U.S. Hemp Growers Association Announces Board Members
U.S. Hemp Growers Association has announced the organization’s Founding Board of Directors.
“We are pleased that this founding board is diverse in size, experience, geography and background,” said Michael Bowman, USHGA Chairman. “The bylaws call for a majority of members to be growers, and that has been achieved. This founding board will be working hard to meet the needs of hemp farmers across the United States.”
Michael Bowman is the chair of the U.S. Hemp Growers Association. He has been a leader in making hemp legal in Colorado and was active in supporting passage of Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, a provision that granted U.S. farmers the right to cultivate hemp in conjunction with hemp research. Since then, he also supported the 2018 Farm Bill, which makes it legal to grow hemp in states for the first time since Congress passed the 1933 Farm Bill. Bowman is also a founder of First Crop™, a public benefit corporation growing and processing hemp, including into CBD, in New Mexico.
Doug Edge serves as vice-chair of the U.S. Hemp Growers Association and is the senior vice president of Business Solutions with Farm Journal. He is a member of the advisory board for LeafSpec, a startup AgTech company developing an infield scanner for THC detection.
Bethleen McCall is a fifth-generation ag producer from Yuma County, Colorado. Her farm, Hemp Farm Colorado, was on the ground floor of Colorado’s hemp industry and is one of the original registered and legal industrial hemp producers in the nation, growing since 2014. McCall serves her community on various boards, including the Colorado Hemp Industries Association, Colorado Agriculture Preservation Association, Yuma County Economic Development Corporation & Water Authority and the Yuma City Council.
Dion Oakes is co-owner of Wright-Oakes LLC, which has been active in the hemp industry for six years. Wright-Oakes is closely connected with the whole industry from growing to new equipment to every kind of processing, including CBD, food and fiber. Oakes has traveled the U.S., speaking at many events for Farm Journal’s Hemp College, Midwest Hemp Council, SBDC and many other organizations.
Harold Singletary is a native of Charleston, South Carolina, and has been a motivated entrepreneur and driven chief executive, with 20 years of tax and finance industry-leading expertise. Singletary is the CEO/visionary behind BrightMa Farms, LLC, a vertical minority hemp group that launched in 2018, growing organically and marketing cremes, hemp flower, gummies and other products.
Inga Willis is the executive director, Strategic Partnerships at EdFarm, an Alabama-based tech startup promoting radical innovation in education in cooperation with Apple and Southern Company. Through its programs, EdFarm equips educators, schools and students with curriculums, technology and partnerships. With the 2020 expansion to the Atlanta market, Willis is responsible for collaborative partnerships and tech innovation targeting the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) ecosystem and agricultural technologies, which will include a hemp-specific initiative targeting black farmers.
Jamie Campbell Petty founded the Indiana Hemp Industries Association (INHIA) in 2014 and assembled a strong team of volunteers. In 2018, Petty teamed with long-time hemp advisor Alan Kimbell and attorney Justin Swanson to form Midwest Hemp Council. Along with serving as executive director for the Midwest Hemp Council, Petty is a policy specialist at Bose Public Affairs Group.
John Strohfus is the founder and CEO of Minnesota Hemp Farms, Inc., and Field Theory in Hastings, Minnesota. MHF is a grower, processor and marketer of hemp products in both the bulk wholesale channel and in retail under the brand Field Theory. Strohfus is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and minor in information technology.
Josh Hendrix founded the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and has served as president and on the board of directors for the group. He was also a founding member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, where he has served on the board of directors since its inception and most recently as president in 2019. In 2019, he was elected to the board of directors to the U.S. Hemp Growers Association, and in early 2020, he was elected to serve on the board of directors for the U.S. Hemp Authority.
Tim Gordon is CEO of International Hemp Solutions. Gordon has more than 20 years of experience in eco-sustainable cannabis farming and as developer of an industry-leading hemp agricultural operation. He serves as a board member of the Hemp Industries Association. Gordon often does presentations educating on the legality, efficacy and clinical benefits of CBD and phytonutrients associated with the cannabis plant. Gordon’s company markets hemp products in the United States and for export.
Ron Conyea is an owner-operator of Conyea Farms in Hickory, Kentucky. There, he farms with his son Patrick and son-in-law Nathan. He has spent much of his life as an ambassador for ag-related issues across Kentucky and beyond. Conyea has grown hemp but also tobacco, corn and other crops for many years. He has helped develop various techniques for successfully growing and harvesting hemp. Conyea has been a knowledgeable advocate for farmers in both his state and in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the board of the U.S. Hemp Authority, a crop adjuster for Zurich and a board member of the U.S. Hemp Growers Association.
Egon Badart grew up in an agricultural polder in the Netherlands, tending to fields and farm livestock. He relocated to Southern California during his high school years. Badart has been very active in international and domestic agricultural investments and collaborations including as director of corporate strategy for Badart’s family-owned California-based, fully-licensed hemp company; as well as investments in raisin processing; Dutch and American egg and dairy farms; coastal cattle ranching and a family-owned food processing company with national distribution. He is working to expand U.S. exports of hemp products as well as domestic distribution.
Chris Adams of Adams Family Farm tends a diverse crop roster on 9,000 acres located on both sides of the North Dakota-Minnesota line in fertile Red River Valley soils. Adams also operates an export business and delivers crops (via containers loaded and sealed on-farm) straight from his fields to the doorsteps of foreign buyers. Adams is looked to as a knowledgeable hemp farmer in the upper Midwest region.
Don Palmer is president of Specialty Oil Extractors LLC in Darlington, South Carolina. Palmer has been highly focused on advancing the mechanization and application of scale ag techniques to the hemp world with an eye to ensuring hemp a stable future in the United States by making hemp just another dependable rotational crop that is planted, cultivated and harvested mechanically in similar fashion to all other commodity crops. In this endeavor, Palmer has met and collaborated with dozens of talented farmers coast to coast, which ultimately led to his involvement with the U.S. Hemp Growers Association as one of the founding supporters of USHGA.
For more information about raising hemp in the United States or the U.S. Hemp Growers Association, visit www.ushempga.org.