Dan Glenn: Director of Nursery Services
Dan has always been a focused, results-driven expert in the agricultural space. His deep understanding of the challenges facing hemp growers helps him find the right solutions to keep businesses on track. Previously he founded both the Virgin Island Sustainable Farm Institute (now known as Ridge2Reef) in 2002, and Deep Grass Graziers grass-fed beef and genetics business in 2009.
What brought you to the hemp industry?
Hemp is the most exciting thing to happen in the agricultural space in decades. When hemp started making waves I went and grabbed my surfboard.
What’s your backstory? What did you do before this “green revolution” in GA?
In 2002, I helped found the Virgin Island Sustainable Farm Institute (now known as Ridge2Reef) on St. Croix, USVI. There I worked as the Director of Operations for 6 years. In 2009, I moved home to Irwin County to manage my family’s row crop and cattle operation, founding Deep Grass Graziers, a grass-fed beef and genetics business.
How’d that prepare you for now?
We built Virgin Island Sustainable Farm Institute from the ground up. There was only a pond and a 4-wheel-drive Jeep trail accessing the property. We went from wild jungle to thriving, off-grid eco-campus in about 4 years. Overcoming the many obstacles in that process makes this job seem manageable.
How does your experience make SCA a strong player in the GA hemp market?
When it comes down to it, I’m a practical guy who is after results. Most farmers are. I think my experiences managing the farm in St. Croix and our more conventional farm, here in Irwin County, give me the background to understand the challenges of farming hemp in Georgia and the patience to help our grower partners find solutions.
How do you see the industry changing the most in the next year or two?
I believe the major acreage of CBD hemp nationally will work as vertical partnerships like our model. There will always be small-scale boutique production, but the industry will commodify and only the low-cost production system will survive. I also believe we will have better genetics, more lenient national rules, and a few more tools in our toolbox to manage pest and disease. As more and more studies on cannabis are detailed, varieties will be bred to feature other cannabinoids (CBC, CBN, etc.) that have additional health promoting properties.
If someone had told you 5 years ago that you’d be growing cannabis, what would you have said?
I would have told them, “They must be smoking weed.”
What’s your prediction for the future of hemp and cannabis products?
I think the cannabis plant will make its way into many products and its societal acceptance will continue to grow.