Heather Darby was a University of Vermont agronomist who tried to get farmers to diversify their products. However, most did not do it until hemp was reclassified last year. A massive rush to grow the product occurred as seasoned growers and new farmers entered the market. 1,000 people registered and 9,000 acres were devoted to growing the crop in Vermont alone. Most of it went unharvested as people were not prepared for the reality of growing the product. Darby mentioned, at the end of the article, how people are more level-headed about it now. People are focusing on niches in the industry instead of commoditizing the product by growing as much as possible. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Many people ran into the hemp market when it became legal to grow it when the rule change came into effect.
  • The article states that 1,000 growers registered with Vermont to grow hemp last year, in Vermont, which was double the year prior.
  • The total acreage of that was 9,000. However, much of it ended up unharvested because some of these people were not prepared for what it actually takes to grow the product.

Quote: “There were a lot of individuals who didn’t have any farming experience who thought they could make a business plan and implement a schedule. But farming doesn’t work that way. ” (Allen, 2020)

Link to article:
vtdigger.org/2020/03/04/q-a-uvm-agronomist-heather-darby-on-vermonts-hemp-gold-rush