Brooke Sheffield started his first hemp brand, Smoky Mountain Medicinals, in 2018 and he now co-owns and operates Phytofox, a vertically-integrated hemp company that farms, extracts, and formulates USDA certified organic hemp products.
In this episode, we talk about how he got started in the hemp business, his love of plants and growing things, the mistakes he’s made, the challenges he’s faced as the hemp industry has exploded, a run-down of yield and prices, and marketing in this unique industry.
You’ll also hear about:
>> How he went from growing vegetables to aquaponics/hydroponics to growing hemp
>> How he graduated from doing everything himself to spending his days managing other people
>> The 2 main avenues for selling hemp
>> Why integrating hemp into a market garden can benefit your brand and stimulate interest in your farm
>> Production differences between outdoor and covered production, plasticulture and using seed vs. clones
>> How he vertically integrated his business
and much more…
Quotes from the episode:
“I love anything that’s simple and doesn’t have a large failure rate”
“Without a team, you can’t get big enough to scale up”
“Farming isn’t typically the hardest part of it. It’s selling it and understanding the market. To do that in a cash crop that’s just become legal, that’s where the challenge is.”
“I don’t think hemp is going to save any farm. I think it’s going to add to the value but if you’re already properly farming, marketing and operating, I don’t think this is a crop that just fixes problems, it actually creates a whole bunch of problems. It’s capital intensive, it’s labor-intensive and technically intensive.”
“If you’re not emotionally invested in your people, they won’t be invested in you”
About the Guest
A native North Carolinian, Brook Sheffield has been farming, consulting, and operating AG based businesses in the Southeast for over 10 years. His retail chain Lotus Farm and Garden Supply has locations in NC, SC, and TN.
In addition to supplying and consulting for farms, he has been successfully running seed to sale operations of his own. He started his first hemp brand Smoky Mountain Medicinals in 2018 and he now co-owns and operates Phytofox, a vertically integrated hemp company that farms, extracts, and formulates USDA certified organic hemp products. Brook’s immersed experience in the industry brings an energized and fresh perspective full of information that is sure to add value to anyone interested in the farming and business of cannabis.