HASTINGS, Minn. – Last week, John Strohfus became part of state history as the Hastings-based farmer had the honor of planting the first industrial hemp crop in Minnesota since 1950.
The business consultant and second generation small family farmer received the hemp seeds from Canada last week as one of seven farms participating in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s industrial hemp pilot program.
“Being first is really important in the industry. The reason we haven’t planted in Minnesota is because it’s been outlawed because of a federal ban. With the United States being the number-one importer of industrial hemp, why we couldn’t grow it here in the United States has been baffling to the agriculture community,” said Strohfus.
Minnesota banned hemp production when it was swept up in the federal drug ban six decades ago, but the 2014 passage of a federal farm bill and state legislation in 2015 paved the way for growth. [Read more at KARE11.com]