Tennessee Coalition Receives Nearly $5M Hemp Research Grant
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted up to $4,972,800 for a Tennessee State University (TSU)-led initiative aimed at expanding the production of industrial hemp as a climate-smart commodity.
Project priorities include evaluating hemp’s greenhouse gas benefits and promoting the value of market development to a cross-section of production agriculture. Special efforts are planned to identify and recruit underserved producers (e.g. minority producers, women, veterans), as well as farmers from the nine most economically distressed counties in Tennessee and the 30 counties at risk for becoming economically distressed.
The Climate-Smart Fiber Hemp project is a partnership bringing together TSU, Hemp Alliance of Tennessee (HAT), University of Tennessee (UTK) and Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA).
According to the accepted proposal, “The overall goal of this project is to create opportunities for underserved Tennessee growers to grow industrial hemp specifically targeting the automobile industry while monitoring and quantifying its environmental, soil health and climatic impacts compared to current popular commodities.”
“Tennessee can become the leading producer of hemp in the Southeast United States,” said Frederick Cawthon, president of HAT, in a statement. “We are committed to growing this industry responsibly, and we encourage all industries to examine how they can utilize this climate-smart and regenerative raw material.”
This project is one of five grants addressing hemp selected by the USDA under Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities.