Prospective farmers gathered on Monday at Tennessee State University to talk about Tennessee’s fast-growing crop — hemp.
The topic was a first for TSU’s New Farmer Academy.
“We are just letting them know to make sure they are conscious when they’re looking at hemp production because you could spend a lot of money fast with this on a small scale,” said Finis Stribling, III, Area Extension Specialist with Tennessee State University.
Stribling said for first-time farmers, knowing the economics of hemp production is crucial.
One thing to prepare for is processing costs and contracts.
The other is labor.
“Labor is a major major cost with him production,” said Stribling. “They are saying it’s three to four times the labor cost as in traditional tobacco production.”
Ashley Richmond said for first-time farmers like herself, seminars like these are vital.
“I really did a lot of research. Found some good budgets online that they’re actually going over today in class and just based it on there,” said Richmond.
Richmond and her family planted hemp for CBD oil in JUly on half an acre of their Robertson County Farm.
“We’re going to start a product line, we’re probably also going to sell and do some bartering with processors,” she said.
Richmond said the long-term plan is for production to expand to all of the family farm’s ten acres.
It’s a goal Stribling said is possible with area resources, like the Academy.
“Walk away with sense of information to be cautious and also to give them enough information so if they decide to take on this endeavor, they can be a successful at it,” said Stribling.