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Renfrew County’s Valley Bio Ltd. takes hemp production to next level

Keanan in Renfrew County

Renfrew County’s Valley Bio Ltd. is taking crop diversification in new old directions, inviting farmers to consider growing hemp as a crop alternative and garnering plenty of attention in the process.

Meeting hips farms to hemp

By Tom Van Dusen, Ottawa Sun
January 29, 2011

DOUGLAS — In and out of favour in Eastern Ontario for more than a century, interest in industrial hemp has been rekindled once again with two information meetings about the crop coming up this week.

A kissing cousin to cannabis minus the hallucinogen THC, hemp has often in the past been tarred with the same brush. However, the real buzz is it can only provide food and fibre.

A new business known as Valley Bio Ltd. has been created to build North American and international markets for the crop. The company is seeking growers to set aside 2,000 acres for hemp production in the region this coming growing season.

Valley Bio has scheduled information sessions on Monday at the Barr Line Community Centre near here, and Tuesday at Galetta Community Centre. Both meetings are at 2:30 p.m.

The two sessions feature hemp buyer Tom Greaves of Manitoba Harvest, the largest hemp food processor in Canada, offering oil, protein powders, hulled seeds, along with hemp milk and butter.

Noting there’ll be more than 20 years of hemp production experience on hand, Valley Bio’s Reuben Stone urges farmers to find out what’s required for a successful crop. He added that, with contract options available starting at $1,210 a tonne, hemp can improve many farms’ bottom line.

The meetings are supported by Renfrew County’s agricultural development committee as a way to encourage crop diversification, said committee spokesman Alastair Baird.

For more information, visit www.valleybio.com

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