In Port Edwards, Wisconsin, local farmers are working to bring new use to the old Port Edwards Paper Mill. Using the mill to dry hemp is an opportunity for the abandoned building and Wisconsin farmers. Since mid-October the building has been used as a center to dry hemp, wsaw reports.
The paper mill was previously abandoned and vacant for the last 11 years.
“I have a 60-acre farm just east of Westfield, Wisconsin,” said Tim Voigt of Sweet Trees Farm. “We grow the hemp, harvest it and then place the crop onto semis to have people haul them into the old Port Edwards Paper Mill. Once the plant is here, we hang them from the rafters so they can dry.”
Senator Patrick Testin is enthusiastic about the opportunity that hemp has. He is hoping the use of this mill will allow farmers to quickly overtake other states and lead the nation in hemp production.
“Wisconsin’s come back crop is hemp,” explained Sen. Testin, who represents the 24th Senate District. “The crop is now opening doors that have previously been closed just like this old paper mill. It is centrally located, and could act as a hemp hub for growers throughout the state.”
The total amount of hemp drying in the mill is around 30 acres worth. The value of that much hemp could be worth up to $2 million depending on the quality.
Nutrativa Global is the company that has stepped up to make the old mill accessible, partnering with Sweet Trees Farm. They are currently leasing the building from DMI Acquisitions, LLC
Right now the hope is to grow their customer base and expand their abilities to dry hemp. Though the entrepreneurial spirit isn’t lost on them, and the appeal of having a hemp paper production facility doesn’t seem out of reach for the future.