Economic Impacts of the Hemp Industry: Opportunities for Rural Development

Grants and Contracts Details


The long term goal of this project is to improve well-being, resilience and sustainability of rural communities by estimating and identifying economic opportunities within hemp based industries. Advances in manufacturing, agriculture and forestry technology influenced migration from rural to urban areas painting a grim picture for the future of rural communities. Paraphrasing Swenson (2019) of Iowa State University-- incremental innovations in some original core industries required fewer workers, boosting migration away from rural areas. Small and medium-sized urban areas and the rural counties that are linked to them are left with struggling commercial bases and blight ensues. Most rural communities have no viable economic Plan B--. Hemp is that Plan B that has seemed improbable for so long. The overall objectives are: 1. to characterize the opportunities of hemp by building a hemp industry sector and estimating economic impact and linkages to other sectors using input/output models in four states that produce hemp for different markets and utilize different production methods (baled fiber, stalk, flower and seed (including human and animal food grade and seed oil); and 2. to develop and deliver Extension programming that provides informed economic information to foster the potential of hemp to revitalize rural economies. The team at the University of Kentucky will be working with all aspects of this grant. In particular, we will be helping to coordinate the producer survey that will be administered and helping to facilitate the processor survey. Additionally, we will be coordinating with Vermont, Colorado and North Carolina on the extension materials that will be produced.
Effective start/end date5/1/204/30/24


  • University of Vermont: $112,011.00


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