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New hemp group to be led by Wilcox

The organization of a new farmer-led hemp group, the U.S. Hemp Growers Association was announced at the Hemp College, an industry event in Indianapolis, Ind.

Founding partners that came together to create USHGA include U.S. Hemp Farming Alliance, First Crop, Hoban Law Firm/International Hemp Solutions, HiLo Seed, GenCanna and Farm Journal. At launch, more than 300 farmer members of U.S. Hemp Farming Alliance will fold into USHGA, the group said in a news release.

Caren Wilcox will serve as the inaugural USHGA executive director. Wilcox served in the Agriculture Department in both the Clinton and Obama administrations and is a former executive with the Hershey Co. and the Organic Trade Association.

“Founded by a diverse group of leaders, the organization will provide world-class educational and market development resources, research, and networking opportunities and will unify the voice of farmers to actively engage in critically important advocacy efforts,” the group said.

USHGA will meet in late February 2020 in San Antonio to secure founding partners and to install an initial board of directors. A majority of the board leaders will be active hemp farmers.

“The forward-thinking industry leaders who have partnered on this endeavor see the potential for hemp as an agricultural commodity and understand this industry can contribute to the environment and sustainable products that benefit, at the grassroots level, farmers and consumers,” Wilcox said in the news release.

Grabenstein wins 2019 Nebraska Cattlewoman of the Year award

LINCOLN, Neb. — Consumer Education and Promotion presented the Nebraska Cattlewoman of the Year Award, sponsored by Purina, to a well deserving individual at the Nebraska Cattlemen Annual Convention and Trade Show. The NCW Nebraska Cattlewoman of the year award is given to individuals who have made a difference in the beef industry. Volunteering their time to help with consumer promotions and education programs. The committee could not do their work without these volunteers.

This year NCW Chair, Gina Hudson, presented Tricia Grabenstein as the 2019 NCW Nebraska Cattlewoman of the Year. Grabenstein has always been a part of beef promotion. After graduating from college, she helped start the Nebraska Cattlemen Curtis affiliate. Grabenstein is involved with the NCW education projects, planning the educational materials used at the Birthing Pavilion at the Nebraska State Fair, along with working on the largest ag classroom in Nebraska. She has also helped with the Nebraska Beef in Schools program over the years. Grabenstein has been an active part of her family’s cattle operation as she thoroughly enjoys working side by side with her husband, Todd. The NCW consumer education and consumer committee wishes to thank Grabenstein for all her work in helping develop programs and sharing her love of the beef industry with many youths across Nebraska.

“Tricia has been a joy to work with over the years of her involvement with NCW and I look forward to growing that relationship in the years to come, promoting our industry with youth and consumers across the state.” said Gina Hudson, NCW chair.

Patton to anchor market desk at Rural Radio Network

LEXINGTON, Neb. — Farm broadcaster Clay Patton has shifted into a new role with the Rural Radio Network. Patton will anchor the market desk, providing timely updates and interviews with commodity brokers.

The Nebraska Rural Radio Association announced that longtime broadcaster and market anchor Dewey Nelson was retiring after 49 years in radio. Nelson spent 35 of the years with the NRRA, the only farmer and rancher owned radio association in the country.

“Dewey left big shoes to fill,” Patton said. “He’s a great professional who always kept the agriculture producer in mind. He was also a mentor to many of us in the company.”

Patton is a native to Limon, Colo., and has been a farm broadcaster at the Lexington studios for the past two years. Prior to joining the NRRA, Patton worked in Kansas as a farm broadcaster.

“Clay brings a wealth of market information with him from previous experience,” Rural Radio Network Farm Director Susan Littlefield said. “I am excited to see Clay in the market chair bringing important information to those in and out of the industry.”

As for his new role, Patton says he plans to bring a similar approach that Nelson had.

“Change is never easy, but I hope to be a consistent voice on the markets, build a reputation for being accurate and provide timely information for our listeners.” ❖


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