BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A recent dinner brought together farmers, leaders and members of the community to talk about industrial hemp and local foods.
The Indiana Hemp Industries Association hosts a quarterly meal to bring people from different sectors to the same table. Their goal is to take action and support one another while building a strong food system within the state.
“We want to keep these dinners going so that farmers and people across agriculture are all in one place,” said Jamie Campbell Petty, founder of IHIA.
“We’re getting to know each other personally. We’re talking about the hurdles and issues that are out there. Our goal is to bring everyone to the same table. There’s room at the table for everyone.”
Daniel Orr, chef and owner of Farm Bloomington, hosted the dinner at his restaurant.
“I think we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “There are a lot of great things that hemp provides us. It can also cut down deforestation. We can do things with hemp that people can’t even imagine.”
Orr infused hemp seeds into the dinner — including a hemp-crusted pork loin.
Seeding The Market
Although hemp can be imported from other countries, it is illegal for those who aren’t researchers to grow it in Indiana.
“People often consider hemp the same as marijuana,” Orr said. “It’s the same genus of plant, but hemp has so much more to offer.”
Hemp can be used for its seeds or fiber. From food products to textiles, it’s used in a variety of ways.
“Hemp isn’t going to take over an industry and be the new solution for everything,” said Jessica Scott, executive director of IHIA. “It’s a viable, sustainable and profitable solution for markets. It provides a platform for diversified crops to have a seat at the table.”
Learn more about industrial hemp at: www.inhia.net.