Winchester, KY: It’s planting season for Kentucky farmers and Atalo Holdings, Inc. is planting more than hemp seed. They’re planting seeds of innovation and accelerating commercialization in the emerging industrial hemp industry. Now in the third year of Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program, Atalo has 59 growers permitted on 2,466 acres, making it the largest permitted hemp producer in the US. Along with the expanding crop, Atalo is developing and implementing new, disruptive and scalable strategies to grow, process and take hemp products to market.
From their Hemp Research Campus in Winchester, Kentucky, Atalo Holdings and their subsidiary, Super Food Processing, LLC, are conducting research in conjunction with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Hemp Genetics International of Canada and others to develop proprietary seed varieties for food, fiber and cannabidiol, also known as CBD. Atalo is now in the third year of testing to refine best practices for growing, harvesting, processing and marketing hemp and the results have been positive.
According to Atalo CEO Bill Hilliard, “Our seed science and process testing are advancing nicely. Timely seed deliveries, knowledge learned from last year and improved agronomic methods point to a strong 2016. To further support our growers, we are working to have more dependable seed planting equipment available. Meanwhile, at our Campus, crushing and filtering equipment is on site with test runs in progress for hemp oil and protein powders and our extraction facilities are completing test runs. We’ll be filling wholesale orders for protein powder, hemp oil and CBD in the near future.
“Kentucky used to be known as the hemp capital of the world,” said Atalo Chairman Andrew R. Graves. “In the 1920s, Thomas Edison and George Washington Carver described hemp as a ‘miracle crop.’ We’ve been working for 25 years anticipating the end of prohibition. Now, through the Hemp Pilot Program, we are accelerating research efforts to prove Edison and Carver right. At our core, we want to unlock the potential of hemp to create entirely new opportunities in food, fuel, fiber and medicine.” said Graves. “That’s why we’re breeding seed for easier harvest, testing seed varieties for highest protein content and maximizing cannabinoid output, all with a scalable approach for higher yields. If we sound excited, it’s because we’ve been waiting 70 years to get this crop back into Kentucky soil
Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Ryan Quarles, who grew up farming tobacco, understands the need for diversification and innovation in agri-business. Speaking to the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, Quarles said, “We have a lot of critical mass behind us now, through section 7606 of the Farm Bill and our Pilot Program. Hemp is a crop that connects our past to our future and can be described as a driver for economic development.”
This summer, Atalo will be testing their new seed varieties and will begin filling orders for hemp nut, hemp oil, hemp protein powder and CBD and hemp oil as they continue testing new seed varieties and innovation in agricultural technology. Later this fall, Atalo and Super Food Processing LLC expects to release their private-label hemp-based products As Atalo Chairman Andrew Graves puts it, “We’re back!”
Contact: Arthur Rouse