Back row from left, Jan Slaski-InnoTech Alberta, Patti Breland-Alberta Agriculture and Forestry , Byron James-InnoTech Alberta,
Brenda Madlung-BioComposites Group, Dan Madlung-BioComposites Group, Terry Radford-Just BioFibre,
Francois Catellier-Eco West, and Bob Bezpalko-Alberta HUB.
Front row from left, Brian Rozmahel- Producer, Lori-Jo Graham-Alberta Agriculture and Forestry,
Suzanne Prevost-CDEA, and Diane Chiasson-CDEA. Missing: Charles Holmes-Hempco Canada.
Soaking up new market information, producers and industry specialists met at the Vermilion Regional Centre on February 6, for the ‘Growing Industrial Hemp’ seminar.
Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke, County of Vermilion River Reeve Dale Swyripa, and Councillor Rob Pulyk were all in attendance along with nearly 180 other people.
“Hemp is a multi-use plant, and you use the whole plant,” said InnoTech Alberta’s Byron James.
According to Patti Breland who is an Industry Development Officer in Biomaterials for Alberta Agriculture & Forestry, northern Alberta has an advantage for growing fibre hemp because longer hours of sunshine and cooler nights in the region can generate up to 30 per cent more biomass as well as a higher concentration of Omega’s 3-6-9 in the grain.
According to Lori-Jo Graham, Alberta Agriculture & Forestry Program Lead, a number of factors have worked together to allow the encouragement of hemp production and connection to new markets.
“With Government support, an inflow of investment to research and promotion, and potentially a new regulatory environment through Health Canada; manufacturers are now seeking growers and have a focussed approach in the market to generate additional revenue streams for producers,” said Graham.
The event was sponsored by Agriculture & Forestry, InnoTech Alberta, Alberta HUB, Town of Vermilion, County of Vermilion River and Conseil de Developpement Economique de l’Alberta. For more information, you can visit agriculture.alberta.ca/biomaterials.