Friends of Hemp Co.
WINCHESTER KY 40391-9550
Contact Information
Nonprofit Friends of Hemp Co.
Address 4274 COLBY RD
WINCHESTER, KY 40391 9550
Phone (859) 229-6427
Contact Name Annie Rouse
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2016
Former Names
Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation Inc
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
We welcome donations on our website or by mailing a check to us at: 
4274 Colby Road
Winchester, KY 40391
We also welcome in-kind donations and volunteer support depending on the research and educational project underway. Please email us at for more information! 
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement Our mission is to grow the hemp industry through education and opportunity.
Background Statement
Friends of Hemp was founded in December 2015 as Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation and launched in January 2016. In 2017 we re-branded as Friends of Hemp.
In the 1800s and early 1900s, hemp was Kentucky's number one cash crop with Kentucky producing 90% of the nation's hemp supply in 1900. In 1937 the industry became heavily regulated making it nearly impossible for farmer's to grow hemp.
The 2014 Farm Bill loosened regulation and now Kentucky is one of the leaders in production; however, the near eighty year gap in production caused a loss in education and industry advancement. In addition, its misrepresentation as a drug created a stigma that the industry must overcome.
We formed to counter-act these issues and build the hemp industry with education and opportunity. Through fun events, hands-on workshops, production seminars and competitions, our programs have enhanced community education. Community education has improved consumer awareness of hemp, leading to increased demand of finished products. Increased demand directly benefits farmers, processors and small-businesses in Kentucky and beyond.
We have raised approximately $30,000 in our first two years of operations. 
Impact Statement
We are a voluntary-based organization working to grow a domestic hemp industry through educational programs and small-grant opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs. We implemented our Local Hemp Foods Cook-Off in 2016 and 2017, reaching thousands of local chefs and Kentuckians. In 2017 we partnered with Crave Food + Music Festival, significantly increasing our reach. This event helps to educate the community on how to incorporate hemp into diets. By normalizing hemp as a health food, demand for hemp foods increases, which leads to more need for hemp production!
In 2017 we collaborated with the Carnegie Center, hosting a Student Writing Competition open to middle school, high school and college students across the state.  With 26 participants, the students learned about Kentucky's hemp industry while practicing writing skills. The winning students received a savings bond prize.
Also, in 2017 we collaborated with NoLiCDC and Kentucky Hemp Industries Association to host a hempcrete building course. With 20 volunteers, the hands-on course educated participants on how to build insulation walls using hemp's fibrous by-product, hemp hurds. This house was the first hemp house in Kentucky to be built using Kentucky-grown hemp. With this project, we also have installed thermal mass and moisture meters into the walls. These meters will provide essential data points to measure the energy efficiency of the home. This is breakthrough research for the hemp-building industry, as the data will directly improve understanding of the insulation values of the walls.
Early in 2017, we collaborated with the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and County Extension Offices to host three Farmer Seminars in three counties across the state. The seminars were free to the public. Approximately 240 farmers and interested parties participated and learned about hemp production, agronomy, market opportunities, and techniques.
In 2016, we hosted a GoOrganic! Seminar, teaching farmers about the organic process for hemp production. The event had a sold-out crowd of seventy attendees. We also donated $250 to an organic farmer. We also donated $100 to benefit University of Kentucky's hemp field day.
In 2018, our goals include:
1. Improve marketability as a national hemp education and small grant-making organization
2. Create Core Content for classrooms
3. Start an endowment and initiate grant-making programs to farmers and entrepreneurs
4. Host our third-annual Local Hemp Foods Cook-Off at Crave Food + Music Festival
5. Initiate fundraising to create and publish "A Comprehensive Guide to Hemp Management"
6. Hire an administrator
Needs Statement
1. Donations! Become a Friend of Hemp by donating. We need donations so we can support our educational programs and farmer and small-business grants.
2. Marketing! Educate your family and friends about our organization and the benefits of hemp.
3. Hiring! We are a voluntary-based organization. Hiring an administrator will significantly enhance our organization operations and the industry, while providing a new job opportunity for someone amazing!
4. Volunteers! We welcome volunteers that want to work with us on our events. 
CEO/Executive Director Statement
Currently, operating on a voluntary basis, we do not have a CEO or Executive Director; however, our board members and advisors bring decades of farming and industry experience. Together, we work to enhance industry development, educate the public and build consumer demand to re-establish industrial hemp as a domestic cash crop.
Unfortunately, federal funding for the hemp industry is extremely limited, so we must solely rely on community support to grow our organization.  You can become a Friend of Hemp by donating to our organization! Your donations improve consumer awareness and market demand which directly benefits farmers and the hundreds of small-businesses now invested in America's renewed hemp industry.
Board Chair Statement
Operating in the heart of hemp country, our organization has found success through community and state legislative support; however, even with Kentucky's hospitable environment for hemp research and production, barriers to entry and industry hurdles still exist because of the agronomic misunderstanding between industrial hemp and marijuana. The bottom line: industrial hemp is not marijuana. Hemp is a non-intoxicating agricultural commodity. It is like a poppy seed on a bagel, but its grain and fiber are far more useful than the poppy seed. I discovered this when writing one fateful paper in college.
In 2009, I was studying economics at the University of Kentucky, when I came across the opportunity to write a paper on industrial hemp. This paper propelled my career into a path I would have never expected.  Scouring the library, I learned about Kentucky's stake in the industry in the 1800s and early 1900s and the federal legislative framework and agronomic misunderstanding that pushed the highly efficient crop into federal control as a narcotic for nearly eighty years. The agronomic misunderstanding labeled industrial hemp as marijuana, even though industrial hemp was nothing more than military rope and a drying agent in paint, but this stigma pulverized industry growth for decades to come.
The research paper intrigued me to further investigate the subject. In 2013, I received a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship to study the environmental life cycle on industrial hemp in Canada. The Fulbright experience taught me about the gaps in the industry and above all proved to me how important hemp education is to expand markets. While in Canada, President Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill which included Section 7606, an important clause that opened industrial hemp production for research purposes and at pilot scales in states with abiding legislation. Kentucky was one of the first states on board and that summer successfully planted and harvested the first hemp production in decades. 
Upon finishing my Fulbright, I moved home to Kentucky and rooted myself in the industry. One of the first things I did when I returned was found Friends of Hemp (Formerly Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation) to educate communities in an effort to normalize the crop and enhance opportunities for industry growth.
Now we are here, three years later, with a new agricultural industry on the verge of tremendous growth. But we need your help to push it forward! Become a Friend of Hemp today by donating to our organization.
Thank you for your support! 
Annie Rouse, MBA/MA
Founder, President
U.S. Fulbright Scholar
Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Tertiary Organization Category Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations / Philanthropy/Charity/ Voluntarism Promotion (General)
Geographic Areas Served
While Friends of Hemp is based in Kentucky and our current educational programs take place in Kentucky, our organization serves the national hemp industry. Our focus is to build awareness in Kentucky and beyond to improve education, product demand and opportunities so that we can rebuild a domestic economy.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact. We aim to raise funds to distribute for research projects and educational programs related to Kentucky's industrial hemp industry. Our research projects are meant to create a broader understanding of the industrial hemp plant, improve production practices, make processes more efficient, and develop markets. Our educational programs are meant to bring awareness to the subject, educate producers on industry trends and regulation and de-stigmatize the plant.
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?
We have initiated various events to improve education like our Local Hemp Foods Cook-Off. The Cook-Off provides an opportunity for restaurants to cook-up a creative dish using hemp and have a community-wide tasting. Our producer seminars are meant to educate growers and processors on current industry trends and appropriate practices. Our monthly seminars will provide education to a broader audience. Our Writing Competition is meant to educate middle school, high school and college students about industrial hemp and in turn have the students educate their friends and families.Our research projects are aimed at becoming more familiar with the plant and the potential markets.
In order to accomplish our research projects and educational programs we form strategic partner agreements with state universities and other non-profit organizations.  
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far? Since launching in January 2016, we have successfully hosted four educational events and our first annual Local Hemp Foods Cook-Off. We had sold out attendance at each educational event and our Local Hemp Foods Cook-Off was well received by restaurants and the community. Given the success of these programs, we will continue to initiate these programs, improve upon them, and create more programs for the the future.
Board Chair
Board Chair Annie Rouse
Company Affiliation Think Hempy Thoughts
Term Jan 2016 to Jan 2019
Board Members
John DeReamer Lexington Farmer's Market
Jane Harrod Jane's Native SeedVoting
Josh Hendrix CV SciencesVoting
Joseph Hickey Atalo HoldingsVoting
Dale Josey Blackacre PreserveVoting
Betsy Kephart RetiredVoting
Ben Pasley Laura's Hemp ChocolatesVoting
Georgia Rodes Community VolunteerVoting
Annie Rouse Think Hempy ThoughtsExofficio
Derrick Vaughan Vaughan Tobacco
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 66%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 63%
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Additional Board Members and Affiliations
Tom Kenne University of Kentucky
Ashton Potter-Wright Lexington Office of Economic Development
Dr. Bruce Pratt Eastern Kentucky University
Tejas Shastry Om Plates
Dr. David Williams University of Kentucky
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Not Applicable
Term Start Jan 2016
Because of our limited funds, we do not currently have a CEO/Executive Director; however, we will be hiring part-time administrative support soon.
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 15
Contractors 2
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 1
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 1 Indian
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 1
Unspecified 0
We work with local restaurants to cook-up a unique dish using industrial hemp foods and have a community-wide tasting. The cook-off is free for restaurants to participate in and we ask for a donation for the broader community to taste. The cook-off is a family-friendly event with live music.
Budget $2,500
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food
Population Served Families, General/Unspecified, Adults
Program Short Term Success We believe that as restaurants participate in the cook-off they will begin to incorporate hemp foods within their menu items. Because of our cook-offs, two restaurants have started to incorporate hemp into their menus and two non-participating restaurants have expressed interest. We also have seen an increase in product demand for hemp foods.
Program Long term Success We believe that the cook-offs will help normalize hemp in the eyes of the community, so that people understand the benefits of hemp foods and how to incorporate the ingredients into their diets. We also believe that the cook-off will create an increased demand for hemp food products both in local restaurants and within the broader community.
Program Success Monitored By Attendance and participating restaurants. Change in hemp food sales. Change in restaurants incorporating hemp foods. 
Examples of Program Success In our 2016 cook-off, seven restaurants participated and we had an attendance of over 100 community members from Fayette County and surrounding counties. In our 2017 cook-off, we partnered with Crave Music + Food Festival. This expanded our reach to 20,000 people. Seven restaurants participated again, with one repeat restaurant from 2016. Our partnership with Crave was a success and we will continue to collaborate with the festival to improve the event for 2018.
Description We launched our first grower seminars this year. We held 3 seminars within a week span in Clark County, Christian County and Shelby County. The seminars were free to attend and lunch was provided. The seminars were held at the County Extension Offices. The seminars covered hemp regulation, markets, growing techniques, and agronomic research. We would like to host these twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall focusing on planting and harvesting, respectively.
Budget $500
Category Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Agriculture
Population Served Families, Adults, General/Unspecified
Program Short Term Success At the last seminars we had an average attendance of 80 people per seminar. In 2018 we hope to see an average of 100 attendees per seminar.
Program Long term Success The program is meant to provide producers with a better understanding of the current hemp industry so that they can make an informed decision when moving forward with production. We would like to continue to see steady attendance at the events and host them throughout the state.
Program Success Monitored By Attendance and in the future surveys.
Examples of Program Success During the three farmer seminars we had an average crowd of approximately 80 attendees at each seminar.
We are hosting a writing competition in collaboration with the Carnegie Center for middle school, high school and college students. The competition is meant to provide an opportunity for students to write a creative piece about industrial hemp so that they learn about the crop and in turn teach their families and friends. The program hosts three separate competitions. Each competition is judged and First, Second, and Third place winners are chosen. The winners in each category are then invited to participate in a public reading at the Carnegie Center.
Budget $2000
Category Education, General/Other Extracurricular Arts & Culture
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years), Adults, Families
Program Short Term Success By the end of the writing competition, 100% of participating students will broaden their understanding of the industrial hemp industry. In 2018, our reach and participants will increase, gaining more collegiate and middle school level entries. We would like to see an increase in the marketability of the program and number of teachers who have students participate.
Program Long term Success Improve education and awareness of industrial hemp to children and their families.
Program Success Monitored By We will monitor success by the number of entries submitted and the number of schools we reach through our marketing efforts.
Examples of Program Success Our first competition launched in Fall of 2017. We received approximately 25 applicants in both middle school and high school. A teacher incorporated the competition into his classwork and the FFA gladly helped market the program. The Carnegie Center also expressed enthusiasm over the event. Through our experience in 2017, we feel that the program was well-received and we look forward to offering the competition again, building on our successes from 2017.
Program Comments
CEO Comments Our organization faces fundraising challenges because there are minimal grant opportunities made available for industrial hemp because of its current status as a controlled substance. Regulation is loosening; however, until industrial hemp is entirely removed from the Controlled Substance Act, funding will federal and state grants will remain limited. For this reason we must rely on private donations. This is challenging but with the public's support, we believe that we can raise funds needed to initiate our programs and improve Kentucky's industrial hemp industry.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
In 2017 we collaborated with University of Kentucky, Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, Crave Food + Music Festival, The Carnegie Center and NoLi CDC.
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $25,000.00
Projected Expenses $12,000.00
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$7,483----
Administration Expense$755----
Fundraising Expense$1,693----
Payments to Affiliates$125----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.26----
Program Expense/Total Expenses74%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$2,649----
Current Assets$2,649----
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$2,649----
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Foundation Staff Comments This organization received its 501c3 determination in 2016 and does not yet have one full year of financials.
Address 4274 COLBY RD
WINCHESTER, KY 403919550
Primary Phone 859 229-6427
CEO/Executive Director Not Applicable
Board Chair Annie Rouse
Board Chair Company Affiliation Think Hempy Thoughts