Washington State University (WSU) and other partnering universities on the West Coast have received a five-year, $10 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant to study hemp in the region.
WSU researchers are partnering with eight institutions across the nation, along with industry partners including the Industrial Hemp Association of Washington, on the research, which addresses the needs of Native Americans and other rural community businesses and farmers in the four-state West Coast region. WSU will receive $1.3 million from the grant.
David Gang, professor in WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, indicated the researchers are “interested in what hemp varieties are best for western growers,” noting that many farmers are interested in growing the crop for fiber and grain.”
“Hemp has a lot of amazing properties and potential, especially in producing building material and feedstock.” – Gang in a statement
Jeffrey Steiner, associate director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center said the involvement in the research by tribal communities and rural communities “is critical to its success.”
“The potential economic opportunities this new commodity may have presents tremendous potential for rural communities,” he said, “and our project has set out to ensure those opportunities are equally available and relevant to all kinds of farmers.”
Additional partners on the project include the University of California, Davis; University of Nevada, Reno Extension; USDA, Agricultural Research Service; United States Department of Transportation, Volpe National Transportation Systems Research Center, the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program; 7 Generations, a Native American-owned firm that specializes in Indian Country business development; USDA, National Agricultural Library; and the USDA, Western Rural Development Center.
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