Fiscal Court hears that investors looking to partner with farmers in growing hemp

Gary Coulter, left and Eric Shelburne, center, talk with Brad Spalding, county road engineer after Wednesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting. Both men will be representing their districts as magistrates on fiscal court beginning in January 2019. Shelburne however may be appointed to fill the unexpired term of magistrate Jerry Hahn ahead of the end of the year.


Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 — A group of investors are seeking to partner with Central Kentucky farmers who are interested in growing hemp.

Russ Salsman, with Cornerstone Strategies, a Frankfort-based consulting firm, spoke during Wednesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting, asking for help from Nelson County farmers who would agree to grow hemp for the investors he represents.


Time is running short to obtain a state license to grow hemp, he said. The deadline to apply for a license to grow hemp is Nov. 30, 2018, and a completed background check is part of that process — which can take up to two weeks to obtain.

The demand for quality hemp is strong, Salsman said. The group he represents will offer help to farmers who agree to grow hemp for them, including helping with the cost of quality seed.

Salsman said the group he represents is a wholesaler that needs top quality hemp for processing into oil. They want to provide wholesale hemp oil to national stores, which will put their brand on the processed hemp oil. They plan to build a hemp processing plant in Central Kentucky in order to close to the farms where it will be grown.

Salsman said there are many more licenses to grow hemp that actual growers, he explained.

He recommended that farmers who are interested in raising hemp to consider doing it on a small scale at first. Raising quality hemp can be very time intensive, and he compared it to the care required in raising quality tobacco.

Salsman said the group he presents wants to partner with farmers to share their entry-level costs.

For more information, farmers should contact Russ Salsman directly at Cornerstone Strategies, (502) 299-6900. Salsman said he can get farmers who are interested in growing hemp started in the process of obtaining a license to raise it.

ROAD STANDARDS. County road engineer Brad Spalding told fiscal court about the changes the City of Bardstown had approved months ago in the construction requirements for city streets.

The city’s upgraded standards specify greater amounts of dense grade in the base of the road, a move that creates a roadway that will have a longer service life.

Spalding told the court that he would like for the court to consider upgrading the county’s road construction standards in a similar fashion for the same reason — to build roads with a design standard to better handle the anticipated traffic load with a longer service life.

The discussion was just the starting point for what Spalding said he hopes will be a revision of the county’s road construction standards. The magistrates took no vote, but voiced their agreement with moving forward with the review.

EXTENSION APPOINTMENTS. Fiscal court approved two appointments to the Nelson Count Extension Board.

Adam Wheatley was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Tommy Hart, and Therese Johnson was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Susan Blumenberg.

SURPLUS PROPERTY. The court also declared two county-owned vehicles — a 1995 Chevy 1500 pickup truck with 240,152 miles, and a 1999 Ford E350 ambulance with 251,689 miles — and some quarried rocks that were salvaged from a bridge replacement project as surplus property.

The declaration is required in order to dispose of the property. The county has been contacted by an individual who is interested in purchasing the rock.

In other business, Nelson Fiscal Court:

— approved the Nelson County Sheriff’s 2017 tax settlement, pending its audit.

— approved second reading on changes to the county’s ordinance governing mobile home subdivisions. The change allows placement of either single or double-wide mobile homes in a mobile home subdivision.

— gave final approval of the industrial revenue bond ordinance regarding the financing of the Heaven Hill Distilleries distribution center project.

— accepted Southfork Trails as a county-maintained road per the county’s guidelines. The move also releases the developer’s road bond.

— advised that the Feeding America food distribution dates for November and December will be moved a week due to the holidays.

The November Feeding American distribution will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. The December distribution will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will next meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, in the Fiscal Court meeting room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse.


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