Hempstead Project Heart

Our Story

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Photo of John Trudell taken by Tara Trudell

Founded by legendary Native poet, philosopher and recording artist John Trudell, Hempstead Project HEART is a vehicle to build public awareness of the many benefits of growing Industrial Hemp. With a team of committed volunteers at his side, notably Anna Owen, Linda Delair and Lea Walters, John built Hempstead Project HEART to be a driving force to grow the hemp economy in America. From speaking at public events to organizing with the California State Grange on Industrial Hemp advocacy, John and his Hempstead Project HEART team laid important groundwork for public acceptance of hemp in California. In November 2016, California re-legalized Industrial Hemp as a commercial agricultural crop. This huge step demonstrates the importance of education and action in creating positive change.

In the summer of 2015, Hempstead Project HEART received a letter from a young Menominee farmer named Marc Grignon who was an academic researcher with the College of the Menominee Nation and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay on an Industrial Hemp plot nestled on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. The letter expressed a void in educational awareness on Industrial Hemp cultivation and how Hempstead Project HEART could fill that void. Marc asked for help and Hempstead Project HEART answered.

When the Industrial Hemp plot on the Menominee Reservation was raided by federal agents that fall, John wanted to do everything possible to help the Menominee. Just as Hempstead Project HEART was gearing up to help educate Wisconsin residents, doctors told John his cancer had spread. Marc flew to California to see John four days before his passing, where John asked Marc to take the lead within Hempstead Project HEART and shift the public perception in Wisconsin towards acceptance of Industrial Hemp cultivation. Marc accepted John’s offer and became the spokesman for Hempstead Project HEART.



Hempstead Project Heart

Meet our team

Doug Fine, International Hemp Expert and Farmer Adviser

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Doug Fine is a sustainable lifestyle pioneer and hemp industry leader. He’s also a solar-powered goat herder, bestselling author, homeschooling father and award-winning adventure journalist. Willie Nelson calls his 2014 hemp book, Hemp Bound, a must-read for anyone entering the industry, and “a blueprint for the America of the future.” Doug is also one of the first permitted U.S. farmers in the newly-legal industry, cultivating, harvesting, and market researching 23 acres of hemp in Vermont in 2016, and marketing a value-added Farm-to-Table product from that harvest. Additionally, he consults for multiple hemp project clients, including a 60-acre Colville Tribes project. He has testified before the United Nations on cannabis policy, appeared on the Tonight Show and Conan, and as an NPR correspondent won a dozen press club journalism awards for his environmental journalism from five continents. Doug’s forthcoming television show, The Family Farmer Adventure Hour, is about the regenerative, independent agriculture revival that is proving a long-term lucrative economy for farmers worldwide. Info: Dougfine.com, Twitter: @organiccowboy  United Nations Testimony: http://dougfine.com/media-appearances/

Faye Brown, Project Director

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Faye Brown has worked with Native-led organizations and tribes building Native/non-Native alliances around environmental and social justice issues for decades. She worked as an organizer and community liaison for the late Native artist John Trudell for close to 35 years. Today, along with serving as part-time Project Director to HPH, Brown operates a consulting business focused on implementing solutions to the ecological challenges of our time.

Marcus Grignon, Campaign Manager

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Marcus’ professional career includes service as an advocate in the public sector. Marcus served the Obama Administration as a staff assistant for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Native American Affairs and as an AmeriCorps member for the Santa Fe Food Policy Council and Earthcare International. He began his federal career as a legislative intern for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2009. He is an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation in Keshena, Wisconsin. He is a recipient of the 2010 Brower Youth Award from the Earth Island Institute. 

Marcus holds a double associates degree in Tribal Law and Sustainable Development from the College of Menominee Nation and a Bachelor's degree in Democracy and Justice Studies with a minor in First Nations from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He holds various certificates in political management, lobbying, Indigeous Entreprenurship, and the Federal Budget Process from George Washington University, the Institute of American Indian Arts, and American University.

Morris Beegle, Business and Marketing Adviser

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Morris has been a hemp advocate since the mid 1990’s and sits on the board of advisors for PureHemp Technology, The Hemp Business Journal, HempToday.net, and Hempstead Project Heart. In his 30 years in the music and entertainment industry, Morris began as a district manager for wholesale media giant The Handleman Company and ran west coast retail operations covering California, Washington and Hawaii. After moving back to Colorado in 1995, Morris launched Hapi Skratch Records, a one-stop music label that provided production, distribution, licensing, events, merchandise and eco-friendly printing and packaging services to musicians and independent record labels.

This experience helped Morris develop the business acumen to design a powerful business model for the emerging hemp industry. In 2012 after the introduction of Amendment 64 to Colorado voters, he founded Colorado Hemp Company. In 2015 WAFBA(We Are For Better Alternatives) was created as an umbrella for Colorado Hemp Company, TreeFreeHemp.com, The NoCo Hemp Expo (the largest hemp-centric expo in the world), and other developing projects and brands. His success(and failure) in business has helped Morris become a leading voice and advisor in the U.S. hemp market.

Meg Forcia, Apprentice

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Megan Forcia is in her final year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth pursuing a B.A. in American Indian Studies with a focus on sustainability and the environment. Her passion for tribal food sovereignty and advocacy has led her to a seat on the Intertribal Agriculture Council's Youth Board of Directors as the Midwest regional representative. She is an enrolled member of the Bad River Chippewa Tribe in Wisconsin. She sees hemp as a economic driving tool for tribes to sustain their people and protect the planet.

Lucas Humblet, Apprentice

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Lucas Humblet graduated from the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), with an associates degree in Sustainable Food and Agriculture Systems. He is now Produce Manager on an organic farm in Door County, Wisconsin where he oversees an acre of vegetable production, two greenhouses, and a hydroponics system. He is an enrolled descendant of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. He has assisted the tribe with the development of an aquaponics system for a farm-to-school inititative. He is a strong advocate for industrial hemp and its wide usage of the fibers as well as the economic security by utilizing the plant. He envisions industrial hemp to renew and revitalize the national, even tribal agricultural systems.

Margaret McKenzie and Aaron Rydell , Sustainable Agriculture and Community Processing Adviser

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Margaret McKenzie and Aaron Rydell own Salt Creek Hemp Company based in Collbran, Colorado. They specialize in sustainable agriculture practices for growing hemp and utilizing a community to process the hemp that is grown. They support tribal efforts in building the hemp industry and work with Hempstead Project Heart to bring hands on training to tribal members throughout Indian Country

Our Goals

Hempstead Project Heart

What We Do

Research

We conduct extensive research to bring to light the hidden history of hemp in Wisconsin and the U.S. from early colonial times to the present. See our research on Wisconsin hemp here!

Educate

We educate the public to clarify what is true and not true about hemp and offer people a better understanding of the amazing benefits and uses of this plant. We conduct hands-on education using hemp products and building materials.

Advocate

We advocate for the legalization of hemp cultivation and processing on a state and federal level. And we work to engage the Wisconsin citizenry in advocating for pro-hemp legislation.

Build Alliances

We bring tribes, organizations, businesses, and people together to reestablish the hemp economy in Wisconsin and the United States.

Regenerative Agriculture Services

We provide professional agricultural assessment services to tribes and communities seeking to identify the potential for local hemp and food cultivation!