Clay Taber : CEO & Co-Founder
Clay has advised a wide range of agricultural organizations on structuring, financing, and launching more than 1.5 million acres of farmland in multiple countries, economies and environments. He’s gathered and helped define best practices from agricultural operations around the world – lessons we use as building blocks in our own approach to hemp cultivation.
What brought you to the hemp industry?
Previously, I worked on many agricultural projects around the globe. My former company in Africa was a large scale farming advisory group based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We grew a lot of different crops, for example – Sugar and Corn in Mozambique, Cassava in Nigeria, coffee and soybeans in Ethiopia and tomatoes in South Africa. So, when I moved back to the US and Hemp became legal, it was natural for me to jump into this exciting new industry. Let’s put it this way, there are fewer logistical issues in the US in a year – than there are in Mozambique in a day! And farming is logistics, logistics, logistics! We had a successful grow in Tennessee last year, harvesting 106 acres of hemp, and we are excited that we can now grow and process hemp here in Georgia.
How’d that prepare you for now?
Well, I can say it is a lot easier farming in the Southeastern USA than it is in any of those places. First off we have power and roads! But most importantly it taught me about planning and timing. The difference between a good farmer and a bad farmer can be just two days… so you better be ready and get moving.
How does your experience make SCA a strong player in the GA hemp market?
While our main business is processing, we are farmer focused. Our goal is to be there to assist our farmer’s throughout the season – and as I have run farming projects I know how difficult any crop can be to manage. So, we come at this with a complete field playbook and system based on our experience in Tennessee growing this crop, and my background in large scale crop production.
How do you see the industry changing the most in the next year or two?
I believe as the consumer becomes more aware of CBD and the benefits of the cannabis plant, that more and more products will be infused with CBD and other cannabinoids. We would obviously like the FDA to weigh in on CBD as a food additive soon, and we believe that they will.
If someone had told you 5 years ago that you’d be growing cannabis, what would you have said?
I would say that sounds about right! In a strange way I feel like everything I have done in my career around the world to this point has lead me to this crop back in my home state.
What’s your prediction for the future of hemp and cannabis products?
I believe that hemp and cannabis products will continue to be more and more available not only in the USA but globally. The benefits of this plant are so extensive, and now that it is legal to grow in most states – we can really get into the science of the crop. I also predict a University of Georgia National Championship soon! Go Dawgs!