Kentucky hemp for victory during World War II

Updated: Jan 19, 2019


Did you know that the United States Department of Agriculture’s 1942 “Hemp for Victory” campaign mentions Kentucky 13 times? That's almost once every minute. During WWII, sources of manilla hemp were cut off and American farmers were called on to grow for the war. Our farmers responded and Kentucky became the center of hemp production for the war efforts.


Nearly 60 million pounds of hemp fiber were produced before the project was discontinued at the end of the war. If we can grow hemp for war, why can’t we grow hemp for peace?

Kentucky has a rich hemp history, a present opportunity, and if all goes as planned - a promising hemp future. Hemp has been grown in just about every county in the state, and our farmers once profited from its production.

In 2014, for the first time in nearly half a century, Kentucky farmers were able to grow hemp. This is due to the passing of Senate Bill 50 and the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill). Last year Kentucky grew 33.4 acres of hemp. The KDA Hemp Pilot Program is in its second year and is planning to expand to include several hundred acres and more than 100 farmers and processors.

“American hemp will go on duty again… Just as in the days when Old Ironsides sailed the sea victorious with her hempen shrouds and hempen sails. Hemp for victory.”


Watch USDA "Hemp For Victory" campaign video


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Sources


Hempology.org

kyagr.com

Hemp for Victory - Text

Senate Bill 50 - Text

Agricultural Act of 2014 - Text

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