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August 17, 2017: Industrial Hemp Field Day (Petersburg, VA)

August 17, 2017
8am - 12pm

Guests are invited to remain until 3pm for informal discussion with presenters and exhibitors

4415 River Road • Petersburg, VA 


This first-of-its kind public event will provide a forum for potential growers, researchers, marketing experts and industrial hemp product users to discuss the future of the crop in Virginia and neighboring states. Critical information will be shared on the challenges of growing industrial hemp, the available and potential markets for industrial hemp products, and crop processing feasibility to help farmers decide whether to consider growing the crop.


(subject to change prior to the event)

(8am - 12pm)

Industry Overview – Why Industrial Hemp?
Markets for Industrial Hemp Products (fiber, seed)
Industrial Hemp Research at VSU
Industrial Hemp Plot Tour
Exhibitor Engagement

(12pm - 3pm)

Opportunity for discussion with speakers and networking


What Is Industrial Hemp?

Industrial hemp is a versatile crop that can be processed into different products with multiple uses. Its stalk can be used to produce biofuel, auto parts, paper, upholstery, fiber for cloth and other textile items, building materials, industrial products and different types of papers. Industrial hemp seeds can be used to produce animal feed and human food or serve as sources of oil for lotion and cosmetic products.

VSU’s Role In Growing Industrial Hemp

VSU is one of the higher learning institutions authorized to conduct industrial hemp research in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This came as a result of the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill Section 7606 by the U.S. Congress and the subsequent enactment of the Industrial Hemp Law by Virginia General Assembly in 2015. 

VSU began conducting field research on industrial hemp in 2016. Researchers are currently evaluating industrial hemp varieties for seed, seed oil, and biofuel production adaptable to Virginia’s climate. Optimum planting dates and fertilizer needs for maximum industrial hemp seed and fiber yields are also being investigated. 

The field trials are significant in evaluating the potential growth of industrial hemp in different parts of the state. But Virginia farmers also need information on the current and potential markets of industrial hemp products before they decide to grow the crop. Knowledge about processing facilities is also essential to determine the types of industrial hemp that should be grown. The decision to grow industrial hemp for its stalk, seed or both is influenced by the type and location of processing facilities.


Founded in 1882, Virginia State University is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions and is located 20 minutes south of Richmond in the village of Ettrick.

For more information or if you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Agricultural Research Station at or (804) 524-5151 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations five (5) days prior to the event.

Virginia State University College of Agriculture Agricultural Research Station
M.T. Carter Agricultural Research Center
P.O. Box 9061 • Virginia State University, VA 23806 • (804) 524-5151

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition is a state-wide and coalition-based Extension program, housed in Virginia Tech’s Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. Funding was sponsored by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Award #2017-70011-26861, and the Southern Risk Management Education Center Grant #545015. For more information about the program or funding, contact Kim Niewolny, Program Director and Extension Specialist, at or 540-231-5784.

For website updates, such as broken links, please contact Allyssa Mark, Program Associate.