The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation will testify in support of proposed legislation that will allow Wisconsin farmers to grow industrial hemp.
On October 10, the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism will hold a public hearing to discuss Senate Bill 119. This bill will allow Wisconsin to establish a hemp pilot program and once again give farmers the ability to legally grow industrial hemp.
“Wisconsin was once the leading industrial hemp producer in the country,” said Jim Holte, Wisconsin Farm Bureau President. “Passage of this bill would open a new opportunity for Wisconsin farmers and will add numerous jobs in processing and manufacturing.”
The United States is the only major industrialized county that cannot legally grow hemp as a crop, yet it is the largest importer of hemp materials with annual sales exceeding $600 million. Hemp materials are used in foods and beverages, cosmetics, personal care products, nutritional supplements, textiles, paper, construction material and much more.
The U.S Congress is also considering industrial hemp legislation. HR 3530 would classify hemp as a crop and allow farmers to grow it and transport it throughout the country. HR 3530 has gained a bipartisan group of co-sponsors including Rep. Glenn Grothman, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Ron Kind, Rep. Gwen Moore and Rep. Mike Gallagher.