New life for an old crop

Here’s an interesting follow up to a story I first posted on this site in May, 2008.

At the time, I wrote about John Baker and his efforts to find opportunities for industrial hemp following a presentation he made the the annual meeting of the Eastern Canada Farm Writers Association.

He talked about the challenges of developing a brand new industry – without a processing plant, few people will grow a crop and without a crop, few investors will put money into a processing plant.

Now, his company Stonehedge Bio-Resources, has received a $2 million boost from a group of investors from the United Kingdom to start construction on a bio-refining facility in eastern Ontario. Stonehedge expects to produce things like hemp fibre, wood-like chips and pellets, matting and seed products.

It’s rare to hear a follow up to a presentation or a speech that you see at a conference or seminar – and even rarer when it’s a good news story like this one.

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