What it Takes to Grow Industrial Hemp

February 21, 2019  |  10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  |  La Crosse, Wis.



Bryan Parr, Legacy Hemp, LLC
John StrofusMinnesota Hemp Farms
Jeff Kostuik, Hemp Genetics International Inc.
Alden Braul, Hemp Genetics International Inc.
Melody Walker, DATCP
Margaret Wiatrowski, Minnesota Department of Agriculture



  • Agronomics of growing industrial hemp
  • Markets and marketing
  • Overview of the regulations and application process



Nicknamed “The Forgotten Crop,” industrial hemp is making a comeback after a 60-year hiatus. This course explores what growers have learned about planting, growing, harvesting, cleaning, storing, and marketing this organic or conventional crop.

Bryan Parr of Legacy Hemp in Wisconsin and John Strofus with Minnesota Hemp Farms will share the good, the bad, and the ugly from the Upper Midwest’s 2018 growing season. Jeff Kostuik and Alden Braul from Hemp Genetics International will share how industrial hemp is doing in Canada, which has had regulated production since 1998. In addition, Margaret Wiatrowski, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and Melody Walker, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection, will share state-specific regulations, procedures, and data.


Presenter bios:

Bryan Parr

Bryan Parr is a fourth-generation farmer and has a passion for crop farming. Bryan received his bachelor’s degree in Agronomy in 2009 and received his Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) license in 2011. Bryan has experience in the organic grain industry, is an organic crop consultant and also farms himself. Bryan was recently hired as the agronomist for Legacy Hemp, LLC.


John Strofus

Minnesota Hemp Farms was the first approved Industrial Hemp Grower in the State of Minnesota.   They are currently the largest producer of Hemp products in Minnesota and are a full service company focused on Growing for Food, Fiber and CBD nutraceutical markets.  They also provide Custom Services to others Hemp businesses.



Jeff Kostuik

Jeff works for Hemp Genetics International (HGI) as Director of Operations for Central Canada, US and International, and he is based in Russell, Manitoba, Canada. Prior to, and during Jeff’s involvement with HGI, Jeff grew up grain farming with his father near Russell, Manitoba and has over 23 years experience in small plot research. His research focused on diversified or value added crops and cropping systems working on 60-70 projects a year planting 2500-3000 plots annually. Over the years Jeff has worked with numerous crops including quinoa, soybeans, favabeans and hemp to name a few.


 Alden Braul

Alden Braul works for Hemp Production Services as their Organic Production Specialist. Providing organic agronomy advice to growers from field selection to post-harvest management is his primary focus. Given the importance of soil fertility in organic hemp production, Alden designs and manages organic hemp research trials to help growers improve yield.


Melody Walker

Melody Walker is the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Products plant, pest and disease manager.



Margaret Wiatrowski

Margaret Wiatrowski is the Industrial Hemp Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. She has worked at the MDA for 3 years, starting there as an agricultural pest inspector. She has been with the hemp program since November 2016. Prior to joining the MDA, Margaret managed a native plant production operation, and performed habitat restoration and non-native weed management.



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