Schedule of Events

Hemp Grower Conference

Times, sessions and speakers are subject to change.

12:00 PM – 07:30 PM

Registration Open
Registration

03:00 PM – 03:50 PM

ALL-ACCESS SESSION: Facts Over Fear: Perspectives From State Hemp Regulators
All Access

The U.S. hemp industry is facing a steep learning curve when it comes to regulation. Being up to date on the latest USDA regulations while navigating the patchwork of state laws can be an immense challenge (especially for multi-state operators). What’s more, these regulations are in constant flux as states slowly transition from their pilot programs into compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill and the USDA’s final rule. But cultivators and other hemp business owners can navigate these murky waters with the help of their local regulators. In this session, join current and former hemp program regulators with diverse backgrounds as they discuss how they’re establishing trust and professional relationships with farmers. 

In this session, you will take away:  

  • The lens from which regulators view the role of their state agencies;  
  • Success stories of how agencies have worked with farmers to improve state regulatory programs and enhance opportunities for hemp producers;  
  • Regulators’ biggest challenges right now in the ever-changing marketplace; and  
  • Lessons learned from panelists who have served as both regulators and producers.  
Maureen West
Moderator / Speaker Maureen West Chief Compliance Officer Functional Remedies LLC (Synchronicity) View Bio
Cort Jensen
Speaker Cort Jensen Chief Attorney Montana Department of Agriculture View Bio

04:00 PM – 04:50 PM

ALL-ACCESS SESSION: Strategies For Preventing and Mitigating Hemp Plant Diseases
All Access

Maintaining your crop’s health is crucial to your success as a hemp grower. But unseen forces, including molds, mildews, viruses and other diseases, present a constant threat to plant health and yield goals. Staying ahead of problems by being proactive instead of reactive can mean the difference between turning a profit and destroying a crop. 

In this session, you will learn: 
• How to identify common hemp plant diseases; 
• Prevention strategies to protect your plants;  
• Treatment options for contaminated crops; and 
• How to build standard operating procedures (SOPs) with plant health and disease prevention in mind. 

05:00 PM – 05:50 PM

ALL-ACCESS SESSION: Creating a Hemp Cultivation Business Model
All Access

Fiber. Grain. CBD. With the hemp industry developing on multiple fronts and competition heating up, it’s more important than ever to carve out a niche for your business and own that space. Whether it’s growing fields of high-protein hempseed, producing and processing fibrous hemp for B2B sales, or cultivating hemp for cannabinoids and selling the product direct to consumer, it pays to find a plan that works for your business and constantly improve upon it. In this session, hemp growers who have built successful business models will share their strategies for success and essential considerations as you develop or expand your hemp operation.  

In this session, you’ll learn how to: 

  • Network and forge relationships with prospective customers; 
  • Avoid and mitigate financial loss through diversification; 
  • Pivot when market trends shift; and 
  • Establish a business model that sets you apart from competitors.  
Mason Walker
Speaker Mason Walker Co-Owner/CEO East Fork Cultivars View Bio
Dr. Allison  Justice
Speaker Dr. Allison Justice Founder and CEO The Hemp Mine View Bio

06:00 PM – 07:30 PM

Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall
Networking

08:30 AM – 06:00 PM

Registration Open
Registration

08:30 AM – 06:00 PM

Exhibit Open
Expo

08:30 AM – 09:30 AM

Continental Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
Networking

08:45 AM – 09:30 AM

How to Get Into Retail and Improve E-Commerce
General Session

So, you have a hemp brand—now what? One of the most difficult aspects of running a hemp operation is the ability to position your products in outlets that will yield high sales. In this quick-fire tips session, learn from consumer-packaged goods (CPG), marketing and sales experts from hemp and outside industries about strategies for effectively selling your product in stores and/or through your own outlet. 

In this session, experts will share: 

  • How to work with independent retail stores and major chains, including developing relationships with them, conveying your products’ value to them and understanding their expectations;  
  • Ways to enhance your website to provide compelling information, better search engine optimization (SEO) and improved user experience (UX); and  
  • Key external marketing efforts to bring customers to your brand.

09:40 AM – 10:30 AM

Welcome & Keynote Session
General Session

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

Networking Break in Exhibit Hall
Networking

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Latest Research: Fiber & Grain Genetics
General Session

With a surge in interest in hemp grain and fiber product development, it is critical to develop improved hemp cultivars that are adapted to emerging regional production areas and systems.  Cornell University has assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers and extension educators studying hemp cultivation, pests and diseases, microbiome, agroecology, biochemistry, tissue culture and transformation, and production economics.  The university has established a long-term hemp breeding program and are working with USDA-ARS to rebuild the national hemp germplasm collection.  Cornell has been evaluating commercial hemp cultivars over the last five years for grain and retted straw production and is making progress in developing new hemp cultivars.  This talk will provide an overview of its breeding goals for hemp, and update on the accomplishments in establishing a breeding program, and key challenges that still need overcome to help launch a successful hemp enterprise in the U.S.

Larry Smart
Speaker Larry Smart Professor, Horticulture Section Cornell University View Bio

12:00 PM – 01:30 PM

Networking Lunch in Exhibit Hall
Networking

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM

Technology and Solutions Session I
Sponsored Session

01:30 PM – 02:20 PM

Decortication and Retting: What's Working, What's Not?
General Session

The potential for the hemp stalk’s thousands of uses is just starting to be realized in the U.S. But in a brand-new market, there is still much to learn. Growers in this space have had to use limited, non-hemp-specific equipment to harvest hemp stalks. Plus, infrastructure is still underdeveloped, leaving some farmers to pursue their own decortication equipment for primary processing.

In this session, hear from experts who have firsthand insights on:

  • How to dry hemp without over- or under-retting;
  • The differences between field and water retting and which is right for your operation; and
  • Deciding whether to outsource decortication or establish your own.

 

01:30 PM – 02:20 PM

The Latest Medical Research on Hemp's Health Benefits
General Session

Hemp has no shortage of purported benefits, but as a relatively new crop in the U.S., researchers investigating those benefits have just begun to scratch the surface. Research proving hemp’s benefits will be crucial to advancement of the crop in regulatory pathways as well as consumer confidence. Fortunately, some have started to answer the call for research across all hemp sectors. This session will pull back the curtain on why CBD and other cannabinoids affect consumers and patients the way they do and provide scientific insights on how they can be therapeutic in cases of certain physical and mental conditions. Attendees will also learn about the latest research on the potential physical health benefits of non-psychoactive hempseed and hempseed oils.

In this session, you’ll enter researchers’ worlds and hear how they’ve investigated:

  • The relationship between cannabinoids, human brains and neurological pathways;
  • Cannabis’ influence on sleep and stress, as well as other conditions; and
  • Hempseed’s provision of nutritional fats, fibers, proteins, and vitamins and minerals.

 

02:30 PM – 03:20 PM

Crop Establishment in Fiber/Grain: Challenges and Opportunities
General Session

Interest in growing hemp for uses beyond cannabinoids is beginning to pick up in the U.S. But as a relatively new crop in the country, growers are still facing numerous issues with stand establishment when it comes to hemp for fiber and grain. In this session, learn from growers with firsthand experience about how to overcome common problems and how to ensure your season is successful.

This session will explore:

  • Selecting the right genetics when growing hemp for fiber or grain;
  • What you should receive from your seed supplier; and
  • The agronomy of growing these crops, including seeding specs, fertility guidelines, information about disease and pest issues, and more.
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Jeff Kostuik
Speaker Jeff Kostuik Director of Operations Hemp Production Services and Hemp Genetics International View Bio

02:30 PM – 03:20 PM

Options for Banking and Raising Capital
General Session

From farmers to vendors, those all along the hemp supply chain are having trouble accessing a range of financial services, including opening checking accounts, receiving bank loans, gaining access to merchant processing and more. Out of more than 5,000 federally insured banks in the U.S., fewer than 200 are willing to work with hemp businesses, according to a tracker created by Fincann, a company that connects cannabis businesses with banks and other financial services. Meanwhile, between fragmented laws and minimal clarity from federal regulators, raising capital in the industry has proven difficult.

In this session, you’ll:

  • Hear from growers who have experienced success working with banks and raising capital;
  • Learn how financial institutions are balancing legal restrictions with providing investment opportunities and banking services to hemp businesses; and
  • Gain a better idea of how you can establish meaningful relationships in financial settings.

 

Harold Singletary
Speaker Harold Singletary Founder and CEO BrightMa Farms View Bio

03:20 PM – 04:00 PM

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
Networking

03:45 PM – 04:30 PM

Action Needed Now: Equity & Inclusion in the Industry's Infancy
General Session

The U.S.’ legalization hemp in 2018 followed more than 80 years of prohibition and a war on drugs that targeted communities of color. This discriminatory practice continues in the form of cannabis prohibition today. As opportunities have crystallized for many owners and operators in the hemp industry, so too have calls for diversity, equity and inclusion among historically marginalized groups.

In this session, you’ll learn about:

  • Hemp companies’ initiatives to promote and advance diversity and inclusion;
  • How cooperatives have allowed for increased minority participation in the hemp industry;
  • Funding opportunities that have been made available to current and prospective hemp business owners from Black and Brown communities;
  • The ways in which a more inclusive industry will benefit the industry as a whole; and
  • Efforts your business can make to help develop an industry that provides opportunities for all.

 

Scheril Murray Powell, Esq.
Moderator / Speaker Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. Attorney Doumar, Allsworth, et al. View Bio
Luis Vega
Speaker Luis Vega Founder and CEO ¡WEPA! Farms View Bio
Harold Singletary
Speaker Harold Singletary Founder and CEO BrightMa Farms View Bio

03:45 PM – 04:30 PM

What’s In Your Soil? A Look at Agronomy & Testing
General Session

A successful crop starts from the ground up. But how can you ensure you are providing your crop with optimal soil conditions? In this session, discover the basics of the soil food web, natural covers for weed control and soil erosion prevention, how to incorporate beneficial bacteria and fungi into your soil, how to conduct and interpret soil tests, and the benefits of polyculture. Plus, find out why improving fertility and soil biology can also allow you to succeed with other crops on your farm.

Leave this session with:

  • Knowledge of how your crop interacts with elements in the surrounding environment;
  • A more well-rounded understanding of what lies in the soil beneath your crop; and
  • Information about how using soil tests to check and improve growing conditions.

 

Jeff Lowenfels
Speaker Jeff Lowenfels Author and Consultant View Bio

04:30 PM – 06:00 PM

Networking Reception in Exhibit Hall
Networking

08:00 AM – 03:30 PM

Registration Open
Registration

08:00 AM – 02:00 PM

Exhibit Open
Expo

08:00 AM – 09:00 AM

Continental Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
Networking

09:00 AM – 09:50 AM

Master Hemp Drying, Curing and Storing
General Session
Dr. Allison  Justice
Speaker Dr. Allison Justice Founder and CEO The Hemp Mine View Bio

09:00 AM – 09:50 AM

What To Do with Unsold Biomass + Byproducts
General Session

Oversupply is a major issue in the hemp industry. Excess biomass averages an estimated 24,795 pounds per farm—or 135 million pounds nationwide, according to a 2020 report from the Portland, Ore.-based consulting firm Whitney Economics. However, given hemp’s versatility, opportunities do exist for growers who are looking to take advantage of selling unsold biomass and byproducts. Hear from industry members about potential markets for these leftover materials and what you can do to reduce waste while turning a profit.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • How to break into lesser-known hemp end markets;
  • Trends and expansion potential within those markets; and
  • Wholesale prices for certain types of hemp biomass and byproducts.

 

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM

2021-2022 State Of The Industry
General Session

Hemp’s versatility gives it the opportunity to disrupt hundreds, if not thousands, of outside markets. But with so many possibilities, it’s difficult to predict which present the most opportunity in the near-term. In this session, data specialists will provide a wide-ranging industry update on each sector, delving into market analyses and projections to help you direct your efforts. Presenters will also provide updates on the growing popularity of minor cannabinoids, such as the controversial delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). And, looking ahead to 2022, presenters will relay information on possible challenges and opportunities in the industry.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The latest data and market projections for the hemp industry;
  • Which end markets are most viable for hemp grain, fiber and cannabinoids in the near future;
  • How you can stay ahead of the curve and capitalize on what’s coming next.

 

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM

Developing an Effective Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program
General Session

As a hemp grower, few moments are more distressing than when you see your crop riddled with pests. Pests can cause lower yields and reduced potency and flavor, and, in worse cases, kill your entire crop. Thankfully, there are many effective ways to prevent and mitigate pests.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What to look for when scouting for common cannabis pests;
  • What the most frequent contamination sources are;
  • What strategies are best to employ when pests are detected; and
  • Tried-and-true strategies you can implement to increase your facility’s biosecurity.

 

Dr. Raymond Cloyd
Speaker Dr. Raymond Cloyd Professor/Extension Specialist Kansas State University - Department of Entomology View Bio

10:50 AM – 11:45 AM

Networking Break in the Exhibit Hall
Networking

10:50 AM – 11:35 AM

Technologies & Solutions II
Sponsored Session

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM

Keynote Session
General Session

12:30 PM – 01:45 PM

Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall
Networking

12:30 PM – 01:15 PM

Technologies and Solutions III
Sponsored Session

01:45 PM – 02:35 PM

Succeeding with Dual- and Tri-Cropping
General Session

While much of the hemp attention has been on cannabinoid production since the crop’s legalization, grain and fiber production are slowly growing in popularity. Some growers have started capitalizing on both markets at once with dual-purpose hemp production, which yields grain and fiber from one plant. The system gives growers an opportunity to maximize their profitability—but it also comes with challenges.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The best genetics for producing a dual-purpose crop;
  • The latest research into dual-purpose hemp production genetics and best practices (including harvest management); and
  • The economic opportunities available for dual-purpose production.

 

Jeff Kostuik
Speaker Jeff Kostuik Director of Operations Hemp Production Services and Hemp Genetics International View Bio

01:45 PM – 02:35 PM

Organic and Sustainable Farming Practices & Certifications For Small and Large-Scale Farmers
General Session

Organic And Sustainable Farming Practices & Certifications For Small And Large-Scale Farmers In an increasingly commoditized market, standing out as a small- or even large-scale hemp farm can be extremely difficult; however, producers are finding ways to uniquely position themselves by incorporating both new and centuries-old practices that utilize organic growing. Applying for certifications and programs surrounding sustainable agriculture not only help foster your company's brand story and values, but also give your brand an edge on the marketplace.

This session will provide:

  • Options for sustainable farming practices such as hugulkultur, Korean Natural Farming (KNF), carbon sequestration and more;
  • Certification opportunities such as Sun+Earth Certified, Certified Kind, USDA Organic, B Corp, and Regenerative Organic Certification, as well as how to prepare for application; and
  • Pathways for determining which practices and certifications are the best fit for your operation.

 

Luke Zigovits
Speaker Luke Zigovits Owner Higher Level Organics LLC View Bio
Rachel Berry
Speaker Rachel Berry Farmer and CEO Illinois Hemp Growers Association View Bio
Bear Reel
Speaker Bear Reel Senior Director of R&D Cultivation Charlotte's Web View Bio

02:45 PM – 03:30 PM

How to Establish Effective Cover Crops for Hemp Cultivation
General Session

Cover crops have been commonplace in organic cultivation circles, but as interest in sustainable practices grows, these field additions are becoming more mainstream. Integrating a cover crop can bring both fiscal and environmental benefits to growers. Still, research into the best cover crops for hemp is still ongoing.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The benefits of establishing a cover crop;
  • Popular cover crop options for hemp; and
  • Considerations to make when choosing the right one for your operation.

 

02:45 PM – 03:30 PM

How to Establish Your Own Cultivation R&D Trials
General Session

Becoming a hemp farmer often comes with plenty of trial and error: evaluating new genetics, determining whether to use cover or trap cropping, tweaking nutrition and irrigation practices, employing harvesting methods— the list goes on. However, growers can establish their own research and development (R&D) trials to make myriad cultivation improvements without sacrificing an entire harvest. And while university extensions can be a valuable resource to discover what’s new and what’s working, hemp growers can also succeed with experiments at their own operation.

In this session, university extension experts will share how to:

  • Learn the advantages of conducting your own research as a grower;
  • Understand the best and most efficient approaches to on-farm research;
  • Avoid the common pitfalls of do-it-yourself science; and
  • Find out about the resources that can help you get the most out of your efforts.

 

Dr. Alyssa Collins
Speaker Dr. Alyssa Collins Associate Professor Penn State University View Bio

03:30 PM

Close of Conference
General Session