free virtual event
hosted by farm journal

presented by


Hemp is being promoted as the next great transformational crop, promising unparalleled opportunity for cross-industry commoditization and a return to stability and profitability for American farmers. But is it ready for large scale farming?
about the event

Co-sponsored by High Grade Hemp Seed and Center Pivot Group, and hosted by Farm Journal’s own Andrew McCrea, hempFORWARD is a virtual event tackling the tough, and often untouched, questions and concerns in the newly emerging hemp industry.

Throughout our solution packed sessions, we will directly address hemp’s potential to deliver sustainable returns for small and large scale farmers and reveal two new industry-altering initiatives.

big questions we’ll tackle
  • Is the hemp supply chain ACTUALLY ready for big retail to get involved?
  • Is there even a SUSTAINABLE market for hemp as a commodity?
  • What is the TRUE COST and ROI for farmers transitioning to hemp?

And, much, much more! Join this FREE anytime-access virtual event as we address these questions head on!

free, all-access pass

Are you ready to explore the next great farm frontier? Get Your FREE All-Access Pass Now.


Session 1  •  30 mins

Fertile Ground

Helping Farmers Make the Transition to Hemp

Big Problems: Is the cost of transition actually worth it?

  • I have never grown hemp before and therefore the transition is too risky
  • I have generational experience that may not translate
  • The cost to transition may be too high
about this session

As traditional farmers explore the possibility of transitioning a percentage of their fields to growing hemp, some critical concerns still exist for many farmers. “The transition is too costly.” “The plant is too unknown.” “I can’t leverage my years of experience with this new crop.” These are the questions plaguing many farmers. In this session, we want to answer the big questions and directly address the benefits and limitations within hemp agronomy, with a special focus on more traditional farmers interested in transitioning to growing hemp.

Casey Brooks

VP Farming Operations
High Grade Hemp Seed

Jim Hunt

Market Segment Leader
Corn, Soybeans & Hemp

Erik Sykes

Co-CEO, Co-Founder

Session 2  •  30 mins

Market Forward

Problems, Predictions and Solutions

Big Problems: The Market is too unstable

  • There is just too much uncertainty in the marketability of hemp
  • I don’t know where to sell my harvest
  • How can I ensure my ROI
About this session

The “plant it and they will come” model for farmers does not exist yet in this maturing market. Farmers are facing the uncertainty of marketability and supply chain immaturity, causing many to sit on the sidelines and wait for additional growth to occur. In this session, we are going to tackle the reality of the hemp market’s infancy, the gaps that still exist in the supply chain, and big solutions that are emerging to help stabilize the ROI potential for hemp farmers.

Adrian Zelski

Center Pivot Group

Alexandra Rodriguez

Business Development
Center Pivot Group

Session 3  •  30 mins

Seed to Shelf Stories

Real World Case Studies in Successful Hemp Farming

About this session

In every new frontier, there are pioneers that are wading through the muck and mire to discover the right path forward. We wanted a chance to highlight some of the more successful pioneers in the hemp industry, who are touching every part of the supply chain process in order to develop an effective business model. We talked with three such companies and asked them to tell us about their journey and the inevitable lessons learned.

Adrian Zelski

Center Pivot Group

Jason Minard

General Counsel
Hempire State Growers

Ryan Eakes

Typhoon Pharma

Kevin Summers

Founder, CEO

Gail Hepworth

Hempire State Growers

Session 4  •  30 mins


Elevating the Hemp Industry Through Uniform Standards

Big Problems

  • There is not enough oversight and accountability in this market
  • I can’t trust the integrity of the supply chain
About this session

At times, the hemp market can feel like the wild wild west. New innovations, new players and new regulations seem to happen daily. While that can be exciting for some, farmers and retailers alike are looking for more predictability and oversight in order to ensure a consistent product. In this session, we explore the gap in operational standards and unveil an exciting evolution that could greatly impact the entire hemp industry.

Isaac Cohen

High Grade Hemp Seed

JP Kaloi

Compliance Manager
High Grade Hemp Seed

Aaron Furman

Cannabis Program Manager
Control Union

Session 5  •  30 mins

Regulatory Reality

Where is the Legal Battle Going?

Big Problems

  • There is too much uncertainty in the federal regulations
  • There is too much inconsistency between states
About this session

The 2018 Farm Bill did a lot to clarify the legality of hemp farming, but it was only the first step of many. Inconsistency in state regulations, divisions in federal agency responses, and the delays due to elections and COVID have all amassed to create a massive amount of uncertainty. In this session, we are going to dive into an updated look at the legal landscape and what industry advocates can, should and are doing to help shape the next steps in the hemp legal frontier.

JP Kaloi

Compliance Manager
High Grade Hemp Seed

Courtney Barnes

Barnes Caplan, LLC

Garrett Graff

Managing Partner
Hoban Law Group

Session 6  •  30 mins

The Genetic Evolution

Exploring the Future of the Mighty Hemp Seed

Big Problems

  • The genetics are too immature for consistent output
  • There is not enough regulation in genetic tracking
  • The interest in CBD could fade
About this session

Genetics anchor the supply chain that ends at the ever increasing popularity of retail CBD. Farmers are familiar with the evolution of traditional crop genetics, with weather tolerant, pest control and disease resistant innovations occurring every year. Those same sciences are being applied to hemp genetics and the industry is just scratching the surface of the 30,000+ uses of hemp. In this session, we will drop the veil and reveal the evolution of hemp genetics, where the gaps still exist and how advances in technology are bringing stabilization and innovation to the great hemp experiment.

Greg Mathews

Lab Director
High Grade Hemp Seed

Session 7  •  30 mins

The Right Tools

Nuts and Bolts of Modern Hemp Farming

Big Problems

  • The cost of harvesting is just too high
  • The equipment available for hemp is too immature
  • The availability of equipment can’t meet big ag demand
About this session

While hemp has been around for thousands of years, due to the prohibition on hemp, it has been removed from the innovations that have occurred in farming equipment for the last 50 years. Combined with the delicate nature of harvesting the hemp flower, farmers are faced with the uncertainty of how to cultivate and harvest on a mass scale. In this session we will be exploring the trials and tribulations of the modern farmer in the world of hemp and identify the innovations in equipment that are bringing higher levels of profitability to the hemp farming community.

Casey Brooks

VP Farm Operations
High Grade Hemp Seed

Corbett Hefner

Vice President
Research & Development
Formation Ag

Blake Sandnes

General Manager
Hemp Processing Solutions