On April 19th, 2018, Marcus Grignon of Hempstead Project Heart participated in a panel with Assistant Deputy Secretary Keith Ripp on the future of agriculture at the Wisconsin Rural Summit in Baraboo, WI. The summit was well attended by rural communities, government agencies, special interests, and everyday people. The panel focused on where the future of Wisconsin agriculture is headed and what are the new trends. Marcus spoke about the history of the Wisconsin hemp industry in the state and what the future holds for tribal, urban, and rural communities throughout the state. The Wisconsin Counties Association was very interested in hemp and asked a number of questions on the economic viability. Marcus stated the hemp pulp industry needs more development, but can be a huge industry for the state of Wisconsin.
A question was posed on how young farmers can acquire land to continue the farming way of life into the 21st century? Marcus stated conservation easements and working with land trusts can help immensely in keeping the costs for land down and allow young farmers the opportunity to become the future of American agriculture. Many attendees clapped and the moderator of the panel stated that is a good idea. "This idea comes from a large working group of young farmers who represent the National Young Farmers Coalition," Marcus stated humbly.