Growing the Future

Zion Growers is an industrial hemp processing company focused on the development of the marketplace for everyone from farmers to manufacturers. Our vision is to have hemp play a pivotal roll in the lives of people the world over to make hemp as accessible and prevalent as its numerous uses.

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About Us

Background and History

First conceived in 2015 ZION Growers mission has always been focused on sustainability, not just of resources but of communities. Our foray into the hemp market coincided with the CBD market crash of 2019 and this led us to pause….how can we approach such a versatile product such as hemp and maximize its potential for all of its benefits? It was this thinking that brought us to the all encompassing cousin of CBD hemp, industrial hemp for fiber and seed. Building a processing facility in our community in Vermont will open the door for farmers and businesses alike to benefit from all that hemp has to offer.  With its multifaceted bio-makeup this plant can do almost anything and we have just scratched the surface. From buildings made from hemp concrete or “hempcrete” to plastics to wood products like paper and compressed fiber board all the way to beauty products and foods. The capabilities of this plant are only hampered by its accessibility and that is what we at ZION are fixing one day at a time… 

Brandon McFarlane

Owner, Chief Executive Officer

A Public Interest Attorney in Pittsburgh working to develop affordable housing for underserved communities. In 2009 Brandon graduated from Norwich University and was commissioned in the United States Army. Currently a Major, he holds two MOS’s as an Engineer and a Civil Affairs Officer. He graduated with a master’s degree in Public Administration in 2014 after a 14-month deployment to Afghanistan. In 2019 he graduated from the University of Richmond with a dual degree in Law and a Master’s in Business Administration.

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Travis Samuels

Owner, Chief Operations Officer

An entrepreneur who studied at Johnson & Wales University, Travis graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Hospitality in 2014. After graduation, he traveled the country to work in world class resorts in Florida and landmark hotels in Boston, while researching growing hemp and cannabis. He was employed as an assistant manager at the Hilton in downtown Boston until returning to Vermont. In addition to co-launching ZION Growers, Travis owns and operates a property management entity in St. Johnsbury.

 

 

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The Latest News

Keep up to date on our projects and impacts across the hemp landscape.

Vt. Businesses Awarded $3.6M in Downtown Tax Incentives

Read WCAX Article

Vermont Hemp Growers And Processors Branch Out Beyond Just CBD

Read VPR Interview

LaunchVT Demo Night Celebrates Entrepreneurs, Awards Cash and Services

Read About Demo Night 2021

Across the US, CBD glut inspires gamble on industrial hemp

Read Aljazeera Article

New Industrial Hemp Company Plans Big Footprint in Vermont

Read Seven Days Article

Video Presentations

ZION Growers Informational Meeting for Farmers 02/27/22

Watch Video on YouTube

A New Hemp Venture: Hear From Zion Growers

Watch Video on YouTube

Site Development

Keep up to date with the progress on our production facility and all of our work to bring the processing of industrial hemp back to Vermont!

FAQ

What do you do?

We process dried industrial hemp stalks by separating them into hurd, the inner wood like core and the bast fiber that runs along the outside of the plant. The hurd and fiber are then sold to be further processed or used as is for other products like hempcrete, insulation, fabric and animal bedding.

Are you growing CBD or Cannabis?

No

Can you get high from industrial hemp?

No

Will there be a smell from your processing?

Because it is grown for the stalks and not the flower, industrial hemp has little smell and as we process material dried in the field the material we receive will be almost odorless. We are taking measures to ensure that our facility works with the great St. Johnsbury community.

How is fiber hemp different from CBD/THC hemp? How do cultivation practices differ?

Hemp for the purpose of fiber is dramatically different from CBD hemp and THC cannabis. Industrial hemp is grown in dense fields like wheat, drastically different from how the high maintenance individually spaced CBD or THC plants are grown and cultivated. Fiber hemp is planted densely without the need for individual planting or the laying of plastic and drip line. Density and height of the crop is much like what you would see with wheat with the highest anywhere from 12 – 16 feet for fiber varieties. Fiber hemp requires less tending or management and due to the height, chokes out any weeds requiring no herbicides.  Due to its natural make up it is also pest and bug resistant. 

Harvest of the plant is similar to that of hay and the same equipment can be used. When the crop is ready to harvest, typically in 90 days of planting.

Can I use this as a rotation crop?

Yes, industrial hemp works as an excellent rotation crop that can provide a higher financial return.

What is the range in expected yield per acre? How comparable was the ground on which this yield was achieved?

The average crop size ranges from 4-6 tons per acre.

How much hemp could a typical farm expect to supply you with?

Our expectations are fluid as our goal is to capture as much acreage as is possible. This will allow farmers with less land to also be involved.

What equipment is required for cutting, baling, etc. this product? Will the hemp be tougher on this equipment than regular hay?

Required equipment is as follows:

  • Tractor with PTO hookup
  • Seed drill
  • Straight sickle or a disk mower without the conditioner
  • Hay/ rotary rake
  • Round baler

If I am a farmer how do I find out more?

We can be reached at our business email:
Ziongrowers@gmail.com

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