Levi Lewis (pictured here) and John Kophamer enlightened our Rotarians with a program featuring their first year adventure raising hemp. Levi said he and John had done a lot of research to understand the process of preparing ground, planting, cultivating and harvesting the plant. They started by purchasing seeds to plant on 5 acres. Each of the female only seeds cost $1.25. Additional costs were incurred to plant the seeds with a specially prepared planter that covered the seeds with a material to keep the seeds warm. Once the plants sprouted a lot of manual labor was required to weed the fields by hand. No pesticides could be used. The plants took about 8 weeks to grow to full maturity. Harvesting the plants had to be done by hand to carefully remove each stalk to prevent damage to the flower which held the CBD oil. Since they only planted female seeds the CBD oil contained NO THC, which is found in marijuana plants. The plants were then dried and the seeds were removed. They are still waiting for a processing plant to take the final product to extract the oil for CBD. When asked if the guys would plant another crop they answered “not before we reduce a lot of manual labor”. It was a great program. Very informative. Thank you John and Levi.