DON’s family of companies, collectively the second largest employer in Lawrence County, is hosting an education event about hemp fiber and its uses for construction materials and in biofuels.

The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the DON office located in the former Thaddeus Stevens School, 831 Harrison St., New Castle.

DON is a grower of hemp for fiber and is actively seeking farmer-partners to grow hemp to supply its planned decortication facility which will open in the region. Decortication processes hemp into bast and hurd fibers which are used in Hempcrete, batt insulation, wood replacement products including flooring and structural elements, textiles, paper, and more. The facility will create jobs and give farmers in a 150-mile radius the option of an alternative crop.

Fred Strathmeyer, who oversees Pennsylvania’s Industrial Hemp program for the PA Dept. of Agriculture, will speak at the event. Speaking and presenting their products made from hemp fiber will be executives from Pennsylvania and Kentucky companies: Ryan Dohm, Chief Development Officer of Groff NA, which operates PA’s first hemp decortication facility and produces hemp insulation; Kirk Johnson, CEO of Green Bison Co., makers of composites and bioenergy sources; Cameron McIntosh, President of Americhanvre, Allentown-based Hempcrete installers and builder of the Tiny Hemp Home; and Shawn House, CEO of Lancaster Trading House, a recognized Hemp Historian and maker of Hempzels and hemp food products.

PA Senator Elder Vogel and Rep. Aaron Bernstine are confirmed to attend.

On display will be a traveling Hemp History Museum showcasing Pennsylvania historical artifacts including rope, clothing, newspaper articles and more.

The event is free, but reservations are required and can be arranged by calling (724) 856-4134 or by email at ldaytner@donservices.org.

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