PA Awards More Than $390,000 to Grow PA Hemp Industry

Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced $392,265 in grants to three agriculture nonprofits to fund projects aimed at growing fiber and food hemp markets, sales, and awareness in Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania has been making history, building a new hemp industry from roots up,” said Sec. Redding. “These grants feed the growth of an industry that was once a staple of Pennsylvania’s economy and is once again growing opportunities for new businesses, farm income, jobs, and climate-smart, environmentally sound products.”

Grant recipients, amounts, and project descriptions follow:

Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council – $56,000

Funds a campaign to promote the benefits of hemp and create new markets for hemp-based products. The council is building a dynamic collaboration among farmers and other businesses, investors, government agencies, and communities to bring hemp back to Pennsylvania’s farms.

U.S. Ecological Advanced Research & Conservation Hub Hemp Certificate Program for Disadvantaged Communities (USEARCH) — $20,500

Funds development of an educational program for disadvantaged communities including youth, veterans, and women to enable them to get involved in the hemp industry. USEARCH is a Mayfield, Lackawanna County-based nonprofit focused on researching agricultural technologies and products derived through them.

Vytal Plant Science Research — $315,765

To introduce a STEM curriculum to high schools and universities to effectively engage in industrial hemp production, management, and cultivation by promoting and marketing industrial hemp for its many uses such as food, fiber, fuel, industrial, and personal care products.

Vytal is a non-profit that sponsors research at Penn State Harrisburg’s Central Pennsylvania Research and Teaching Laboratory for Biofuels.

Grant funds reimburse up to half of project costs, and were awarded in a competitive process, with special consideration for projects that leverage other funding and public-private partnerships.