The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund approved a $500,000 combination grant and loan for hemp-processing equipment on July 2, 2015. Atalo Holdings, a Kentucky company focused on research, development and commercialization of industrial hemp, plans to use the money to buy equipment for a new crushing center.
Atalo was formed by several members of the former Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative. In June 2015, Atalo imported and distributed 14,000 pounds of hemp seed to 30 growers, who plan to raise 545 acres of hemp in Central Kentucky. Atalo CEO Andy Graves said the company is testing multiple seed varieties and processes. Graves said the grant for processing should help farmers establish a clear path to market under research and development conduct under the hemp pilot program.