Are There Hemp Farms in Iowa?

Written by Derek Johnson

Iowa is famous for its corn production. And thanks to recent action in the state legislature, it may soon be known for being a hemp-producing state as well.

In 2019, Iowa took its first step at becoming a hemp farming state by legalizing hemp production. However, it wasn’t until after USDA review and the establishment of licensing regulations and procedures this spring that farms were officially permitted to begin operations.

Once the licenses became available, many in Iowa did not waste time in filling out applications. Numerous individual and group efforts are now underway to produce hemp crops this year in the state.

In Tama, a long-time lawyer received his license in May and has already got his crop underway. After decades of practicing law, Alan Richards, ESQ has decided to give hemp farming a go. Although an attorney for most of his life, Richards did have a short stint managing a farm in the mid-1970s.

In Fairbank, a new group dedicated to helping veterans, U.S. Veterans Alliance, has established a program that will aid ex-service members in starting their own hemp farms so they can hopefully find economic security through cultivation of the plant.

And a Stuart family of farmers has transitioned to hemp farming in hopes of breathing new economic life into their long history of farming. The Dudley’s have historically farmed soybeans and corn alongside raising cattle. However, these commodities have simply not been able to bring in the money the family needs to truly prosper, which is why they turned to hemp.

At first, the Dudleys, in partnership with American Hemp Ventures out of Colorado and relatives from Minnesota, were operating out of Minnesota. However, now that hemp farming is legal in Iowa, they’ve decided to grow crops within the state.

Many more in Iowa have entered the game and are hoping that this newly legalized industry will bring economic prosperity to the their lives. Time will tell if this is the case. One thing is for sure, the hemp market in the US is growing exponentially and offers lots of opportunities to those involved.

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Derek Johnson

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