Industrial Hemp Conferences

Pictured is our first event, January 26, 2019, with over 100 attendees. Michigan Senator Dan Lauwers shared his passion for farming hemp. He has been instrumental in promoting industrial hemp in Michigan.



We hosted a total of nine events in 2019 and a major Expo in January of 2020. Visit our Events page for what is next. On this page we will update resources provided by speakers and industry leaders.

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MDARD Presentation

Click the image above to open the MDARD presentation. You will learn about how different plant genetics tested and more.

Waste to Value

Gary Schuler of GTF Solutions offers a way to turn your hemp waste into plastics. Learn about his mission and the next steps. Click on the image to view his presentation.

Our Past Speakers

Jeff Kostuik

Jeff Kostuik

Director of Operations Central Region

Hemp Genetics International

Cell: 204-821-0522



We are pleased to announce that one of the speakers for the January 26th meeting will be Jeff Kostuik.

Jeff is known for his ‘real life’ experience in the field and having a strong applied research background providing benchmarks in the hemp industry which has assisted in the success of producers and colleagues in the burgeoning hemp industry.

In 2015, Jeff began a new career with Hemp Genetics International where he takes a lead role in sharing his agronomy knowledge to the HGI client base. Hemp research continues to be a focus for Jeff, both in Canada and abroad, determining what varieties will perform in varying conditions and climates.

Past experience includes being the Manitoba provincial contact regarding hemp agronomy as he was the project lead for hemp research trials in Manitoba. Employed as a Diversification Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Development while working alongside the Parkland Crop Diversification Foundation, Jeff has been involved in hemp research since it was legalized in 1998. Past projects have included working on national variety trials funded through the CHTA as well as working on minor use herbicide projects.

Jeff studied Agriculture at the University of Manitoba and in 2012 obtained a BGS from Athabasca University where he graduated with distinction. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and is a member of the Manitoba Institute of Agrologists. Jeff is a director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance where he currently holds the position of chair of the research committee.

Marty Mahan

Board of Directors

Indiana Farmers Union

Phone: 317-771-7231


John Freeman

John Freeman


i Hemp Michigan

Cell: 810-813-1287


John worked in government in a variety of capacities for decades and has since retired. Hemp became his mantra over a year ago to anyone who would listen. His goal is to develop the industrial hemp industry around Flint to help its youth and the economy. 

Blain Becktold

Blain Becktold

Government & Industry Liason for iHemp Michigan

Owner, Down On The Farm, LLC

Cell: 616-502-0881


Blain was a County Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency for 27 years, administrating Government Farm Programs to farmers.

After retiring in 2011 from USDA, he formed Down On The Farm, a consulting service to assist farmers through the maze of government paperwork with the goal of receiving program benefits, and at times, helping right the wrong when farmers are denied those benefits.

Blain also helps farmers meet compliance with the new FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and third-party audits required by buyers of fruit and vegetables.  Since each farmer’s needs are unique, the Food Safety Plan is tailored to meet those needs.

Some hemp crops will need to be certified.  Blain will cover the how to’s on making that happen.

Dave Crabill

Dave Crabill

Communications Director

Owner, Eclectic Sales & Creative Marketing, LLC

Cell: 810-644-8111


Dave has a passion for entrepreneurialism and has developed the skills and team to deliver results for businesses and organizations online. 

When approached by John Freeman to help with the iHemp Michigan project it was an easy yes.  

Dan Lauwers

Dan Lauwers

Michigan State Representative, District 81

State Representative Dan Lauwers was first elected to serve the 81st District in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2012. The 81st District encompasses parts of St. Clair County including Lynn, Berlin, Emmett, Brockway, Greenwood, Grant, Clay, Clyde, Port Huron, St. Clair, East China, China, Cottreville and Mussey Townships as well as the cities of Yale, St. Clair, Marine, Marysville and Algonac.  Lauwers was re-elected to serve a second term for the 2015-16 Michigan Legislature.

Lauwers earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics with an emphasis on marketing from Michigan State University.

Lauwers is an owner and general manager of Eastern Michigan Grain and previously worked for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the National Milk Producers Federation. Lauwers also served as a legislative assistant in Washington D.C. to former Congressman Bill Schuette.

Rep. Lauwers is the former chairman of the Brockway Township Recreational Council, St. Clair Soil Conservation Service, St. Clair County MSU Extension Education Advisory Board and the St. Clair County March of Dimes. Dan also is a member of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, Michigan Farm Bureau, American Society for Agronomy, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Grain and Feed Association and the Grain and Elevator Processor Society.

Dan and his wife Kellie are the proud parents of three children. Lauwers is an active member of his church’s council, a member of the church stewardship committee and frequently serves as an usher.

Gina Alessandri


State of Michigan

Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
Pesticide & Plant Pest Management Division

We are very happy to share that Gina has accepted our invitation and will share an update on their progress writing the Michigan rules to submit to the USDA for approval. 

James Monroe

James Monroe

Down on the Farm, LLC

BS Engineering, Masters System Management, Food Safe Certified, GAP Certified, FSMA Certified

James worked in the computer industry for 37 years. Most of those years he owned and operated his own business. His experience includes application development and project management. After retirement, he began working with farmers on food safety with GAP certification and FSMA certification.

Tom Garrison

Tom Garrison


 Denver Downs Farm

Direct: 864-940-0357



Farmed hemp under the pilot program in South Carolina. Tom will share his experience and knowledge to help farmers get started in Michigan.


Tom Anderson

Tom Anderson

TRICKL-EEZ Irrigation, Inc.

18 years of experience working with farmers/growers.

TRICKL-EEZ Irrigation has been designing and providing irrigation systems to a variety of markets for over forty years. Tom will explain options for irrigation that include both row crop, greenhouse, sub-surface drip, field and nursery systems.

Support our efforts to promote Industrial Hemp of Michigan by buying our shirt.

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