The East Colorado SBDC hosted this conference for the first time in February 2019 with Aims Community College in Greeley, CO.  This conference is in such high demand and has continued to generate interest. Because of this demand the East Colorado SBDC  will be offering the conference again in 2020 and has established a series of top-notch educational hemp seminars.

Our introductory three-hour short courses, Harnessing Hemp – Planting The Seed, will equip aspiring producers with the knowledge and information needed to determine if the hemp industry is right for them. All attendees of these Planting The Seed courses will receive priority registration for the two-day conference, Harnessing Hemp – Cultivating A Businesses.   This comprehensive two-day conference will teach agricultural producers about this incredibly versatile plant and the infrastructure surrounding it.  Providing the knowledge and connections they need in order to be successful and competitive in the growing hemp market. 

Harnessing Hemp

Cultivating a Business

Are you ready to jump into hemp production? 

Join the East CO SBDC and partners for the Harnessing Hemp-Cultivating a Business two-day conference. 

This conference is designed to equip aspiring producers with the knowledge and connections they need to be successful in the growing hemp market. Attendees will hear from industry experts, lenders, and buyers. As part of the LEADING EDGE Strategic Planning Series, Harnessing Hemp delivers comprehensive training to small businesses and has presentations geared to help both start-up and existing businesses in the areas of regulations, finance, marketing, operations, and more. LEADING EDGE courses are highly interactive, which ensures the flow of information not just from the instructor, but between participants as well. 

Discover the steps it’ll take to cultivate your hemp business.

Conference Agenda

History of Hemp: How did we get here?

Understanding of the history of the hemp crop and the industry.
Presenter: Kirk Goble, Aims Community College

Hemp Market Overview

Understanding of the current market size, predicted growth, different uses for hemp and where demand currently is. 
Presenter: Michael Bright

Best Practices for Success When Starting a Hemp Business

Identify the biggest barriers new hemp growers will face and understand best practices when considering starting a hemp business.
Presenter: Michael Bright

Hemp In Use Lunch Panel

Understanding the many uses of this crop and the current markets within the industry for these end products.

Business Planning with Business Model Canvas

Using the Business Model Canvas to plan and establish goals for your new hemp business venture. 
Presenter: Jenn Negley, East Colorado SBDC

Navigating Regulations

Understand how to stay compliant with current regulations and how to obtain approval to grow hemp. 
Presenter: Brian Koontz, Colorado Department of Ag

Water Use

Understand water use, augmentation regulations and transportation of water.  
Presenter:  Corey Deangelis, Colorado Division of Water Resources

Financial Analysis Review

Work 1-on-1 with local business consultants for financial analysis and feasibility of your operation. 

Reducing Liability

Learn how to reduce the risks and liabilities of growing, selling, and transporting industrial hemp.​
Presenter (Attorney): David Bush, Hoban Law Group
Presenter (Insurance): Brian C. Richardson, Foundations Insurance & Financial Services

Plant Genetics

Get a basic understanding of hemp genetics, considerations for selection and how to understand testing results. 
Presenter: Andrew B. Hatch, Hatch Consulting Group LLC

Soil Health & Testing

Understand cultivation vulnerabilities and the impact of soil health on production and  profit and how to understand plant testing results. 
Presenter: Judy Daniels, Soil Sage LLC

Cultivation & Operations

Considerations for getting started (seed, water, equipment, etc). Understanding crop management, storage and transportation. ​
Presenter: Bethleen McCall, Colorado Hemp Industries Association Presenter: Brandon Matson, FormationAg


Understanding basic processing methods used in the hemp industry as well as current best practices within the industry.  What methods are currently being used in the industry, what a processor expects from a grower when purchasing a product, and what can a grower do to get the best price.
Presenter: Kirk Goble, AIMS Community College
Presenter: Patrick Heisler, Trinity Hemp, LLC

Farmer Real Talk Panel

Farmers share their first-hand experience with the crop and share tips and other best practices.
Presenter: Stephen Smith, OKF Farm LLC and
Presenter: Tyler Blanks, Full Spectrum Farmaceuticals

Choose Your Location

Greeley, CO
March 6 -7, 2020


University of Northern Colorado
2101 10th Ave
Greeley, CO 80631

Startup Colorado is offering  scholarship opportunities for each of the Harnessing Hemp – Cultivating a business Conference to entrepreneurs in Colorado. Scholarship will cover the entire registration fee for the conference. Please submit your scholarship applications to Startup Colorado by March 2, 2020.

Click the link below for available scholarship applications. 

Together, let’s Harness Hemp!

Thanks to our partners:

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