Advancing Industrial Hemp Speakers

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We put together an expert speaker line-up of soil health experts and hemp industry innovators who will provide attendees with real management techniques and information they can take right back to their farms. 

Doug Fine

Fine is a pioneer voice in cannabis/hemp and regenerative farming. In the hemp/cannabis sphere, Doug is a farmer, author and well-regarded researcher and consultant for projects all over the world.

He has been a hemp seed development researcher with the University of Hawaii. He is marketing an organic farm-to-table hemp product that he helped grow in Vermont (called Hemp in Hemp). And this year he is teaching a course on Organic Hemp Farming and Marketing at Sterling College’s School of the New American Farmstead in Vermont.

In addition to his hemp work, Doug is an award-winning culture and climate correspondent on five continents (for NPR, the New York Times, and the Washington Post), and a repeat Conan and Tonight Show guest. Doug is also a solar-powered goat herder and a bestselling author. His books include Hemp Bound (a must-read for anyone entering the industry), Too High to Fail, Farewell, My Subaru, Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man, and, most recently, First Legal Harvest, which was printed on hemp paper.

Noel Garcia

Garcia is a Certified Crop Advisor under the American Society of Agronomy. He joined Texas Plant & Soil Lab in 1991; he now serves as vice-president, operations and technical director.

His career started at the USDA-ARS, developing imagery acquisition software involving video and satellite images, image processing and geographical information systems. He was recruited by E.K. Chandler, the lab’s previous owner, to write computer programs to manage and report raw laboratory data.

Garcia also conducted field trials on various pop-up fertilizers, humic/fulvic acids, hormones and other adjuvants with a variety of crops. He consults widely with farmers internationally on a wide variety of crops and on conventional, sustainable and organic operations.

Brian Koontz

Koontz is the Industrial Hemp Program Manager for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Brian graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in Natural Resource Management, then worked for the USDA Forest Service on the Colorado western slope and in Alaska. After returning to the Front Range, he entered the Urban Forestry and Arboriculture industry and eventually started a business in the Denver area. Eleven years ago he began with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, namely helping farmers and ranchers understand EPA and USDA regulations. Following the passage of Colorado Amendment 64 in 2012, he soon began doing compliance assistance with the cannabis industry and was among the first in the nation to regulate cannabis on a State and Federal level. Brian has been involved in developing sampling and investigative guidelines for a new and evolving industry and is excited to be serving in a leadership role for the Division of Plant Industry’s Hemp Program.

Dion Oakes

Dion Oakes is a Co-Owner of Wright-Oakes LLC. Dion has been around farming most of his life and started pursuing a serious career in agriculture directly out of high school. Dion is closely connected with the whole hemp industry from growing, to new equipment, to every kind of processing from CBD, food and fiber. Dion has traveled the U.S. speaking at many events for the Farm Journal/Hemp College, Midwest Hemp Council, SBDC and many other organizations.

Wright-Oakes LLC along with First Crop Inc. strongly supports education in the hemp industry, integrating with regenerative agricultural and most importantly supporting the farmer!

Gary Reding

Gary Reding, co-author of My Farmer, My Customer (Acres U.S.A. 2020), is a plant and soil health specialist whose 40-plus years of agricultural experience started after graduating from Purdue University in 1978, when owned and operated Langeland Farms, Inc. for 31 years in southeast Indiana. He farmed a diversified food-grain, seed and livestock farm which he transitioned from conventional to organic in 2000. In 2010 he consulted a multi-state farm management company converting thousands of their acres to organic and managed an 850-acre organic strawberry and vegetable farm in Oxnard, California, for several months until he could hire the permanent manager and get it operational. 

He was a consultant for Advancing Eco Agriculture, LLC and worked with John Kempf for four years and was a consultant for four years traveling to 10 states and Ontario, Canada. In 2016, he went to Denver, Colorado, to become the Chief Cultivation Officer of a 24,000 square-foot marijuana facility that he managed for over two years before becoming an independent consultant. While there he improved dry weight harvested and percent of oil extracted greatly while cutting the nutrient costs considerably. They grew a record setting high potency cannabis at 36.9% THCA. He believes that when you focus on quality, yield will follow.

Gary formed Cascades Consulting, LLC in January 2019 and has been working for many types of farms including marijuana, hemp, fruits/vegetable and grains. He uses sap analysis extensively and has been doing so since the technology came to the USA in 2013. He uses sound science to measure, monitor and adjust all aspects that impact soil and plant health, including the trace elements that are critical to cannabinoid production. Hemp and cannabis are his favorite crops to work with as they respond so well to proper management and it is the one crop that actually measures the quality by selling the ultimate plant secondary metabolites (PSM’s)— cannabinoids.

Sarah Cotterill & Jamie Perkins

Cotterill and Perkins are the CEO and owner, respectively of Lineage Hemp, a vertically integrated hemp company harnessing generational wisdom and agricultural innovation to produce and distribute high quality hemp (fiber, grain, and CBD) using regenerative organic methods.

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