Sunstrand founder and CEO Trey Riddle, center, cuts the ribbon to officially open the company’s new Louisville headquarters. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, third from left, joined the celebration along with other state and local officials and Sunstrand employees. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Quarles joins celebration for new Sunstrand processing plant
Facility will help company meet growing demand for its industrial hemp and other fiber products
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles joined other dignitaries for a ceremony to officially open the new Sunstrand fiber processing plant today in Louisville. Sunstrand converts industrial hemp and similar agricultural feedstocks into fibers and fillers that are compatible with plastics and other applications.
“This new facility significantly expands Sunstrand’s capacity to meet growing demand for its products,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Ramping up Kentucky’s industrial hemp processing capacity will increase our competitive advantages as we work together to position the Commonwealth as the national leader in this promising industry.”
The company moved its Kentucky headquarters to the 25,000-square-foot facility from its original 6,000-square-foot plant earlier this year.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) administers Kentucky’s industrial hemp research project program under the authority of a provision of the 2014 federal Farm Bill, 7 U.S.C. § 5940, that permits industrial hemp pilot programs by state departments of agriculture.
In January, the KDA approved 209 applications from growers to cultivate up to 12,800 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2017, nearly triple the number of acres that were approved for the previous year and the largest state industrial hemp research project program in the nation. The department also approved more than 525,000 square feet of greenhouse space for indoor growers and 11 new applications from processors (in addition to 29 previously approved multi-year processor applications that were not required to reapply).
For more information about the KDA’s industrial hemp program, go to kyagr.com/marketing/hemp-pilot.html.