For the first time in over 130 years hemp has been harvested at Ashland the Henry Clay Estate. The crop 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.
Eric Brooks, curator at Ashland says the versatile crop played a pivotal role for the Kentucky planter and politician.
"It was one of his major sources of income over the course of his whole life, starting from the beginning when he established Ashland all the way through...and no only was it important for him here personally, it became important for him publicly as well. He became a staunch advocate for Kentucky hemp on the national and international stage, and that advocacy ultimately informed and molded his political ideology," Brooks told WUKY.
The harvest was conducted Tuesday morning by United Hemp Industries, a Kentucky processing company that plans to incorporate the crop into a new line of hemp products ranging from tea to bird feed. The goods will be sold at the estate, along with several other historic hemp-related sites across Kentucky.