After almost 4 years of research and development, an industrial hemp plant moves forward in the RM of Gilbert Plains. View the original announcement Exponent Article April 13 10.
It seemed only a short time ago that Mr. Robert Jin arrived, keenly interested in the quality of industrial hemp grown by farmers in the Parkland. When it was determined that a raw bale could not be shipped to China for evaluation, Mr. Jin called his technical team in China to develop a proprietary process to enable the bale to be processed here in the Parkland. Plans proceeded to develop a pilot plant in 2007-2008. After a detailed review of area assets, Marnie Kostur with PARC contacted a local businessman in the RM of Gilbert Plains who was intrigued and willing to participate in the adventure. “The location was ideal. The buildings, yard and roads into the property were already established and were a natural fit for the confidentiality that Mr. Jin required for the pilot facility.”
Mr. Jin brought several ocean containers of equipment from China and people from Gilbert Plains and Grandview areas came forward to help unload the tightly packed containers. Special thanks to Wayne Dutchyshen, Ron Shumka, Jack Tycholes, Joe Federowich, Hilton Kilford, RM of Gilbert Plains and PARC Board of Directors (Fred Embryk, Murray Stoughton, Art Potoroka) and several others.
Assembly of the pilot plant equipment was completed by Robert Jin, Hilton Kilford, Roy Bettany and Art Potoroka over a period of several months as it took some tweaking to make adjustments as some pieces were fabricated on-site. Samples were air lifted to China for evaluation in the spring of 2008 and over the next few months the fibre was tested and several prototypes were made. In the summer of 2009, Mr. Jin and his partners made the commitment to move forward with the full scale processing plant.
We would like to specially thank the late Joe Federowich for contributing his tractor during the pilot plant stage, giving tours of hemp fields and many meetings to demonstrate interest to contract area growers. As well, to thank the Parkland Industrial Hemp Growers group whose farmer’s co-op supported Mr. Jin by making commitments to grow industrial hemp for the pilot plant and for the future processing plant. The on-going work with seed development by the growers co-op will further promote industrial hemp, which will contribute to the continued interest of farmers to grow the crop in the area.
On Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Plains Industrial Hemp Processing will be acknowledged MP Inky Mark on behalf of the Federal Department’s of Western Economic Development Canada with approval of funding from the Community Adjustment Fund, part of Canada’s Action Plan; the Agriculture & Agri-food Canada from the Agri-Opportunities program as well as by Minister Stan Struthers for the Provincial Department of Manitoba Agriculture Food & Rural Initiatives with the Rural Economic Development Initiative program. Attending are the member municipalities of the Parkland Agriculture Resource Co-op (PARC) and other government officials.
Updates about Plains Hemp can be found in the PARC News newsletter.