For immediate release:
December 20, 2018 – Montrose County receives the first ever REDI Grant for Industrial Hemp to study the feasibility of building a Hempseed Processing facility.
Montrose County is excited to announce the award of a REDI grant, administered by the Montrose Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), to complete a supply chain analysis and feasibility study for a Hempseed Processing facility on the Western Slope. The project will identify the costs, benefits, risks and potential return on investment for farmers and entrepreneurs in Montrose and Delta Counties. “While Colorado is known for high quality Hemp grown for CBD, the market for Hemp seed for animal and human foods is growing faster globally and represents more opportunity for producers to enter the hemp market,” says Hunter Buffington, Executive Director of the Colorado Hemp Industries Association. A Seed processing facility closer to the farmers could decrease production costs, provide access to high quality hemp seed, hemp seed oil and other hemp products to entrepreneurs and small businesses in the area and could create new jobs in rural communities.
The focus on the Agriculture Sector is also a strategy to boost the local economies in Montrose and Delta Counties, including the West End Montrose, by utilizing farm equipment and acreage that once was used for producing corn. The additional loss of the local dairy and closure of several mines highlights the need to replace hundreds of jobs in both Montrose and Delta Counties.
The Hempseed Processing Facility Study will focus on a supply chain analysis to determine the capacity of the local economy to grow and process hemp seed grain for animal and human consumption. The next step will be to complete a feasibility study to identify investment costs, potential economic impacts and long term returns on investment. The feasibility study will also evaluate the potential for small and start-up businesses to enter and compete in the new and expanding hemp market place.
Community engagement will be the key to gathering the best data and potential impacts. Please join us January 24, 2019 at 1:00PM at the Montrose County Events Center, for a stakeholder meeting with the MEDC and project partner Colorado Hemp Industries Association. At the meeting we will announce the awarding of the grant, intentions behind the project and ask for input and buy-in from the community, farmers, legislators and businesses. Sandy Head, Executive Director of the Montrose Economic Development Corporation is looking to the community to support the project. She stated, “We hope that through stakeholder engagement we will generate a pool of contributors that we can interview about the current supply chains and the feasibility of bringing a Hempseed Processing facility to the Western Slope. Broad community input and feedback will produce a better study and ultimately greater long-term results.”
You can view the Request for Proposals information on MEDC’s website https://www.montroseedc.org/ and/or to participate in the public meeting, RSVP to Sandy Head at: sandyh@MontroseEDC.org by (Monday) January 21, 2019.
Note: Many rural communities across Colorado are familiar with the Rural Economic Development Initiative or REDI Grant. The Grant, which began in 2015, helps rural communities diversify their local economy through investments and job creation with community focused development. The funds utilized for this program are appropriated from the State General Fund to the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) and are administered in collaboration with the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).