Winchester, KY: Atalo Holdings, Inc., a Kentucky corporation specializing in research, development and commercialization of industrial hemp, was approved for $500,000 in a combination of a Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund grant and loan money to purchase processing equipment for a new crushing/processing facility.
Earlier in June, working under the supervision of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, Atalo concluded importation and distribution of approximately 14,000 pounds of hemp seed for its 30 growers who will raise up to 545 acres of the crop across central Kentucky.
Lee Cowden is a young farmer from Jessamine County who is planting up to 10 acres on his grandfather’s farm. “I’m excited to be able to add this new crop to the rotation,” said Cowden. “We’re planting several varieties of seed provided by Atalo and will be testing the planting process and the yield. My grandfather’s land once grew a good stand of hemp and he and I are both happy to see it coming up again. We’re equally excited that Atalo is taking a lead in securing future markets for our crop.”
Andrew R. Graves, a Kentucky farmer who has pushed for more than 20 years for the return of hemp, is CEO of Atalo Holdings. According to Graves, “We are working with our expanding grower group to actively test multiple seed varieties and processes in the field that should result in better agronomy, better yields and a clear path to market. We have to remember that hemp is a “new” crop and we’re learning fast. This grant and the processing facility it funds should prove beneficial to Kentucky farmers.”
“Kentucky was once know as the hemp capital of the world and we’re on our way to restoring our hemp crop to prominence,” said Graves.
Contact: Joseph Hickey, Sr.