USA— National Hemp Association (NHA), Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC) have formed a formal partnership to accelerate the goal of each organization to obtain approvals for hemp as an animal feed ingredient.

Both organizations believe access to animal feed markets is critical to establish a market for hemp alongside other farmed commodities. And with the world experiencing feed shortages, the timing felt right, according to Morgan Tweet, executive director of the Hemp Feed Coalition.

Historically the National Hemp Association and the Hemp Feed Coalition have successfully worked on projects together and recognize the opportunity to share resources and expand the footprint of advocacy and education centered around hemp as a nutritious animal feed product.

A new partnership hopes to expedite a path toward the inclusion of hemp in animal feed — and could raise the profile of animal feed within the hemp industry.

While the partnership will see the two organizations working on feed-related issues in tandem, it doesn’t constitute a merger and the two organizations will remain separate. The Hemp Feed Coalition will continue to work on hemp and animal nutrition research, education for farmers and animal producers, and will submit ingredient applications for review, Tweet said. The National Hemp Association, meanwhile, will help with funding and lobbying efforts.

“Our boards agree this is a mutually respectful arrangement and that we have the opportunity to elevate each other and, more importantly, get something accomplished to benefit the industry and the animals,” said Erica Stark, Executive Director of National Hemp Association.

The pathway to ingredient approval for hemp and its co-products is time consuming and complicated.

HFC will bring their expertise and experience with coordinating animal research and completing animal feed ingredient applications while NHA will provide administrative support, advocacy, and outreach.

While as a feed, hemp has the potential to increase rumination, support ruminate health, and increase protein in livestock diets, the industry is heavily criticized in the court of public opinion.

Thus, it is imperative that agriculturalists advocate with farmers, consumers, and legislators to increase awareness on the potential benefits of the product and reduce the stigma on hemp production.

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