The College of Central Florida has been approved by the state Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry to cultivate hemp at its Vintage Farm Campus in Ocala. It is the first license of its kind approved for a state college in the Sunshine State.
The hemp will be used by the college’s agribusiness program and the program will focus on seed germination, soil, water, and light requirements, pruning techniques, pest management, harvesting, and curing, the college said. The curriculum will also focus on navigating compliance and marketing materials harvested from the crop.
Tavis Douglass, agribusiness program manager, said hemp cultivation “was a natural fit” for the program “due to statewide and local interest in the burgeoning hemp industry in Florida, and the uniqueness of the college’s Vintage Farm Campus facilities and areas of study.”
“Because hemp is a relatively unknown crop in our climate, not much is known of how it will perform. Therefore, we will be testing and growing plants under various growing conditions. Additionally, our program will focus on hemp products that may have use in agricultural sectors such as our local livestock and equine industries.” – Douglass in a press release
During the fall 2021 or spring 2022 semester, the college plans to offer a short-term, non-credit, hemp-focused course or lecture for the community.
The College of Central Florida offers an Associate in Science degree in Agribusiness Management, Bachelor of Applied Science in Business and Organizational Management with a specialization in Agribusiness, as well as certificate programs in Nursery and Landscape, and Livestock Production Management, which will all benefit from the college’s hemp research.
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