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Application Workshops for Industry Hemp Research Pilots Set
New York Ag Connection - 10/03/2017

Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball Monday announced that the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets is holding four informational workshops for farms, businesses, and research institutions interested in participating in the State's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. The workshops will be held across the State to guide prospective research partners through the application process, which is open until November 22, 2017.

"Industrial hemp has great potential to become a significant cash crop for our farmers and drive economic growth across New York as it becomes more widely used in major industries," said Commissioner Ball. "Through our pilot program, we are advancing critical research that will further position New York as a national leader in the industrial hemp renaissance. I encourage interested growers and researchers to join our informational workshops to learn more about taking advantage of this opportunity."

The following informational workshops will be held in the Southern Tier, North Country, Finger Lakes and Capital Region:

- Oct. 2, 1-3 p.m.: Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 840 Upper Front St. #2, Binghamton, NY 13905

- Oct. 3, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Jefferson County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 203 N Hamilton St., Watertown, NY 13601

- Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 420 E Main St., Batavia, NY 14020

- Oct. 10, 2-4 p.m.: NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, 10B Airline Dr., Albany NY 12235

To expand the State's pilot program, Governor Cuomo announced in September that the Department was accepting additional applications for the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. New York producers, businesses and universities interested in participating in the program can apply at https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/PI/PIHome.html.

The Governor signed legislation earlier this year Through the State's pilot program, there has been a 6,000 percent increase in number of acres dedicated to industrial hemp production in New York. There are currently more than 20 research partners licensed to grow industrial hemp on approximately 2,000 acres in New York State compared to 30 acres planted in 2016.

Industrial hemp generates nearly $600 million per year nationally in sales of a variety of products including clothing, building materials, paper and consumer products. Recognizing its potential impact on manufacturing, job creation, and the profitability of farms across New York State, the Governor launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program in 2015.

Legislation originally proposed by the Governor in his 2017 State of the State Address, eliminated the cap on the number of sites in New York State permitted to grow and research the crop. The legislation also established an Industrial Hemp Working Group, which met for the first time on September 20 to advise the State on policies and initiatives to help grow the industry. The Department also secured a federal permit to facilitate imports of industrial hemp seed on behalf of participants in the State's program.

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