With the new semester starting and the most recent Farm Bill passing in December and legalizing industrial hemp, some exciting prospects for agriculture and the students who study it are on the rise. Elizabeth Thilmany of Agricultural & Resource Economics was already ahead of the curve, recently named a fellow of the Snider Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Program through the Smith School of Business with a focus on innovative enterprises and a proposed research project examining perspectives and viability of growing industrial hemp in Maryland.
Paul Goeringer, legal and senior faculty specialist in Agricultural & Resource Economics, is Thilmany’s faculty advisor on the project, and he agrees that this is work that needs to be done. “We are both excited about this project. The work is timely and interesting, and there isn’t a lot out there in terms of industrial hemp research. Legally and agriculturally, there is a lot to untangle, but a lot to be gained.” Thilmany adds, “We are a country founded on farmers, so taking care of farmers and making sure they still have ways to make money and keep their livelihoods is very important.”