Tentatively titled The Hemp Research Project, this experiment will occur at the college's 7-acre farm located on the school's Logan Campus.
The project will run approximately from May-October 2021.
This project's inspiration is rooted in both program's interest in growing hemp in the surrounding area once its cultivation became legalized in 2019.
"Our goal is to determine a better ground cover than the black plastic that is usually used in large grow operations," Agroecology Program Manager Sasha Sigetic said.
Students in Sigetic's program will test the black plastic against a brown mulch made out of farm compost, the composted horse manure from the college's equine facility, and a tailor-mixed green manure of cover crop plants from Walnut Creek Seeds in Carroll, Ohio.
The Medical Cannabis students will assist by monitoring the THC and CBD levels in the hemp the Agroecology students produce, as well as what other terpenes — organic compounds in the plant — exist in each of the three groups and then compare them.
"We will be using some existing outdoor beds as well as some of the space inside the hoop house," Sigetic said. "We will have student workers from the Agroecology program helping us with the growing process, data collection on pest and disease presence and harvesting."
She also noted that if the project is a success, her program might incorporate a different research project every year so her students can gain some hands-on experience with this new crop.
Do you have a passion for gardening and farming?
If you're interested in gardening and farming, perhaps you should check out Hocking College's Agroecology program.
This program combines the essential lessons from our agricultural ancestors with the latest scientific tools and research to create a holistic approach to soil health, leading to nutrient-dense plants and animals.
You could graduate with an Associate of Technical Study in Natural Resources in Agroecology in only four semesters.
What will I learn in this program?
The following outcomes are skills, behaviors, and attitudes cultivated in students seeking the Associate of Applied Technical Studies in Agroecology:
- Employ agroecology principles to support environmental preservation. Preventing the degradation of water, air, soil or other natural resources.
- Apply scientific concepts and practices within the disciplines of biology, chemistry, and geology to sustainable farming and farm management methods.
- Use technology and new research to solve complex or to change agricultural problems.
- Develop plans to survey, protect and sustain existing wildlife and domestic animals that may be part of the farm.
- Collect, analyze, and evaluate farming's environmental and economical methods to design successful and viable farm management plans.