.

    We deeply honor you for your service.

    # # #

    Neshama Abraham served as the Communications Director for the National Hemp Association from 2013-2016. She now writes about hemp for the Hemp Marketplace, hemp companies, and other platforms.

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