For years, hemp was not grown commercially in the U.S. Recently, however, the laws surrounding hemp cultivation are being reassessed and the all-round positive effects of hemp production are surfacing. Thanks to a local farming family, those benefits are now coming to Barton County.
South Bend Industrial Hemp is run by Richard, Aaron and Melissa Baldwin of Great Bend. The trio also owns and operates Circle K Farms and saw an opportunity to be on the pioneering edge of the hemp crop. They completed their first successful hemp growing season in 2019, despite Mother Nature’s cruelty – flooding rains, hail and disastrous winds.
“It was important to us to support the local economy,” Melissa said. “That is why we made every effort to source all our equipment and products from within Barton County.”
The group is a licensed grower with the State of Kansas and offers CBD oil and salves formulated with eucalyptus oil, lavender and lemongrass. Lemongrass oil is a natural pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory; while lavender is known for its relaxing and calming abilities. Inhaling eucalyptus may help loosen mucus, making it a popular choice to reduce congestion associated with bronchitis and influenza.
“CBD provides a lot of health benefits,” Melissa said. “We give it to our dogs to help them with anxiety from Kansas storms, joint and pain relief, and more.”
Almost all varieties of hemp are naturally resistant to insects, meaning harmful pesticides that can leach into the soil and waterways aren’t necessary. Hemp is a relatively hardy plant and requires far less water than many other crops and can pull huge quantities of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Scientists estimate that for every ton of hemp grown, 1.63 tons of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere, more than trees or other plants of a similar size.
“When we set out to start this business, we had three missions – to help Kansas farmers harvest another economically-viable crop, experience all the links in the hemp production chain and bring a safe and effective product to market from our family farm,” Melissa said.
South Bend Industrial Hemp begins offering its CBD oils and salves on Feb. 1. For more information on the group’s mission and to purchase their CBD products, visit the website at: www.southbendindustrialhemp.com.