The Oregon Industrial Hemp Community is in crisis. As of this writing, four farmers have allegedly committed suicide because of despair at losing crops tied to life savings and substantial investments. Two processing facilities have burned. There is despair in the fields with crops decimated by mold or rotted due to lack of adequate knowledge, planning, infrastructure or cooperative resource sharing.
To add to the panic, the total-THC rule threatens our entire industry with the possibility of family farms being wiped out to make room for Big Ag to take over what we ourselves have worked so hard to build.
The big question is: “What are we, as a community, going to do about this?” While we can’t bring back lives lost, we can unite our intentions and resources to do better with what we have right now and put our capacity into action to help save what’s left.
Right now is not the time to judge or assign blame. There is nothing to be gained by saying that people should have planned better or blame the bottleneck in processing or the labor shortage. All these lessons will be processed in due time, but we don’t want to add our failure to act to that list.
Right now is the time for the Oregon Industrial Hemp Community to unite for healing and work together to ensure a better 2020 season. We at Hemp Inc & Hemp University recognize our role in the greater community as good actors and aggregators of education, networking & support for farmers. That is why we have chosen to direct our efforts and resources towards acknowledging this extreme moment and help catalyze a movement for Solidarity.
We are spearheading this fundraiser in collaboration with the Southern Oregon Hemp Co-Op to help aggregate funds to help our industry remain on its feet. We've identified pressing needs that could benefit from fundraising - the top being:
1) Support gifts for families who've lost a loved one 2) Equipment and resources for cooperative use 3) Support for the lobbyist, Courtney Moran working in Salem and Washington for the survival and health of our industry.
The results of the fundraiser will be announced at our January 26 Symposium, which will focus on regrouping and renewing our approach to this industry, proper planning and alignment of resources for the 2020 season. The Symposium will also update the public on the progress of the fight against prohibitive legislation and rally our energy to unify in the face of adversity.
While we are shocked and saddened by the loss and tragedy surrounding the 2019 harvest, we move forward in full faith that the Oregon Hemp Community can and will band together for the collective good.
By acknowledging and addressing the extremities of this season, it is our hope that this first step will not only help to bring about a measure of healing but usher in an era of Cooperation and Solidarity for the future of Industrial Hemp in our State and Nation.