Upcoming Forum to Discuss Economic Potential of Industrial Hemp in the Greater Peoria Region

PEKIN, IL — Since the legalization of industrial hemp production at both the state and federal levels at the end of 2018, farmers hope to learn more about the market potential for a crop that has eluded industrial production in the United States for over 80 years.

On Jan. 18, The Industrial Hemp Forum will provide farmers and other agriculture industry stakeholders with an overview of industrial hemp and a discussion concerning the opportunities and challenges in developing regional markets to support farmers looking to add hemp to their production plans in 2019 and beyond. Industrial hemp can be grown and harvested for oil, grain, and fiber—each requiring a variety of production methods and with differing market potential. Although the processing of hemp for CBD oils tends to dominate the conversation, many see long-term potential in developing a fiber-based industry cluster in Central Illinois that could include the growing, processing, and manufacturing of hemp-fiber products. The crop may also help farmers diversify their operations both economically and ecologically.

A panel of experts will review the latest policy updates, briefly discuss agronomic issues, and present potential regional market opportunities in the short and long term. Panelists will discuss what exists and what is needed to develop and scale hemp-based industries and supply chains in Central Illinois. Panelists include:

Dr. Win Phippen, Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Western Illinois University
Liz Rupel, Policy Organizer, Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Dr. Luke Haverhals, Founder & CEO, Natural Fiber Welding
Kevin Pilarski, Chief Commercial Officer, Revolution Enterprises
Eric Pollitt, President, Global Hemp Inc

This event is the first in series called Farm Forums: Diversification & Innovation. These events are organized by the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council in collaboration with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Farm Forums: Industrial Hemp,
Jan. 18, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.,
Zeller Banquet Hall, Pekin, IL.
Registration for this free event!