Grant Paves the Way For New Hemp Technology in TN
MURFREESBORO – April 29, 2020 – A Murfreesboro company Volunteer Botanicals received a $25,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Ag Enterprise Fund (AEF) for 2020. The Ag Enterprise Fund allows Agriculture related companies to have the opportunity to grow and positively impact rural economies through their grant program.
“We are extremely grateful for the funding from the Ag Enterprise Program, especially in this current economic environment,” Jason Pickle, Volunteer Botanicals Co-Founder said. “Including companies that work with the hemp plant is paramount to the success of the industry in the state. It wasn’t until the last couple of years that companies like ours could apply for state and federal funding programs. This really shows the commitment coming from the Department of Agriculture. We can’t thank them enough.”
The $25,000 grant will kick-off the construction and build-out of Tennessee’s first hemp post-conversion facility. Volunteer Botanicals will use their patent-pending technology to convert raw hemp extracts into various powder and liquid mediums essentially creating the building blocks for product manufacturers inside and outside of the hemp industry.
“We are focusing on creating viable, safe and effective options for companies that want to use the various ingredients found within the plant.” Pickle said. “Quite often, raw extracts need further formulating and refining before it is added into a product. Depending on how a client wants to use the ingredient, we can create custom medium for their specific application. The AEF Grant will help to fill a hole in the supply chain for the state of Tennessee.”
Volunteer Botanicals is a company founded by three MTSU students that understand the potential of this powerful, dynamic plant. After two years in business, the company added a fourth partner, also a MTSU grad, and the plan for bringing the technology to Tennessee crystallized.
The new property will be located in Christiana, TN and situated on 99 acres with room to farm, expand and build-out a Hemp Learning Center over time. “This plant is amazing. It is absolutely critical we learn more about how the hemp plant can affect farmers, medicines, fuels, building materials, textiles, plastics and so much more. It’s not only about the buzzword of CBD, it can do so much more,” explains Pickle. “We are proud to speak its truth.”
Volunteer Botanicals consists of:
Derek Odette: Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Grisham: Chief Operating Officer
Jason Pickle: Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Charlie Livesay: Chief Building Officer