Since the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp, research on the plant has been escalating drastically. Tennessee State University is only making the trend of research grow, as it was recently awarded $5 million that will go towards hemp research and support for underserved farmers — a big win for the state.
To create a new partnership for a Climate-Smart Fiber Hemp Project, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded TSU’s College of Agriculture as much as $5 million. It’s a hemp growth grant that could make TSU the Southeast’s top hemp growers.
While the funds will help with the production expansion of hemp as a “climate-smart” commodity, provide greater research into its greenhouse gas benefits, and promote the value of its market development, the largest portion of the funds will go towards underserved farmers growing fiber hemp with up to 500 acres.
Though hemp has gained its popularity for cannabinoid-driven products, like CBD tinctures and Delta 8 Vapes, hemp is also used to make fabrics and bioplastics. With that said, the hemp that the farmers will grow will go towards the motor vehicle industry in an effort to help manufacture cars using the material.
Ultimately, what the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture is trying to accomplish is to display how this organic product can be used in a variety of ways, while at the same time building new opportunities for the ones that grow the hemp, which is the farmers.