NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is staying at the forefront of hemp research, a growing topic across the country.
The university’s College of Agriculture hosted a workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 26, to discuss the latest research on the plant. It was the second workshop TSU had this year. The last one was in March.
“TSU wants to be at the forefront of this new interest that’s cropping up across the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “If it’s ever approved for large scale use, we have some knowledge about it and can work with the farmers.”
Dr. Fitzroy Bullock, one of TSU’s leading hemp researchers and coordinator of the latest workshop, agreed.
“Hemp is being grown just about everywhere in the country, but the growers don’t really have a research base,” Bullock said. “So what we’re doing here at Tennessee State University is taking a leadership role in trying to establish a base for research.”
Hemp, or industrial hemp, typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is used for all kinds of products, from clothing to food.
TSU’s College of Agriculture has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production in Tennessee.
Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.
Farmer Michael Walls attended Thursday’s workshop. His family has a 140-acre farm in Hardeman County that is using an acre to grow hemp. He said workshops like the one at TSU are beneficial.
“There’s a lot of potential for what hemp can do,” said Walls, adding that his family plans to grow more hemp next year. “So I’m just trying to get more information to see what other possibilities there are.”
For more information about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.
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