Industrial hemp advocates take part in South Dakota hemp day

Interpreters Megan Romney, left, and Deb Colburn, right, work to process the hemp harvest Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. Mount Vernon planted about 1,000 square feet of industrial hemp this year in recognition of Washington’s planting of the crop in the 18th century. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)

HURON, S.D. (KEVN) - The South Dakota Farmer's Union supports industrial hemp and will show that support in Pierre for South Dakota Hemp Day, which is Oct. 7. Supporters will be at the Ramkota Hotel on W. Sioux Ave. in Pierre from 3:30 p.m. CDT to 6:30 p.m. CDT.

On Industrial Hemp Day, attendees can expect to learn about the opportunity to grow hemp in South Dakota; gain a better understanding of how the markets for hemp byproducts like fiber, grain and oilseed are expanding and what industries are engaged. They will also have the opportunity to learn about potential for hemp meal for livestock and poultry and ways to get involved as advocates for industrial hemp in South Dakota.

“South Dakota farmers and our rural economy could benefit from this new crop and the in-state processing opportunities it provides,” said Doug Sombke, SDFU President and a fourth-generation farmer from Conde.

Currently, South Dakota is only one of three states where growing and processing industrial hemp is not legal. After the 2018 farm bill made growing industrial hemp legal at the federal level, 47 states passed bills making it legal on the state level.