U.S. HEMP GROWERS ASSN ANNOUNCES BOARD MEMBERS
Sep. 14, 2020
Source: U.S. Hemp Growers Assn news release
Lenexa, Kansas - U.S. Hemp Growers Association has announced the organization's Founding Board of Directors.
"We are pleased that this founding board is diverse in size, experience, geography and background ," said Michael Bowman, USHGA Chairman. "The bylaws call for a majority of members to be growers, and that has been achieved. This founding board will be working hard to meet the needs of hemp farmers across the United States."
Michael Bowman is the chair of the U.S. Hemp Growers Association. He has been a leader in making hemp legal in Colorado and was active in supporting passage of Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, a provision that granted U.S. farmers the right to cultivate hemp in conjunction with hemp research. Since then, he also supported the 2018 Farm Bill, which makes it legal to grow hemp in states for the first time since Congress passed the 1933 Farm Bill.
He has been instrumental in shaping Colorado's hemp policy as a governor's- appointee to its inaugural Industrial Hemp Commission. Bowman has also been very active in renewable energy, serving on advisory councils as chair of Colorado's New Energy Future. He was selected as a White House Champion of Change in 2013 for his advocacy work regarding rural policy. Bowman is also a founder of First Crop, a public benefit corporation growing and processing hemp, including into CBD, in New Mexico.
Doug Edge serves as vice chair of the U.S. Hemp Growers Association and is the senior vice president of Business Solutions with Farm Journal. Edge is from Pendleton, Ind., where his family farms and raises sheep. Edge is active in promoting the legalization of hemp as a viable feed source for animals and is involved in research on hemp hay for use with livestock and horses. He is a member of the advisory board for LeafSpec, a startup AgTech company developing an infield scanner for THC detection. Edge has a B.S. degree in agriculture from the University of Illinois.
Bethleen McCall is a fifth-generation ag producer from Yuma County, Colo. Her farm, Hemp Farm Colorado, was on the ground floor of Colorado's hemp industry and is one of the original registered and legal industrial hemp producers in the nation, growing since 2014. They specialize in year-round greenhouse production of high CBD feminized seed and trimmed flower.
The farm also has experience growing hemp under center pivot irrigation for biomass as well as grain and fiber. Prior to farming full time, she worked for fifteen years in government, economic development and natural resource management. McCall proudly serves her community on various boards, including the Colorado Hemp Industries Association, Colorado Agriculture Preservation Association, Yuma County Economic Development Corporation & Water Authority and the Yuma City Council.
Dion Oakes is co-owner of Wright-Oakes LLC, which has been active in the hemp industry for six years. He has been around farming most of his life and started pursuing a serious career in agriculture directly out of high school. After starting out as a farmhand with a local farm, he worked his way up to oversee day-to-day operations. In this experience, he discovered that hemp was the path he needed to pursue. His main interest in hemp was saving water usage for local farmers.
The journey began with introducing hemp to his father-in-law. Oakes is closely connected with the whole industry from growing to new equipment to every kind of processing, including CBD, food and fiber. Oakes has traveled the U.S., speaking at many events for Farm Journal's Hemp College, Midwest Hemp Council, SBDC and many other organizations.
Harold Singletary is a native of Charleston, SC, and has been a motivated entrepreneur and driven Chief Executive, with 20 years of tax and finance industry-leading expertise. Singletary has progressive experience developing and implementing financial systems, strategies, processes and controls that significantly improve P&L scenarios. He has held various accounting positions from CFO to controller, senior accountant and finance manager in his career.
He launched a successful tax and accounting solution business, East Cooper Financial Services, LLC in 2001. Singletary's entrepreneurial spirit was passed down from his grandparents, Ned and Katie Roper, who were native farmers on James Island. Singletary is the CEO/visionary behind BrightMa Farms, LLC, a vertical minority SC hemp group that launched in 2018, growing organically and marketing cremes, hemp flower, gummies and other products. As a husband and father of two, Singletary loves to travel with his family abroad and experience new adventures while test driving dreams.
Inga Willis is the executive director, Strategic Partnerships at EdFarm, an Alabama-based tech startup promoting radical innovation in education in cooperation with Apple and Southern Company. Through its programs, EdFarm equips educators, schools and students with curriculums, technology and partnerships. With the 2020 expansion to the Atlanta market, Willis is responsible for collaborative partnerships and tech innovation targeting the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) ecosystem and agricultural technologies, which will include a hemp-specific initiative targeting black farmers.
Willis has had a very active career in marketing, communications and brand management and introduction in the United States as well as in Europe, Africa and Asia. She has worked on such brands as Jack Daniels and T.L.C. and has been a part of many national and state political campaigns as a marketing liaison. Willis received a BA from Howard University and an MBA in global marketing from the University of Liverpool, London, England.
Jamie Campbell Petty's lifelong appreciation for agriculture shows in her countless victories for industrial hemp in Indiana and nationally. Coupled with her desire to serve, Petty founded the Indiana Hemp Industries Association (INHIA) in 2014 and assembled a strong team of volunteers. INHIA became the recognized leader in education and networking. In 2018, Petty teamed with long time hemp advisor, Alan Kimbell, and attorney Justin Swanson to form Midwest Hemp Council.
Through tireless effort, Midwest Hemp Council has successfully lobbied for Indiana's hemp legislation, contributed to regulatory development and continues to support efforts to remove unnecessary barriers for Hoosier farmers. Petty has fostered partnerships with Midwest agriculture leaders while building out the Midwest Hemp Council that interconnect businesses, organizations and community outreach.
Midwest Hemp Council continues to educate and communicate while focusing on building a strong economy in Indiana and beyond. Along with serving as executive director for the Midwest Hemp Council, Petty is a policy specialist at Bose Public Affairs Group. She was named "100 People to Know in Hemp" by Hemp Connoisseur Magazine 2018. Petty currently serves on the board of directors for Friends of Hemp. She and her husband own a farm in Indiana.
John Strohfus is the founder and CEO of Minnesota Hemp Farms, Inc., and Field Theory in Hastings, Minn. MHF is a grower, processor and marketer of hemp products in both the bulk wholesale channel and in retail under the brand Field Theory. Strohfus is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and minor in information technology. Prior to founding Minnesota Hemp Farms, he spent 19 years in business, working for the world's leading technology consulting company, Accenture.
Strohfus has been involved in agriculture his entire life and comes from a small farm operation where he raises quarter horses, beef cattle, alfalfa hay, corn, soybeans, sunflowers and since 2016, hemp. Strohfus is helping build out supply chain logistics for hemp in the United States in the food, fiber and extract oil markets. Specific emphasis is given to helping new growers get access to AOSCA Certified grain genetics and providing an outlet for their grain. He enjoys working with farmers of all crops to create unique value-added direct markets for their production.
Josh Hendrix was born and raised in the Bluegrass State and is a University of Kentucky alumnus. Hendrix relocated back to Central Kentucky in 2014 on a mission to help rebuild the U.S. hemp industry. Seeing a need to bring farmers, processors, manufacturers and supporters of the industry together, Hendrix founded the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and has served as president and on the board of directors for the group.
He was also a founding member of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, where he has served on the board of directors since its inception and most recently as president in 2019. In 2015, he created and became president of Hendrix Hemp, a licensed hemp producer that managed hemp cultivation on his family's Mayflower Farm in Mount Sterling, Ky., for three years. In early 2017, Hendrix was appointed to serve on the board of directors for Friends of Hemp. In 2019, he was elected to the board of directors to the U.S. Hemp Growers Association, and in early 2020, he was elected to serve on the board of directors for the U.S. Hemp Authority. Most recently, Hendrix served as the director of Business Development and Hemp Production for CV Sciences, Inc., where he worked with numerous universities, farmers, businesses and organizations to help facilitate the infrastructure necessary to establish a modern domestic supply chain for hemp in the United States.
Tim Gordon is considered a premier hemp authority worldwide. With more than 20 years of experience in eco- sustainable cannabis farming and as developer of an industry-leading hemp agricultural operation, International Hemp Solutions is where he is CEO. He serves as a board member of the Hemp Industries Association.
He has been interviewed, quoted and featured in U.S. and international news programs, magazines and periodicals. Gordon is also a highly requested speaker, having presented to faculty and staff at national universities, manufacturers and retailers at world industry conferences and at healthcare symposiums, where he educates on the legality, efficacy and clinical benefits of CBD and phytonutrients associated with the cannabis plant. Gordon's company markets hemp products in the United States and for export.
Ron Conyea is an owner-operator of Conyea Farms in Hickory, Ky. There, he farms with his son Patrick and son-in-law Nathan. He has spent much of his life as an ambassador for ag-related issues across Kentucky and beyond. Conyea has grown hemp but also tobacco, corn and other crops for many years. He has helped develop various techniques for successfully growing and harvesting hemp. Conyea has been a knowledgeable advocate for farmers in both his state and in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the board of the U.S. Hemp Authority, a crop adjuster for Zurich and a board member of the U.S. Hemp Growers Association.
Egon Badart grew up in an agricultural polder in the Netherlands, tending to fields and farm livestock. He relocated to Southern California during his high school years when his father, an international airline executive, moved the family from Holland to Los Angeles. After high school, Badart earned a bachelor's degree in international finance from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, and was selected for an honors graduate study of international business management. He is fluent in four languages.
After graduation, Badart started his business career in the international division in the fashion and textile industries with Milliken & Company. There, he learned both executive management and research and development of fiber, and design of fabric, manufacture and distribution. Later, as president of the U.S. operations of a Dutch international holding company with sales in more than 40 countries, Badart worked closely with research labs to create original proprietary high margin products. These products led to international joint product development with several multinational companies in nutrition and functional food / beverage products and specific complex formulations infused with wellness ingredients, such as herbal extracts that were marketed in niche specialty shops and mass-market mainstream retailers.
Badart has been very active in international and domestic agricultural investments and collaborations including as director of corporate strategy for Badart's family- owned California-based, fully-licensed hemp company; as well as investments in raisin processing; Dutch and American egg and dairy farms; coastal cattle ranching and a family-owned food processing company with national distribution. He is working to expand U.S. exports of hemp products as well as domestic distribution.
Chris Adams of Adams Family Farm tends a diverse crop roster on 9,000 acres located on both sides of the North Dakota-Minnesota line in fertile Red River Valley soils: sugar beets, hard red spring wheat, hemp, soybeans and six varieties of specialty dry beans. Adams Family Farm is a fifth-generation farming operation in northeastern North Dakota.
Bucking the middleman, Adams also operates an export business and delivers crops (via containers loaded and sealed on-farm) straight from his fields to the doorsteps of foreign buyers. Convention ranks low on Adams" priority list and his maverick approach afforded early entry into seed hemp in 2016, soon followed with hemp for CBD purposes. Adams is looked to as a knowledgeable hemp farmer in
the upper Midwest region.
Don Palmer is president of Specialty Oil Extractors LLC in Darlington, SC., one of the largest hemp oil extraction facilities in the United States with a capacity of up to 200 tons of throughput per day. As a compliment to the Specialty Oil Extractors LLC operation, Palmer was instrumental in the founding and ongoing operation of Specialty Seed Co., in Edenton, NC. Specialty Seed is a feminized hemp seed provider with facilities of 12 acres of greenhouses, including two acres fully lighted with 1,600 grow lights.
In conjunction with the operation of one of the largest hemp oil extraction facilities and hemp seed companies, Palmer has been highly focused on advancing the mechanization and application of scale ag techniques to the hemp world with an eye to ensuring hemp a stable future in the United States by making hemp just another dependable rotational crop that is planted, cultivated and harvested mechanically in similar fashion to all other commodity crops. In this endeavor, Palmer has met and collaborated with dozens of talented farmers coast to coast, which ultimately led to his involvement with the U.S. Hemp Growers Association as one of the founding supporters of USHGA.
For more information about raising hemp in the United States or the U.S. Hemp Growers Association, go to www.ushempga.org.