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This project will provide tribal leaders, financial decision-makers, policymakers, federal agency service providers, regulators, and technology providers with the business and science information needed to evaluate the merits of investing in a hemp-based bioeconomy on reservations and across the region. Our project will allow multiple supply chain components to be addressed, from field-to-harvest-to-processing-to-biobased manufacturing facilities, and identify opportunities to increase system efficiencies towards improved triple-bottom-line performances of materials and products manufactured from industrial hemp. Our approach will assess tribe-specific interests; identify existing and needed resources and infrastructure; characterize and direct production of biomaterials and byproducts to their highest valued markets; and identify financial and policy tools to support investments in biobased manufacturing. The work will be carried out on and off reservations and utilizing tribe, commercial, and public institutional platforms at modeled, laboratory, pilot and commercial operational scales. Building the needed skilled workforce to accomplish this vision is a part of the project. We assume tribal values and good stewardship can be designed into an emergent hemp biobased manufacturing ecosystem by estimating ahead of time the potential impacts different manufacturing system components have on natural resource quality, job creation, and worker safety, and will consider approaches to enhance equity for all supply chain participants. As a result, this project will provide the science and business information needed for decision making when evaluating the technical, economic, environmental, and social contributions of establishing a hemp-based bioeconomy across the region. The objectives with sub-objectives for our project are:Objective 1. Enable tribal communities to develop a hemp-based bioeconomy through engagement and education. 1-1. Working collaboratively with existing Native American tribe educational resources and structures, we will develop a multicultural workforce that can effectively engage in a hemp-based biomanufacturing economy. 1-2. We will create culturally competent team of researchers, educators, and engagement specialists; provide foundational education opportunities for tribal audiences including K-12, community college, and university students; provide educational experiences that will include curriculum that uses culturally-sustaining teaching and learning practices incorporating student cultural identities and experiences; enhance teacher knowledge, skills, and confidence in context-based modeling and problem design rich in agriscience, technology, engineering, and math; provide tribal leaders and community members educational experiences about the fundamentals of hemp. 1-3. Tribal workforce development that includes student internships offered in project research, education, and extension activities; development of a skilled tribal workforce in the manufacture and use of hempcrete building panels for renovation and new construction of housing on reservations; partners will share experiences and knowledge gained from participating in commercial facilities and on tribal and research farm trials;Objective 2. Optimize biobased materials and products quality and biomanufacturing systems efficiencies through hemp breeding, field production, harvest/handling, and processing. We will: 2-1. determine hemp germplasm and variety production performance for adoption by tribal agriculture departments for industrial and cultural uses; 2-2. demonstrate how reservation production environments affect hemp variety performance and determine the effects of production, handling, and processing systems on bast fiber and hurd yield and quality; 2-3. determine the effects of field production and harvest effects on fiber yield and quality; and 2-4. develop genomic strategies to improve end-product quality and bioprocessing systems efficiencies.Objective 3. Determine optimal materials characteristics, equipment, facilities, and technology providers needed for establishing sustainable biobased manufacturing pipelines. We will: 3-1. develop testing methods, classifications, and standards for fiber, hurd, and other co-products; create standard test methods for measuring biobased materials characteristics; and create evidenced-based hemp materials quality classifications; and 3-2. determine processes for manufacturing new materials manufactured from hemp feedstocks and new co-products including hempcrete and construction materials, hemp-derived biochar as a "platform" building block toward value-added products, and bioplastic composites from short fibers and hurd byproducts of processing.Objective 4. Support intertribal and regional hemp fiber production and value-added biobased manufacturing and trading business networks. 4-1. Identify tribal and regional technology and market opportunities with insights from global hemp intelligence; 4-2. design scaled and commercially viable production processes based on a new set of operational parameters; 4-3. create a framework for assessing and enhancing economic, environmental, and social outcomes of products and technology options including economic, environmental, and social impact analyses; and 4-4. understand policies concerning commerce on tribal land and hemp to propose amendments and new policies to promote hemp-based economic development that supports tribal and nearby communities.

Steiner, J.; Gang, DA, .; Hutmacher, RO, L..; Vining, KE, .; Emm, ST, .; Delhom, CH, DA.; Haapala, KA, .; Hsieh, PI, .; Jones, GO, B.; Wu, ZH, .; Sinkey, AN, .; Boon, DO, .; Rochefort, WI, E.; Baluch, ST, D.; Clark, QU, .; Orts, WI, J..; sundberg, LI, .
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