Join Informed Texas for this educational, online seminar on Best Practices for Hemp in Texas. As Texas progresses through our inaugural hemp season, education on the burgeoning market is imperative.
02:25 - The State of Hemp in Texas - Taylor Kirk, Horticulture Service Specialist
12:30 - Sustainable Cultivation and Cultivar Selection - Travis Higginbotham, Founder and Owner Due Diligence Horticulture, LLC.
37:16 - Harvesting - Taylor Kirk, Horticulture Service Specialist
53:37 - Testing and Development - Sarah Kerver, Owner 1937 Apothecary
01:08:01 - Application and Reporting Process - Susan Hays, Lawyer, Advocate, and Crisis Manager
01:22:47 - Research Update from Texas A&M AgriLife - Prof. David D. Baltensperger, Ph.D
01:32:50 - Research Update from Fluence - Steve Graves, VP of Business Development for Fluence by OSRAM
Taylor Kirk is a horticulture service specialist for Fluence by OSRAM, where he strives to help the world grow smarter by concentrating on consulting growing partners and collaborating with researchers and other cannabis industry leaders. He brings more than twenty years of experience in agriculture to the company, with a diverse background in agronomics and a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Texas A&M University.
Following the limited legalization of medical cannabis in Texas, Taylor shifted his professional focus to cannabis production, breeding, R&D, cultivation facility design and project management in his roles as vice president of operations and director of cultivation at Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation (TOCC). In these roles, he developed a strong cannabis cultivation program for the company, planting the first legal seeds under Texas’ medical cannabis program and developing medical cannabis cultivars for TOCC’s specific product needs.
Also, an experienced hemp producer, Taylor holds deep expertise in light deprivation greenhouses as well as indoor facility design for vegetative-phase cultivation and post-harvest processing.
Travis Higginbotham graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Environmental Horticulture and finished his education working on his MS in Environmental Horticulture at Virginia Tech. Higginbotham was Director of Research and Development for Battlefield Farms (40-acre greenhouse operation in Virginia) for 4 years. During his time at Battlefield Higginbotham managed all product development (new crop introductions) working with 28 different global flower breeding companies and was one of the three members on Lowe’s Corporate’s Research Council where he advised on crop performance and selection, nationwide. Higginbotham worked on many different projects from post-harvest handling and shipping success, rearing of microorganisms as an alternative to harsh chemicals for pest management to much work with sole source, photoperiodic and supplemental lighting. Higginbotham finished his career at Battlefield with designing a LED sole source growing environment which now successfully acclimates ~2.6 million plants from stage III tissue culture/year.
During Higginbotham’s research efforts with lighting he worked very closely with Philips Lighting and OSRAM/Fluence Bioengineering. Higginbotham accepted the position as Global Technical Support Director (Horticulture Service) for Fluence where he developed a grower consulting service to support Fluence’s Sales teams to service all horticulture markets, not just cannabis. Fluence is the largest LED supplier to the indoor and greenhouse cannabis market, globally, with ~400 installations in North America, alone. Higginbotham built a team with members located in Australia, EU, Canada and the US. Higginbotham has worked/advised many of the largest cannabis LPs (licensed producers) in North America and EU.
Today Higginbotham is Co-Owner, Sales & Business Development for The Hemp Mine, LLC. Higginbotham leads the sales, partnership development and business development for The Hemp Mine while managing the Sales team for both consumer ready products and as well as all production partners for The Hemp Mine. The Hemp Mine currently produces a wide array of different products ranging from smoke-able flower to tinctures of different concentrations for both humans and animals. These consumer products are sold in over 1,500 retail stores in the SE USA. Higginbotham is also Founder and Owner of a Horticultural consultancy, Due Diligence Horticulture, LLC.
Susan Hays is a lawyer, advocate, and crisis manager based in Austin, Texas, with more than twenty-five years’ experience in law and politics. Her practice now focuses on cannabis law, from hemp to the full regulatory scheme of cannabis. She has drafted license applications, served as the general counsel of a publicly traded, touch-the-plant cannabis company, and most recently was intimately involved in the drafting and passage of Texas’s 2019 hemp law.
She began her legal career as a legislative aide to a Texas House member. She moved a few dozen yards north to clerk at the Supreme Court of Texas. In the years since, she has represented individual clients, corporations, and organizations in the courts and the political realm, drawing from a broad skill set to employ the best tactics to achieve the client’s goals whether litigation, press strategy, or legislative advocacy.
In addition to a general appellate practice, she also practices in campaign compliance and legal ethics. She has advised multiple candidates from local to statewide offices around the state on legal and political matters. Her contacts are statewide, developed from twenty-five years of political involvement around Texas.
She has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2005. She has handled cases ranging from securities fraud to civil rights, arguing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas, and numerous lower appellate courts. She has had her own practice since 2004, after working at Waters & Kraus, L.L.P. and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld L.L.P. She routinely makes the Super Lawyers list for Texas. She earned her B.A. in 1992 from the University of Texas at Austin and her J.D. in 1996 from Georgetown University Law Center.
Susan has long been very involved in civic life serving on numerous non-profit boards. She currently serves on the advisory board to the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. She is most proud of co-founding Jane’s Due Process, Inc., a legal services nonprofit for Texas minors.
While she earned her chops analyzing complex legal issues and creating simple, persuasive legal arguments despite that complexity, she also relishes getting her boots dirty to investigate facts on the ground. Likewise, she is equally at home in a big city boardroom as in a small town courtroom.
Provides leadership and administration for a large comprehensive program of research, teaching and extension in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences . The department is widely recognized for its quality, size, and diversity of subject matter areas. Nationally and internationally recognized research programs are conducted by Soil and Crop Sciences Faculty in such disciplines as plant breeding and genetics, biotechnology, crop physiology, agronomy, forage and turfgrass management, cereal chemistry, soil science, weed science, and environmental soil, water and crop science. The Department has 34 campus-based research/teaching and 11 extension faculty at College Station and 45 research and extension faculty headquartered at 13 research and extension centers across the state. Student enrollment consists of 125 undergraduate students and 120 graduate students representing several states and 19 countries. Dr. Baltensperger has recently been involved with coordinating hemp research and extension activities at Texas A&M University.
Serial Entrepreneur & Business Owner. Working with a focus in the Cannabis Industry. Product development at the ground level with grass roots marketing based research. Bringing together multiple brands for collaboration in Austin’s first Cannabis based Collective.
Standing President for Texas Cannabis Council with a focus on current and future development of the Texas cannabis industry by advocating for public policies that ensure the responsible regulation and sound business practices
My proficiencies include design and concept direction, brand awareness, talent management, project roadmaps and schedules, and staff management within intense, deadline-driven environments often rife with complicated logistics and personalities. I'm intelligent, driven, tenacious, affable, and thorough.
We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous support! Please help us thank them by visiting their websites!