In advance of the Advancing Industrial Hemp event this Monday, Oct. 5 – we spoke with Lineage Hemp CEO and guest panelist Sarah Cotterill about how modern-day farmers can use hemp as a tool to advance regenerative agriculture.
How can industrial hemp be used to transition operations to regenerative production?
Lineage thinks of hemp as an amazing tool in the regenerative toolbox. It is an ancient plant with the power to help us create a new paradigm. Hemp lends itself to regenerative production due to its natural resistance to pests and disease. Farmers can use fewer chemical inputs (which reduces cost) and build safe havens for beneficial pollinators. Hemp’s deep roots protect and build soil and the plant bioaccumulates toxins cleaning out heavy metals and pesticides. As a specialty crop, hemp is a path for transitioning out of traditional monocrops and can reward the farmer financially and ecologically for his/her efforts.
Can you give us a brief description of Lineage Ag?
Lineage Ag is building circular, regenerative systems and products that optimize healing and health starting with the soil and rippling out to individuals, communities, and ecosystems. Healing means to come to wholeness. We are ultimately working to invoke a process of coming back into wholeness. This innate tendency towards wholeness is already present in the body and nature. Lineage systems and products, seed to sale, support this effort by working with nature rather than against it. We believe in a value-add model that regenerates the soil, the water resources, the biodiversity, the nutrient density of food and plant medicine, and the health of the consumers.
What is your vision at Lineage for transitioning your operation and helping others to do the same?
Lineage meets farmers and farms where they are and build systems that optimize the creation of financial, ecological, and social wealth to help farmers thrive with regenerative agriculture. Many farmers are already on the path, although they may not specifically call their systems “regenerative.” Our role is to provide expertise, support, and a forum for innovation to help further methods grounded in holistic management and economic stewardship. Lineage also connects and creates markets for the regenerative crops. With hemp, for example, Lineage grows seed, large and small acreage CBD, fiber, Lineage Hemp CBD products and is developing other markets and uses for the fiber, grain, and CBD.
What advice would you offer farmers who are curious about integrating hemp into their operation but not yet producing it?
Get excited, do your homework, understand the entire process seed to sale, and be patient. So often hemp is billed as a get rich quick scheme. It is imperative that farmers buy seed from a trusted source, prepare the soil properly, grow in a compliant manner, and have a plan for the end market sale and what specs their buyers are looking for. Hemp comes with some incredible opportunities but better to step in wisely and for the long term.
Sarah Cotterill is the CEO of Lineage Hemp, a vertically integrated hemp company harnessing generational wisdom and agricultural innovation to produce and distribute high quality hemp (fiber, grain, and CBD) using regenerative organic methods.