Chase Hubbard

Senior Hemp Analyst

Chase is a senior Hemp Analyst at The Jacobson and has been reporting on the hemp markets.  His insight will help growers and those involved in the hemp market understand where hemp products will go in the future.

CBD Market Report

Dr. Kurt Thelen

Michigan State University

Dr. Thelen is a professor at Michigan State University, in the Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences Department and the Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center.  His research program is focused on developing crop systems that increase food, feed, and energy security while safeguarding soil, air, water, and biodiversity.

MSU Grain & Fiber Trials

Dr. James Averill

Deputy Director of MDARD

Averill joined the MDARD team in August 2009 working in the department’s Animal Industry Division as the Bovine TB Eradication Program Coordinator. In June 2011, he became the Animal Industry Division Director and then added the role of state veterinarian to his duties just two years later.

Michigan’s Industrial Hemp Crop

Craig VanBuren

MDARD Laboratory Division Director

Craig VanBuren is currently the Laboratory Division Director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In addition, the Lab division provides testing services on a fee basis to Michigan’s industry and private citizens. Additionally, Mr. VanBuren is currently Chairman of the National Conference on Weights and Measures and is a member of the board of directors.

Industrial Hemp Testing

James DeDecker

Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center

Director of the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, MI and a Specialist in the MSU Extension Community, Food and Environment Institute. He earned a BS in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, as well as MS and Ph.D. degrees in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois. James specializes in soil health and fertility, integrated pest management and the human dimensions of agriculture.

Grain and Fiber Variety Research Insights

Cross Pollination Panel Discussion

Gary Schuler

Founder and CEO of GTF LLC

GTF LLC was founded in 2014 and specializes in creating secondary applications for unused plant-based materials including; farming over-production, hemp waste, brewers spent grain, and post-consumer food waste. 

GTF uses a revolutionary drying and pulverizing technology that enables wasted materials to be “re-purposed” into new “green” materials such as consumer food products, next generation animal feed, bio-degradable plastic, and building products. 

Hemp Innovation 

Rachel Berry

Illinois Hemp Growers Association

Bachel Berry is the founder and CEO of the Illinois Hemp Growers Association. She is an experienced member of the Tiny Hemp Houses building team, a regenerative farmer, a community organizer, and hemp educator. Rachel’s work is dedicated to building the resources and relationships necessary to grow a sustainable and equitable Illinois hemp industry. She is a frequent statewide speaker at hemp and agricultural education events and has been featured on Chicago Tonight and NPR’s The 21st.

Hemp as a Building Material

Grady Emmons

Marijuana Security Operations

Grady has spent his 25-year career actively involved in protective services. His experience covers everything from law enforcement to private sector protection, security, and investigations. He has conducted all levels of background investigations from military to those requiring White House access. He currently manages all day to day activities of Marijuana Security Operations. Originally starting as a corporate security firm in 2006, Marijuana Security Operations has entered the cannabis industry to provide top quality security officers, background investigations, security plans, and secure transport services to licensed cannabis and hemp businesses.

Hemp Security

Marguerite Bolt

Purdue University

Marguerite Bolt is the hemp Extension specialist at Purdue University in the Department of Agronomy. Marguerite received her M.S. in Entomology from Purdue University, and her B.S in Entomology from Michigan State University. Her research has focused on hemp-insect interactions and plant chemistry. She is interested in the secondary compounds that hemp produces and how they affect insect pests, although she has had to shift her focus to agronomic production questions surrounding hemp. Her position is new to Indiana and she is serving as a catalyst to link growers to production facilities and the research community through online resources, field days, and workshops.

Insect, Pests & Control

Jeff Wolfson

CBD Training Academy

Jeff is the Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer of the CBD Training Academy and Icann Ventures. He spent a successful career in the building industry where he led regional and national sales teams in both manufacturing and distribution. He is also an advisor to several cannabis and CBD startups and helps to lead the innovative virtual accelerator, called the Founder’s Program which selects and works with 10 cannabis/CBD CEOs on a quarterly basis.  Icann runs the Global CBD Coach Network and is a leading platform in the CBD industry. Icann’s vision is to help over 100 million people to improve their health and wellness through the effective use of Cannabinoids. To do that, Icann will train over 10,000 Certified CBD Professionals and Coaches.

How to Get into the CBD Business

Gene Smith, CPA

Rober F Murray & Co. CPAs


Gene is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.S. in Business Administration and Accounting major. He passed the CPA exam while working in Texas for a large oil and gas corporation. In 1985 he moved back to Alma, Michigan and purchased a CPA firm where he developed an expertise in agriculture and was a trusted advisor to many large farm operations in central Michigan. In 1999 he started a company that designed and manufactured grain handling equipment including bucket elevators, drag conveyors and belt conveyors. 

Gene is now one of the shareholders of a 60 year old CPA firm in Mt. Pleasant, MI where he puts his 40 years of experience to use providing tax and accounting services for small businesses, including farm operations. He has also developed expertise in the special tax issues that face cannabis companies. 


Finances, Taxes & Business Plans

Rick Diamond

CBD Training Academy

Rick Diamond is the Chief Executive Officer of the CBD Training Academy and the International Cannabinoid Consortium, Icann. He has been the CEO of 3 healthcare tech startups and was cofounder and CEO of a leading training company that he built and sold. He is also an advisor to Wyllness, a transformational disease management platform as well as other CBD startups. The mission of Icann is to train 10,000 CBD Professionals and to help 100 million people around the world to improve their health and wellness through the effective use of CBD and other cannabinoids.

How to Sell CBD

Garrett Owen

Michigan State University

Garrett Owen is the floriculture and greenhouse production Outreach Specialist based in Oakland County. He serves greenhouses in Eastern Michigan including the Metro-Detroit area. His major program initiatives include: propagation, efficient production of greenhouse crops and herbaceous perennials, greenhouse and nursery substrates, and crop diagnostics.

Greenhouse Hemp Production

Blain Becktold

Down On The Farm Consulting; Co-Founder of iHemp Michigan

Blain worked with USDA the Farm Service Agency for 27 years. After retiring he started Down On The Farm consulting with Farmer on various USDA Programs. Blain helped form iHemp Michigan to educate and promote growing Industrial Hemp. Blain did Industrial Hemp farming this year growing both CBD & Grain.

Farmer Tales

Michael Thue

Micheal is the CEO/CBD dosing expert at Great Lakes Hemp Supplements.

Michael E. Thue is A Certified Medical Assistant and Member of the American Association of Medical Assistants. Michael is the CEO & Founder of Great Lakes Hemp Supplements, LLC and the Center for Compassion, LLC. He gained valuable experience in the Cannabis Industry by founding the first 501(3)c Non-Profit Compassion Center in Traverse City Michigan, formerly the Grand Traverse Compassionate Connection in 2009. Michael has over 20 years of experience with using cannabis as medicine in a vast variety of alternative forms including GI Tube, Vaporization, Topical use and more. Michael has created award-winning CBD edibles and is passionate about ethics and education in the CBD industry.

CBD: Is it right for you?

Travis Higginbotham

The Hemp Mine

Travis is the President of Genetics for Hemp Mine . Hemp Mine supplies premium hemp genetics in three parental materials, liners (rooted cuttings), URCs (unrooted cuttings) and stage-3 TC (tissue culture). They have production facilities throughout the South, East Coast and North East US. There cultivar selection have genetic stability, commercial grade growth consistency and produce high potency of multiple different terpenes and cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, CBN) etc… There is plenty of risk and miss-information in cannabis genetics, Hemp Mine goal is to take that risk out of it for you and be a strong partner who is accountable to your success.

Plant Genetics, Plant Propagation , Growing of Industrial Hemp

Dr. Erin Burns, PH.D.

Michigan State University

Dr. Erin Burns is a Weed Science Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant, Soil, and Microbial Sciences at Michigan State University. She started at Michigan State in April 2017. She received her B.S. degree from the College of Saint Benedict (Minnesota) in Biology, her M.S. from North Dakota State University in Plant Sciences, and her Ph.D. from Montana State University in Plant
Sciences. Erin’s research and extension program focuses on current and emerging problematic weeds in Michigan cropping systems, specifically forages, potatoes, corn, and recently industrial hemp. Current research focuses on practices to mitigate the development and spread of herbicide resistant weeds and
understanding how climate variability will impact weed biology, ecology, and population dynamics.

Hemp Herbicide Trial Results & Non-Chemical Controls

Eric Kietzer

Kietzer Farms Inc.

KFI is the Midwest’s largest producer of plug transplants for agriculture. KFI currently services our commercially sized customers in over 20 States and Canada. KFI is a family owned and managed greenhouse operation with a dedication to plant health, product uniformity and customer satisfaction.

Eric will be sharing his years of plant propagation knowledge with Expo attendees.

Hemp Plant Propagation

Jeff Kotuik

Hemp Genetics International

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

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”

Growing Hemp For Grain

Phil Asura

TRICKLE-EEZ Irrigation

As owner of TRICKLE-EEZ Irrigation, Phil understands the best practices of irrigation and how to setup the right system for your field.

How To Plan An Irrigation System

Heidi Lindberg

Michigan State University

Heidi Lindberg is a greenhouse and nursery extension educator based in Ottawa County. She serves greenhouses and nurseries in western Michigan including the large density of ornamental plant production in Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties. Her major program initiatives include: lighting for efficient production of greenhouse crops, pest and disease management, and marketing of ornamental plants.

Greenhouse Hemp Production

Jeremy Klettke

Davis Farms of Oregon

There is plenty of risk in growing Hemp. Jeremy and Jon will help get you started by explaining the importance of getting the right genetics for desired growing outcome. A lot of great detail will be shared to make sure your grow is successful.

Choosing The Right Genetics

Tom Anderson

TRICKLE-EEZ Irrigation

Tom Anderson. is an irrigation management specialist with TRICKL-EEZ Irrigation, based in Saint Joseph, Michigan. Tom has over 18 years of experience and works directly with the farmers/growers to evaluate their needs and design a system that is appropriate to those needs. Tom has designed fully automated irrigation systems, or a simple manual systems for row crop, greenhouse, sub-surface drip (SDI), field crop and nursery growing

How To Plan An Irrigation Systems

Lori Putt


Lori has vast amount of  experience in building small businesses and participating in many entrepreneurial markets with the latest venture of starting up a HOP’s farm (Hang Over Hops) in Northern Michigan with her son  Andrew.   Lori can draw many parallels from the  last four years of building a specialty hops business to their newest venture in growing, processing, marketing and selling Hemp. This year HOH Hempnotized grew nine strains of Hemp in Northern Michigan and leveraged many of learnings (Good, Bad and Ugly) from HOP’s to enable a good first year in Hemp.  She is excited to share her learnings and insights so others can benefit from her experience.

Small Acreage Farming 

Nick Young


Nick Young is a graduate of Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business and the founder and CEO of Krystilion. Before Krystilion, Nick was the Director of Sales at a $1.2B IT Consulting firm in Grand Rapids, MI where he learned the importance of communication, orchestration, and large scale project planning. Krystilion is a team of business and engineering talent focusing on distillation, custom product formulation, and wholesale product distribution. Nick believes that more process, transparency, and collaboration is needed between farmers and processors in the midwest to keep pace with the broader, more mature, national market.

Extraction Basics and Comparison of Methods

Demystifying and Understanding CBD Labels

Drew Faude

Partnered Process

Partnered Process is one of the first processors in Wisconsin to gear up for an organic certification to process hemp.  Recently a family member was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness and found CBD Full Spectrum Oil to treat symptoms. My mission is to create a full spectrum oil to nourish the body naturally. Partnered Process is giving me the opportunity to share my knowledge and work with local 

Organic Hemp Farming Panel: Is Organic Better And What Does It Take?

Steve Tomlins

Turtle Creek Farms

Steve Tomlins has been farming organic for 6 years and has been part of the Wisconsin pilot program for the last 2 years. He is committed to the practice of whole-systems regenerative farming– healthy soil, healthy plants, and healthy animals grown locally with hard work and love. Steve has learned much from his last 3 years with organic hemp and will share his unique insights he has uncovered along the way. 

Organic Hemp Farming Panel: Is Organic Better And What Does It Take?

Stacey Roberts

Natural Concept, LLC

Stacey Roberts completed the International Organic Inspectors Association Farm and Processor Inspector training and has been an independent organic inspector since 2012.   She holds a Master of Science in Business Administration and has expertise in organic growing, handling, and processing standards and organic quality management.   She enjoys traveling throughout the Midwest and meeting organic farmers and processors.    

Organic Hemp Farming Panel: Is Organic Better And What Does It Take?

Josh Colton

Josh Colton Legal Hemp Law Group

Josh is a senior attorney at the Hemp Law Group located in Michigan and
founding partner of his own practice, J. Colton Legal. Josh focuses on corporate
transactional, licensing, and regulatory compliance law. With an emphasis on
the hemp industry, Josh advises clients in areas including licensing, regulations,
research partnership drafting, and seed-to-sale contracting.

Understanding Hemp Contracting

Register Now!


We have curated a dynamic group of speakers who are prepared to share their knowledge to help you succeed with hemp. Regardless of your interests in the industrial hemp industry, we have content lined up that is valuable and timely. Early bird pricing is in effect until December 3rd.  Discounts are available to members of iHemp Michigan. 


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