Posted on October 5, 2017 |
By Gaen Murphree
VERMONT AGENCY OF Agriculture hemp program chief Timothy Schmalz, above left, Vermont Hemp Company CEO Joel Bedard and local farmer Sam Berthiaume stand in a field of hemp being grown in Middlebury by Berthiaume and his cousin Joel Pomainville. Below left, hemp plants can be six feet tall and give off a clean, sharp lemony scent. Independent photos/Trent Campbell
MIDDLEBURY — While lawmakers in Montpelier argue over marijuana legalization, Middlebury dairy farmers Joel Pomainville and Sam Berthiaume are readying harvest of a cousin of marijuana — hemp — that promoters hope could be a new cash crop for Vermont farmers.
“The potential is so huge on this stuff,” said Berthiaume.
Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts, who toured Pomainville and Berthiaume’s 13 acres of hemp on Monday morning, said hemp could be a supplement crop for Vermont’s dairy farmers, like maple syrup.
“Some dairy farms have another cash crop like maple syrup and it adds a little bit of extra income for them,” he said. “So