Jim Buck Ross was Commissioner of Agriculture in the State of Mississippi from 1968 to 1995 and was larger than life. One of his favorite sayings was “If you ever see a turtle on top of fence post you can bet he didn’t get there by himself.”

NHGC follows the same advice and our members benefit from strategic partnerships instead of thinking we can do everything flying solo. One of those partnerships has been forged with the Israel Cannabis Association.

Israel has long been a leader in drip irrigation and genetic research – primarily out of necessity. As Ophir Nevo, the executive director of ICA reminds us, when you live in the desert you find ways to get creative.

The ICA is a conduit trade association that brings value to the supply chain between countless private sector companies, government, universities, and agriculture interests. In the US we have often seen this “tech transfer” model work well between a professor who shouts “Eureka!” in the lab and business infrastructure that turns the discovery into a financial enterprise. The ICA is doing the same thing for the medical cannabis industry in Israel. And they have tons of smart people participating in the association.

Hemp is not legal in Israel and greenhouse grows account for well over 90% of production. Because they have been solely focused on medical marijuana, they want to learn more about hemp – in particular fiber and grain – and we recently inked an agreement with the ICA to partner. Growing fiber in a field is not the current Israeli standard operating procedure.

Specifically, we have agreed to work on sharing industry knowledge, distributing various technologies and marketing efforts. One of those marketing efforts happened yesterday when Ophir joined us for our Webinar Wednesday series.

We have already begun in earnest working with one of their member companies focused on genetics and seed cultivation. While we’ll have more of an announcement on that soon, we are planning on some seed trials this planting season. Our NHGC leadership team and the ICA are having weekly conference calls and are pleased with the progress we are making.

The NHGC/ICA partnership is yet another turtle on the fence post.