Margaret MacKenzie, Farmer & Organizer

"Here is what really excites me about hemp farming in the US—There is truly an opportunity to empower the farm economy."

HHW: Why do you think it’s important to be actively engaged in your community, in farming legislation, and in food politics?

MM: Here is what really excites me about hemp farming in the US—There is truly an opportunity to empower the farm economy. The Salt Creek Hemp Company is located on the Western Slope of Colorado, where it has become more and more difficult to support a family with existing farming markets.

Hemp farming is part of a greater movement where farmers could be empowered to actively participate in the growth of an incredible sustainable crop.

Hemp is unique in that every part of the plant is usable in products that are better than what currently exists in the marketplace, from organic protein sources to healing oils to even building materials. It may sound cliché, but hemp farmers believe they can change the world for the better.

But we can’t reach the capacity we need while access to stable genetics, domestic distribution channels and legislative issues cloud the path to commerce.

HHW: What other advocacy issues do you feel hemp farming legalization is connected to? 

MM: The freedom to farm!

HHW: What do you think makes a hemp event successful?

MM: The community of people! The combination of furthering hemp education with an unparalleled group of people who care, coming together to engage, to build personal and business relationships, to celebrate successes and learn from mistakes—It’s refreshing and encouraging.

HHW: What have you learned from your own organizing of hemp events that you would like to share with other Hemp History Week organizers?

MM: It is important to start small and local, as it is not a good idea to try and put together a three-day festival in your first year for example. Unfortunately, we’ve seen people lose a lot of money and credibility doing that. Make sure you set yourself up for success—don’t spend money you don’t have and make promises you can’t keep. I am laughing just thinking about all the crazy rushing around that went into our first big event, Hemp on the Slope. With any event, there are always a ton of moving parts—all at the last minute! Our event came together largely in part to our collaboration and teamwork with other amazing, passionate hemp activists, in addition to an excited, energized community of farmers, co-ops, and entrepreneurs who are all working hard to create a new, sustainable economy. In addition to meeting truly wonderful people, we couldn’t be more thrilled that this community is an open exchange of ideas. The more we come together and help each other, the greater our positive impact. We are truly grateful for the support and friendship!