Hemp farming 2020: Can producers make it to 2021 – podcast

Creative, innovative, hard-working—these are the hallmarks of today’s hemp CBD farmer. Will that be enough to make it to next year?

Todd Runestad, Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com

August 5, 2020


Natural Products INSIDER · Hemp farming 2020: Can producers make it to 2021? -podcast

Tennessee’s Frederick Cawthon is emblematic of a 2020 hemp farmer—in 2019 his team grew 85 acres, and then thanks to the oversupply and consequent market saturation and price collapse, in 2020 he grew 15 acres. Hear Cawthon’s founding story of how he got into the hemp business, how he assembled a crack growing team, marshaled investors, even cajoled the local college president to open dormant dorms to farm workers during the summer grow season. But more than that, hear Cawthon speak about hemp’s potential to revitalize rural regions, and how CBD has the potential to be the next great ingredient that can be infused in a range of products by the world’s biggest CPG companies. Listen to this fascinating Toddcast with Natural Products Insider’s senior editor Todd Runestad, as they discuss:

  • How his mother, the Lord, the universe and CNN fit into the spark of an idea to change his life and become a hemp farmer.

  • How hemp can be a zero-carbon detox agent to clean up farms, communities and ecosystems.

  • How all that hemp oversupply could be gone from barns across the nation if only two organizations would try just a little bit harder.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for NaturalProductsInsider.com and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for NewHope.com, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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