History-making hemp harvest at Henry Clay Estate

Published: Aug. 30, 2016 at 10:16 AM EDT
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The crop was harvested Tuesday morning by United Hemp Industries, a Kentucky processing company that plans to incorporate the crop into a new line of hemp products. The goods, ranging from tea to bird feed, will be sold at the estate, along with several other historic hemp-related sites across the state.

The crop harvested at the Henry Clay Estate was planted in May as a demonstration plot in an effort to educate guests about industrial hemp and Henry Clay’s impact on early Kentucky industry.

Henry Clay is described as a hemp pioneer. He grew thousands of pounds of the crop at his Ashland estate in Lexington, having it manufactured into rope and cotton bagging. His agronomic experiments and legislative influence even coined him an occasional nickname, “the prince of hemp.”

"He (Henry Clay) saw the potential. He did whatever he could do to advance the crop as a crop for our state and for our country. And so now, we are revisiting that in hopes of inspiring others to do the same in the current environment," said Eric Brooks, the curator at Ashland Henry Clay Estate.