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Building Alberta’s Hemp Industry

Growing Hemp in 2020
April 30, 2020

Building Alberta's Hemp Industry

One of the many strengths of Alberta’s agriculture sector is the ability to pursue new and exciting opportunities. Hemp truly is an exciting opportunity and while hemp has been grown for over 10,000 years (making it one of our oldest cultivated crops) it is a new opportunity for most of our farmers. Alberta already stands out among the crowd as one of the largest hemp producers in the world, growing approximately 5% of the total global hemp production.

Canadian Rockies Hemp Corp. (CRHC) is working hard to push Alberta to the forefront of this promising and profitable industry, and part of that work involves supporting our current and future farmers.

CRHC’s Agriculture Internship Program

To help develop Alberta’s existing and future hemp industry we are excited to announce the launch of our Agriculture Internship Program. Through this program we will be bringing agriculture students and recent grads on board every growing season to work with our agronomists supporting CRHC farmers and conducting important agricultural research. Our program provides interns the opportunity to gain valuable, real-world work experience in their field of study and learn about hemp, a new and exciting agricultural opportunity for Alberta.

In this first year of our Agriculture Internship Program we are welcoming two agriculture students to the CRHC team, Tyler Thimer a recent graduate from the University of Saskatchewan, and Morgan Williams a first-year student from the University of Alberta. Tyler and Morgan both call Gibbons, AB home and are excited to be working with CRHC learning about hemp.

Morgan just starting her academic journey, studying Animal Health in the Bachelor of Science Degree Program at the U of A. She grew up on her family’s small cattle farm near Gibbons, AB. “I wanted to be a vet when I went in to school, but I am keeping my future career options open, so I also want to take some more crop sciences classes and go from there," explained Morgan.

Tyler graduated from the U of S Bachelor of Science Agronomy Program in 2019 and is excited to be returning to Alberta to start his career. Tyler also grew up on his family farm near Gibbons, AB growing grain and raising chickens. “I decided that agronomy was a field of study that would allow me to both help with the family farm and open more doors for industry work”.

Both Tyler and Morgan are excited to be working with CRHC this summer, “I am looking forward to seeing how different hemp fields grow in different areas,” said Morgan, “and I’m excited to be learning something new about a crop that I know little about, “ explained Tyler.

Our Head Agronomist, Cam Parsons has been enjoying the first couple of weeks with CRHC’s new interns, “Morgan and Tyler are a great fit for the CRHC team. It is awesome to have interns on both ends of the academic spectrum - Morgan just starting her degree and Tyler having just finished”. Cam will be working closely with Tyler and Morgan throughout the summer supporting our farmers growing hemp in 2020. They will also be collecting data that will be used for current and future research that will help Alberta farmers grow hemp better and support the growth of Alberta’s hemp industry.

“There is a lot about the agronomy of hemp, especially on the fibre side, left to discover. We are excited to have four different trial plots this year, each featuring a different design and purpose that will help fill in some of the gaps the industry is missing. At the Bruderheim plant, we plan to seed a side by side variety trial that will feature around 20 different varieties,” explained Cam.

“There is a lot of data we can collect from a farmer putting in a crop of hemp for us. By doing things such as measuring plants, densities, growth rate, and nutrient use during their weekly field checks, Tyler and Morgan will help CRHC collect information from thousands of acres this spring and summer. Combining that with satellite imagery and harvest data, we will have a rather large picture to put together at the end of the year to help us improve industrial hemp for Northern Alberta growers”.

Want to grow hemp in 2020?

Interested in growing hemp for us in 2020? There is still time! Hemp is a late seeded crop (until mid-June).

Contact our head agronomist Cam Parsons for more information.

 
 
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