New Industrial Hemp Production Program starting this fall



Farmer handling hemp plantOne of the first plants spun into fiber thousands of years ago is making a comeback. Beginning in 2020, hemp production is legal in the United States with Iowa farmers able to grow up to 40 acres.

Muscatine Community College (MCC) is excited to announce a new diploma program to provide the training needed to succeed in this developing area. Beginning this fall, our one-year Industrial Hemp Production program will provide students the opportunity to be among the first to work this new crop.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program, or beginning hemp production, is invited to attend one of our upcoming online information sessions. All sessions will begin at 7 p.m. using Facebook Live on MCC’s Facebook page. Choose the day you'd like to attend, and simply click on the link at the appropriate time to join in.

Online Facebook Live Sessions Beginning at 7 p.m.

April 21 – Student Information Session

April 28 – Obtaining Your Hemp Growing License

May 5 – What is Hemp?

May 12 – Government Requirements and Issues

In the program, students will learn how to grow, harvest, process and market industrial hemp. Hemp is a versatile plant, perfect for small farms, those with an entrepreneurial spirit, or as an additional source of income on larger farms. Its uses include food from hemp seed, fiber from hemp stalks, and oil from the flowers and seeds. Products currently made with hemp include body care, textiles, insulation, paper, rope, molded plastics, animal bedding, paint, health food and more.

Students in the program will complete three specific hemp-related courses, along with others already taught in the college’s long-established agriculture curriculum. Topics covered include rules and regulations governing the industry, growing stages of the plant from seed to harvest, and post-harvest processing. 

Hemp offers the potential for significantly higher per acre incomes for producers compared to corn and soybeans, and the industry as a whole is expected to see an explosion of growth. Hemp could also offer a realistic way to expand the family farm and be able to financially support additional family members.

For questions about the new program, contact Shane Mairet at 563-288-6024 or    

Toll-free 1-888-336-3907, email