The UK Agronomic Science Industrial Hemp Research Program, currently led by Dr. Bob Pearce, was established in 2014 in partnership with the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center.

Over the years, this program has seen significant growth and progress. The University of Kentucky is now leading the nation in industrial hemp agronomic research efforts with field trials across the Commonwealth investigating all harvestable components.

Despite these successes, the progress of this program is limited by a major challenge. Federal research funding is not available for industrial hemp research, leaving a gap in supporting graduate student involvement.

Agricultural research within essentially all fields of expertise is most often accomplished through faculty members providing expertise and mentorship to graduate students. Graduate students are thereby trained to conduct research and, at the same time, answer questions that are important to the industry.

For university research programs to make progress both in increasing our knowledge of hemp production and processing while contributing to the inherent university mission of graduate education, significant levels of funding are necessary to support graduate students at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels.

Hemp research programs at universities across the country are now reliant on private funding to help fill the gap left by inaccessible federal dollars.

We hope you will join the many other supporters who are helping to ensure that hemp research receives the necessary funding to continue progressing. Every gift, regardless of size, is meaningful in serving this research. To make a gift, visit THIS LINK

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit the UK Hemp Research Website at or contact Dr. Robert Pearce ( or Tressa Neal (

Industrial Hemp Research

Industrial Hemp