HIA and Vote Hemp have partnered with University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, to coordinate a hemp planting demonstration, to occur June 2, 2015, on the site of the university’s hemp pilot program fields. Throughout the country, farmers in states that have legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp will begin to plant this spring, and Hemp History Week is coordinating events to celebrate the return of hemp to the American agrarian landscape. Spring planting events will be open to both community and media attendance. An environmentally sustainable crop, industrial hemp does not require chemical inputs of pesticides and herbicides to flourish. As farmers open their hemp fields to the public, grassroots activists will offer educational events about industrial hemp—its history, agronomy, health and ecological benefits—as we join together to sow the seed.
From May 18-31, Hemp History Week will launch its nationwide Take Action! campaign, in coordination with Vote Hemp, to encourage hemp advocates across the country to engage in concrete steps toward legalizing industrial hemp farming. Encompassing a diverse range of actions, including a citizen lobby day, letter writing drive, and education events, the Take Action! campaign will concentrate and amplify the voice of the hemp movement via the democratic political process. For more information about the Take Action! campaign, visit: http://hemphistoryweek.com/take-action/.
Hemp History Week has launched a new aspect of the campaign this spring: Farmer Spotlight Interviews. Farmer Spotlights will document hemp history in-the-making, focusing on a prominent hemp farmer each month and interviewing the farmer regarding such topics as hemp agriculture practices, benefits of hemp farming, how they became interested to grow hemp, and other issues pertinent to hemp farming and hemp industry. To view the first in the Farmer Spotlight series, visit the Hemp History section of the website:http://hemphistoryweek.com/hemp-history/u-s-hemp-farmers/.
The Health Benefits of Hemp
Among the fastest-growing categories in the natural foods industry, hemp seed is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs), providing both SDA and GLA, highly-digestible protein, and naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E and iron. An excellent source of dietary fiber, hemp seed is also a complete protein—meaning it contains all ten essential amino acids, with no enzyme inhibitors, making it more digestible by the human body.
HIA will organize a hemp home building course, in which members of the public will be invited to participate. The HIA Hemp Building Course will take place in Lexington, KY on June 26-28. Hemp structures are built with hempcrete— a natural material that is energy-efficient, non-toxic and resistant to mold, insects and fire, and which is more quickly renewable and sustainable than lumber. A multi-day course, these programs will cover contemporary construction methods and hands-on practical applications of working with hempcrete, including forming or shuttering, mixing and casting the hempcrete within a framed structure, as well as finishing with plasters and coloring. Students who complete the course will have the knowledge and skillset to pursue a hemp-building project of their own.
Hemp History Week is endorsed by celebrities and high-profile wellness experts, including Dr. Andrew Weil, Alicia Silverstone, Phil Lempert, Ashley Koff R.D., Brendan Brazier, Elizabeth Kucinich, Ziggy Marley, Alexandra Jamieson, Dar Williams, Michael Franti, John Salley, Kevin Danaher, John Trudell, and Grammy award-winning band Ozomatli. For the 2015 campaign, musician Jason Mraz, and author Doug Fine have signed on as endorsers of Hemp History Week.
Over 300 grassroots events will take place nationwide, including an educational tour of college campuses, a restaurant program, film screenings of the documentary “Bringing It Home,” community outreach at farmers’ markets, state lobbying days, a letter writing campaign, spring plantings and other exciting engagement opportunities. Specific details for these Hemp History Weekevents are listed on the website: http://hemphistoryweek.com/events/.
An incredibly versatile crop, hemp fiber, oil and seed are used for a myriad of products—including health foods, cosmetics and body care products, building materials, automobile parts, bio-composites, batteries, bio-fuel, textiles, paper and other products. Now in its sixth year, Hemp History Week is an industry-wide effort made possible by the support of the leading natural product brands known for manufacturing the highest quality hemp products. These HIA members and platinum sponsor brands include Daily Greens, Dr. Bronner’s, Living Harvest, Manitoba Harvest, Nature’s Path Foods and Nutiva, and silver sponsor Himalania.
When the 2013 farm bill was signed into law in February of 2014, the hemp amendment to the farm bill, Sec. 7606 Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research, defined industrial hemp as distinct from marijuana, which is subject to prohibition per the Controlled Substances Act. This was an historic moment in the longstanding effort to legalize hemp as the act asserts that industrial hemp is not psychoactive, having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol on a dry weight basis and therefore presenting no drug value.