Technical assistance

Hemp Pilot Part of $9.88 Million Grant in Lake Decatur

Washington, DC, Aug. 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — After receiving a federal grant of $9,883,117, the City of Decatur is moving forward with a major water quality improvement plan. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which leverages partner resources to advance innovative projects that address climate change, improve water quality, and are within the reach of other critical challenges on farmland.

The National Hemp Association (NHA) and the Hemp Innovations Foundation (HIF) will provide in-kind technical assistance and a cash contribution over the 5 years of this project. We will work alongside the City of Decatur and the Illinois Hemp Growers Association to implement a Climate-Smart hemp pilot program as part of a larger project.

This pilot project will consist of planting hemp in targeted sub-watersheds and plots of land. The effort will accelerate the hemp industry in Illinois and demonstrate the positive environmental and economic benefits. We strongly believe that hemp can become a viable crop in the Midwest and be effectively integrated into an agricultural system largely dominated by corn and soybeans.

“The NHA and HIF believe this private/public partnership initiative addresses the key factors affecting water quality, the barriers farmers face when transitioning to new management systems, and the innovative strategies that will bring long-term benefits beyond the life of the project. said Erica Stark, executive director of the National Hemp Association and the Hemp Innovations Foundation.

“The Illinois Hemp Growers Association is pleased to learn that the RCPP Lake Decatur Water Quality Initiative plans have been approved. Grant funding for this project provides an opportunity for hemp to be promoted as a proven ally of farmers and the environment. We are committed to contributing our resources to this project throughout its lifecycle to drive innovation in this space. We expect to see further developments on the impact of hemp on water quality as a result of this first-of-its-kind project.”said Rachel Berry, founder and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association.

The overall goal of the Decatur Lake Water Quality Initiative is to work with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service and 53 partners to help farmers and landowners adopt climate-smart practices. climate. The goal is to achieve measurable and quantifiable improvements in water quality, particularly by reducing sediment and nitrates, in the Mississippi River Basin Critical Conservation Area, which includes the Lake Decatur watershed. of 926 square miles. The project aims to reduce up to 50% of the sediment and 20% of the nitrate nitrogen that enters Decatur Lake each year.

“This is a great opportunity to continue our efforts to improve the water quality of Decatur Lake,” said Jennifer Gunter, Watershed and Lake Manager. “We greatly appreciate the voluntary participation of our 53 granting partners who are essential to the success of this 5-year initiative.”

About the National Hemp Association:

NHA is rooted in the knowledge that hemp can offer a wide range of opportunities, from field to factory, and has a $15 trillion Global Addressable Market (TAM). Hemp has an important role to play in creating a better and more sustainable future and for hemp to reach its potential, we advocate for sensible public policy and regulation. We are also facilitators in building reliable supply chains by finding others with whom we can work to advance our mutual goals as well as connecting people and businesses to help them achieve their individual goals and collectives.

NHA is a Grass Roots Advocacy organization celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2023! www.nationalhempassociation.org