This was a great Op-ed in the LA Times by author Doug Fine about our favorite plant (hemp):
Farmers I’ve interviewed from Oregon to Ohio have gotten the memo. In a Kansas-abutting corner of eastern Colorado, in the town of Springfield, 41-year-old Ryan Loflin wants to save his family farm with hemp. “It takes half the water that wheat does,” Loflin told me, scooping up a handful of drought-scarred soil so parched it evoked the Sahara, “and provides four times the income. Hemp is going to revive farming families in the climate-change era.”
After decades of government suppression, hemp is once again growing on American farms and we are beginning to once again reap the benefits of real hemp crops grown by real American farmers FOR PROFIT. We are finally moving out of the theoretical debate about what hemp “could possibly do” and seeing the rebirth of the American hemp industry.
In a world devided by the “Haves and Have Nots” where we fight each other over the crumbs of crony capitalism, we are finally seeing “The Left and The Right” come together in the fields of America, where money speaks louder than bloviating pundits and politicians:
Even Roger Ford, a politically conservative Kentucky utility owner, told me his Patriot BioEnergy’s biofuels division would be planting hemp on coal- and tobacco-damaged soil the moment it was legal. Why? To use the fiber harvest for clean biomass energy. “We have a proud history of hemp in the South,” Ford told me.
Across the heartland of America, political parties are becoming irrelevant when all that really matters is once again getting an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, and more farmers are turning back to the sustainable agriculture of hemp where they can once again grow the food, fiber, and fuel that will feed a rebirth of local industries and manufacturing around the green economy of the future.
Or we could just keep keep fighting Oil Wars like we’ve been doing for the last 100 years and hope for the best.
A better path forward is clear. The only question is how long we will continue to protect the fossil fuel paradigm that is killing us like a cancer:
American farmers and investors need our support to catch up with Canada’s and the rest of the world’s hemp head start. Now. As Loflin put it when I toured his family’s 1,200-acre Colorado spread, “I’m planting hemp to show my neighbors that small farmers have a real option as businesspeople in the digital age.”
I’ll let the Op-Ed author Doug Fine finish in his own words:
We’re down to 1% of Americans farming; it was 30% when our world-leading hemp industry was stymied in 1937. The crop is more valuable today than it was then. We should be waving flags and holding parades for the farmers ready to plant the crop that Thomas Jefferson called “vastly desirable.” I know I’m ready. To cheer, and to plant.
His book “Hemp Bound” is available wherever paperbacks used to be sold.