Meet the NC State University Hemp Researchers

— Written By Emily Febles

Since the NC Industrial Hemp Program’s inception in 2017, several NC State University researchers have dedicated some portion of their research to studying this new and emerging crop. Graduate students and N.C. Cooperative Extension Agents are also working on hemp-related research topics. This article spotlights some of the exciting industrial hemp research being conducted at North Carolina State University.

NC State University Researchers – Spotlight

Image of Jeanine Davis
Dr. Jeanine Davis is a Horticultural Science researcher and extension specialist located in western North Carolina who began working with industrial hemp in 2017. She conducts research on industrial hemp grown for grain, fiber, and floral parts, examining varieties, cultural practices, production systems, and fertilization. Many of these studies are done in collaboration with Angela Post and Ezekial Overbaugh. When not working with hemp, Dr. Davis researches herbs, organic production, and specialty crops.
Image of Keith Edmisten
Dr. Keith Edmisten has grown Industrial Hemp as part of his NC State University Research since the NC Industrial Hemp Program’s inception in 2017. Dr. Edmisten has been researching the effects of day length on Industrial Hemp, and various issues affecting the plant such as root-binding and planting mediums. Many of these studies are done in collaboration with Dr. Jeanine Davis and Dr. Angela Post and Ezekial Overbaugh. When not working with hemp, Dr. Edmisten works with cotton production issues.
Image of Angela Post
Dr. Angela Post has grown Industrial Hemp as part of her NC State University Research since the NC Industrial Hemp Program’s inception in 2017. She conducts research on industrial hemp grown for grain, fiber, and floral parts. Dr. Post has been researching such topics as biomass production, nutrient inputs, planting and harvesting equipment, and planting dates. When not working with hemp, Dr. Post is NC State University’s small grains specialist.
Image of Lindsay Thiessen
Dr. Lindsey Thiessen has been researching the diseases of industrial hemp since the NC Industrial Hemp Program’s inception in 2017. She has made several interesting discoveries, including new bacterial and fungal leaf spots. When not researching hemp, Lindsey works on studying field crops (soybean, cotton, corn, small grains) and tobacco diseases and their management in North Carolina.

Image of Slavko KormanytskyDr. Slavko Kormanytsky has done initial research on analyzing hemp seed protein for cannabinoids. In addition to HPLC-based quantification of cannabinoids in hemp plant and oil samples, his lab investigates CB1 and CB2 receptor signaling in response to cannabinoids and bioactive cannabimimetics in human cells. When not working with industrial hemp, Dr. Kormanytsky focuses on dietary bioactive components in foods, nutrient-gene interactions, and their application to metabolic and immune health.

Image of Carm ParkhurstDr. Carm Parkhurst has done initial research on using hemp seed protein for poultry feeds. Dr. Parkhurst is in the planning stages of a follow-up study on industrial hemp in poultry feeds for late 2018. When not working with industrial hemp, Dr. Parkhurst works on animal feed issues.

Image of Brian Whipker Dr. Brian Whipker began growing Industrial Hemp as part of his NC State University research this year (2018). His research focuses on nutrient use for hemp grown in greenhouses. When not doing hemp research, Dr. Whipker’s research focuses on greenhouse production. 

Dr. Marne Coit conducts research on the law of industrial hemp and also teaches this subject. She works to interpret the complexities of and intersection between state and federal law as it relates to industrial hemp. She recently published a law journal article entitled, “The Fate of Industrial Hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill” in the Journal of Food Law and Policy. When not working with industrial hemp, Dr. Coit’s research and teaching focuses on other areas of food and agricultural law.

Graduate Student Researchers – Spotlight

Image of Ezekial OverbaughEzekial Overbaugh is a Master’s student researching industrial hemp agronomy in North Carolina. He is advised by Dr. Post and Dr. Edmisten. His projects include seeding rate, variety, and fertility trials. Ezekial received his bachelor’s in plant biology from NC State University in 2014 and has worked in commercial berry production as well as urban and community farms.

Image of Ben Grandon Ben Grandon is studying under Dr. Edmisten and Dr. Post. His 2019 research project will focus on industrial hemp for floral production, transplanting techniques and materials, transplant cell size, transplant timing and other agronomic issues. When not researching hemp, Ben serves as Randolph County’s Horticulture and Forestry Cooperative Extension Agent.

NC Cooperative Extension Agent Researchers- Spotlight

Image of Rob Anderson
Rob Anderson received his Master’s Degree in Agriculture from Western Kentucky University focusing on Industrial Hemp research. During the summer of 2018, he worked with Industrial Hemp as a research assistant under Dr. Davis. He joined the NC Cooperative Extension team this fall as an N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent for Haywood County.
Image of Mart Bumgarner
Mart Bumgarner is an N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent who received his license to grow hemp for research purposes this year (2018). He plans to have some Industrial Hemp Demo Plots available at the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Orange County office in 2019. When he isn’t researching industrial hemp, Mart provides information and training on crops and horticulture for Orange County.

The valuable work being done by NC State University researchers and their teams, along with N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent researchers, will be vital in assisting farmers in better understanding the needs of this new crop. These researchers are helping to further our understanding of hemp agronomy with their unwavering dedication to research and education. If you see them, please thank them for their efforts!

If you are an NC State University Researcher and are interested in growing or studying industrial hemp, please email the program for more information on how to participate in this research.

Email the NC Industrial Hemp Program at: IndustrialHemp@ncsu.edu