Guest

Theo Wahquahboshkuk

  • Introduction

Theo leads Prairie Band Ag’s enterprise with a focus on adapting, expanding, and achieving successful agricultural operations through strategic planning and performance-based research. He has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and certifications focused on botany, hemp, horticulture, and plant sciences providing a well-rounded education that ensures the successful cultivation and harvest of all agricultural commodities, from seed to sale. Theo has experience in commodity plant cultivation, hemp production, and participation in many tribal planning committees providing a unique ability to successfully strategize and organize to ensure the success of the operations through executing plans with the mission in mind.

Prairie Band Ag is a wholly owned subsidiary of Prairie Band, LLC. Prairie Band LLC’s mission is to maximize the unique sovereign status of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation to expand and diversify the economic portfolio of the Nation. 

  • Getting to Know Mr. Theo Wahquahboshkuk

Theo Wahquahboshkuk introduced himself and said I’m Theo Wahquahboshkuk, the operations manager with Prairie Band Ag. Prairie Band Ag is a subsidiary of Prairie Band LLC’s, which is a family of companies here in northeast Kansas. We’re wholly owned and operated by the prairie band Potawatomi Nation. And we are going into our third year of operations you’re wanting to was kind of building out of our operations, building out our facility, getting our footing in with growing on the industrial hemp side of getting those practices down here in the northeast Kansas region. I have an environmental science background tailored towards botany, chemistry and in all the sciences in that fashion. And it really kind of brought the educational aspect of understanding the hemp plant and, and of course, we work a lot with the our tribal nation, the prairie band, Potawatomi Nation and Land Management Department to kind of help us co facilitate the planting the harvesting and kind of building that that bigger operation there with the landmass the acreage releases and all of that.

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, talking a little bit what does that look like? What are you guys, a land tribe? There have been some times that I’ve been kind of shocked that I just don’t have a lot of land. They weren’t given the land that they’re owed. And so they’re kind of between this rock and a hard spot of ability to get into the industry. And so what is accessible for you guys as far as land?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, so within our current borders, there’s approximately 77,000 acres. The tribe owns around half of that. So 50% of that 77,000 I believe we manage about 10 or 11,000 on the farming side, as far as leases, and then our own land management practices. So a livestock bison, Callie, works there. So slowly, we’re kind of acquiring some of those leases on the Craven ag side to put forth towards the hemp production. And so trying to build up that land and lease there on our inflation’s

  • About the Hemp Production

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, so tell me about hemp production, right? Tell me what you guys are you guys, we’re launching and have an open house here pretty soon. You guys are doing raw material processing?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said We’ll be processing bales. We have an open house on September 7. So we’ll share that with everyone here. Will Know Mandy has shared it on the gha newsletter already. So thank you for that. Yeah. But yeah, we’ll be having an open house and we’ll be processing, not at the open house. But going forward. Once we open up and get everything fired up, we’ll be processing raw bales breaking it down into the constituent parts and kind of going from there.

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked him and said, what kind of equipment is used?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said We have formation bags, fiber track 660 line, the full line.

  • End Markets

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked and said, Talk to me about the end markets, you guys have a unique opportunity to be involved with the tribe and Talk to me about  what are plans for end markets? And will it be tribal usage? Or what’s kind of the business model?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, So we have been reaching out to other tribes. We just went to a conference about two months back, and it was all of the tribes in the nation coming together, seeing where everybody is on the cannabis and hemp side. And a lot of tribes are doing a lot of things, you know, building materials, housing, all of these renewable parts, what hemp does. And so we would like to work with some of those tribes and, and being some of those sources for the raw materials for those building projects for housing projects etc.

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, Mainly focused on hurd for building materials, are you guys doing grain also?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said Yeah, mainly fiber hurd but not strictly to tribes, any of the markets out there that we could potentially supply? We, of course, want to open up that bottleneck and help the industry move forward, build it up, and, and kind of that side of things.

  • Material Forward

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, So what do you need the most, you know, what is it that you guys need to really move material forward with your organization and operations for right now?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, we’re really trying to source some additional acreage or raw material supply. I’ve been looking at the hemp benchmarks. We’re showing that little less people are growing this year compared to last year. And so we’re hoping to kind of get people interested in any way we can help them put their acres into production of hemp and then we be the kind of end buyer of that and just just kind of get the education, get the word out and kind of promote the industry in that fashion. But yep, acreage, funding grant opportunities, things like that. We’re really looking forward to helping supplement our operations, getting new equipment, new equipment that’s tailored towards him. Because right now we’re using some equipment that is How we make do? And then of course, there’s all of those risks associated with using leased equipment on.

  • Scale of Acres

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, scale of acres. Right, you guys are in Kansas. Now, how far? How far is the long term? Are you guys looking to expand outside or past year away from your facility? 100 miles, 150 Miles? What’s your ideal distance?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Ideal? I would say once the freight and shipping costs start coming in less than 250 miles I think Max would be before the cost of shipping, and all of those included costs start really cutting into the, to the financials of that. 

  • Understanding the Challenges

Mandi Lynn Kerr said,  I’m really curious about, process to scale and the type of challenges that you’re seeing. You guys are not not running your facility yet. I’m really interested, as this happens, some of the challenges that we’re seeing with hemp, and some of the challenges especially, as your team has experienced in the mechanical side and operations side of the equipment, engineering, manufacturing, it’s a, it’s a new animal, right, it’s a new plant, and it’s got some strengths to it that are dust, the capability to control or manage the dust. I’m curious what you guys are anticipating or an angle, maybe you guys have taken to really be successful, understanding some of the challenges that you’ve heard from the equipment suppliers and from some of the other processors that are using equipment similar to yours.

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, so with the 660 line that we purchased, we got the full layout, and like you mentioned, the dust issues that come along with that we yeah, we also got the dust collection system involved with Article One. So we can kind of mitigate those, those things that come along with that, and potentially put that to use I mean, collectively but it’s us wherever you can go.

  • Settle on Hemp

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question from Brandon, Why did you as a nation settle on hemp?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said that we were just exploring new opportunities. We really fully believe in it, the renewable aspect or the regenerative aspect. We as a nation, we’ve seen a lot of our lands be historically put into conventional farming practices. So all of those inputs come in from fertilizers, chemicals, etc. We have a nice EPA or planning and environmental protection program that really highlights those issues that occur within our soil health and water health, and they kind of monitor those things. And year to year, we can see the trends happen during those times of the planting season, where those applications are being put in. So researching learning about industrial hemp, and seeing its properties and what it can do as far as bioremediation, or soil remediation. We just really believe in utilizing those plants to do those specific things to help regenerate our, the health of the whole ecosystem that we have, where we live in.

  • Challenges Coming Across 

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, What are some of the challenges then? Right, when we talk about stealing acres, what are some of the reservations or challenges that you’re coming across? In addition to genetics?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, so almost all of our acres are dry land. And so that’s probably one of the biggest challenges that we’re seeing, like this year, not a whole lot of summer rainfall. And then a whole lot of spring rainfall, which kind of pushed us back in our planting dates. And, and so, really, the challenge is, is really getting the process down, I guess, from planting the harvest and those planting dates. We’re learning that those are vitally important to get in almost as early as possible after those last four Our state’s and any which way?

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, are you guys gonna drill?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said that is some of the intention for the 2023 season, we kind of want to do both. So no till and then precision drills some of that in and then kind of do some trials with the spacing as well, we went seven and a half inch, no till almost all our acres and of course, it’s too wet, we can’t get in kind of pushes our dates back. But if we can drill, then we can certainly get in a little earlier when you want to. And then also play with the row spacing.

  • Row Spacing

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, what are you thinking about row spacing?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, On the region, the regenerative part of planting, no, got row spacing. We, I kind of wanted to incorporate cover crops in between those rows, you know, to really fight off the weed pressure that we have been experiencing. And so we see that people are doing that around the country I’ve been speaking with, you know, some of those cover crops specialists and, and other folks who are playing with those kind of practices like Cornell and all of those folks, folks out in Pennsylvania, just kind of picking their brain about what worked, what species works with cover crops, you know, enter intercropping and, and just kind of see what we can do and what we can make work in our area.

  • Building Opportunity For Next Year

Mandi Lynn Kerr  said, we look at building opportunities for next year, and what we’re going to be looking at for trials and more and more cover crops, adding cover crops in and there’s quite a bit of capital available, you know, for grant money for cover crops and regenerative practices. And so adding a cover crop into rotation. And we’ll be interested in seeing how this develops and what kind of trials are in place to incorporate that. I’m always fascinated about that. Cropping Systems and what works and what doesn’t. So how many acres Did you say are regenerative?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said All of them, we want to put all of them to after every harvest will cover crops almost immediately. And then come 2023 We want to kind of intercede in between our hemp goes and see how that works.

  • Cropping Systems

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, this is the part that I just don’t know very much about is that it’s not something that we have talked a lot about is the cropping systems with different hemp with different systems and how it how it acts and what’s better. And it’ll be interesting to see data also, you know, as to which genetics gave a better cover, right, that were able to drown out weed or beat the weeds out. That makes a big, big difference in production. scale production. 

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Yeah, and genetics is something where we’re still kind of exploring also, because we’ve seen a lot of genetics from all around the world, you know, everybody likes certain genetics from certain regions that work here well, and other places as well. And so that’s, that’s kind of, I guess, some of the r&d that we’re doing plant and multiple genetics, and but first, we gotta get hemp in early enough to bleed.

  • Event

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, can you talk a little bit about your event? What can people expect? What does it look like had people register?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, yes, September 17, from 10am to 2pm, we’re going to have a grand opening open house at our facility here. On site, it’ll be our processing warehouse facility. It’s just going to be kind of a showing of what we have, what we’ve been doing education on all those fronts, kind of bring in some partners to kind of show what certain people are doing in the industry with these things, you know, maybe some small demos and all that. But yeah, it’s really just an educational Open House kind of come see what we’re doing here in northeast Kansas and kind of get some visibility put us on the map and kind of promote the industry as well through that, you know, hoping our local farmers, local producers come and kind of see what this is and where it can be and just, yeah, just just kind of promote promoted in every fashion that we can.

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked and said, If somebody is Connecting, how do they connect? Like how do they reach out to you and know who fits inside that box as far as partnerships? Is it like saying sourcing veils, farm acres, you know, talking to me about if somebody’s listening and they want to work together or really develop who it is that you’re looking to connect with?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Yeah, source and bales source and acres, of course, would benefit us as we are close to the US and the northeast Kansas region. But of course, if you’re farther away we can. We’ve met quite a few people and processors where we can kind of point you in that direction. If, if it’s not feasible for us, distance wise, we can certainly put you in contact with those folks and other places who also do processing and can kind of get you going. But yeah, source on our own acres around here. Any bales that are within the right vicinity where we can purchase those and a couple 100 miles from us? And, basically everybody in the industry. And what’s fortunate enough is everybody I’ve met has put me on to somebody else. And so it’s really that networking within the hemp industry that has helped us kind of move forward. And I fully promote that and, and wanting to put everybody on with anybody else who’s in their specific region to, to kind of help move this forward

  • The Equipment and Facility

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked, It’s so much about who we know, right. And it’s, this is really why I’m passionate about doing what I do. And it’s I’m so glad you said what you did, because it just makes me all excited. I’m thrilled about the connectivity and being able to provide a platform where people can connect and build relationships. And like you said, attending these events have a ton of value face to face. No seeing it over zoom versus face to face are two completely different experiences. And I think that it creates both a lot of opportunities. But I really encourage those that are in your area to come out. If you’re up in Berlin, Kansas, or have flexibility to travel to attend, you know, also to be able to see the equipment, I think that the equipment is, another piece that if you haven’t seen formation x five or six, six, do you guys want to do a walk in through the equipment or showing your facility also?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Yeah, we’ll be showing it off.

  • Harvest and Challenges

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, Talk to you about harvest, as you guys are harvesting acreage and going to other farms to secure contracts? Where are you seeing challenges as far as ability to harvest and size of acres in order to be successful at or to have equipment, you know, to do most of the farmers in your area already have the equipment? Talk to me about that part?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, yeah, of course, they have a lot of the equipment, it’s really the capacity to do that many acres with X amount of equipment. And because right now we do have the planter and combine, but we can only do so much in a short amount of time. And so as people learn that if you’re going to harvest the grain side of things, you really have a smaller window to do that. And so we really want to maximize the fiber herd, because that’s kind of what our processing facility is going to need to be operational. And so that’s really our focus kind of going forward. If we can harvest the grain and get the right people to help us do that, you know, grain bins, combines, etc. To move those around and get those dried and stored properly then, absolutely, you would move forward with that. But yep, securing those acres for the fiber herd side of things is kind of our main focus right now.

  • Dual Crop and The Value

Mandi Lynn Kerr asked a question and said, Do you guys have a lot of conversations about the dual crop because of value back to the farmer or focused around value for the farm?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said A little bit? Yeah, we did that last year. We do a crop and that’s where we did see that kind of challenge with not only regulation, but getting that grain harvested within that shatter window and then getting it dried getting it stored properly and to the right places. But yeah, definitely will put out that education on maximizing what you’re growing on your acres.

 

XVII. Regulations Around Grain and Fiber Production

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, So regulations right around grain and fiber production compared to cabinet productions. Do you see a need to really separate the fiber Ingredients from cannabinoids?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, I do yeah, as a lot of people express, it’s really kind of kids putting together as far as those cannabinoid concentrations as well, a lot of people are understanding that the fiber in the herd is pretty much non detectable. And those are the things that are also regulated as harshly as the floral side of the CBD, and things like that. So I could see a benefit and moving the industrial side of the grain fiber forward a little easier without all of the overhead regulations that are tacked on as well with the CBD side of things.

 

XVIII. Definition of Hemp

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, I’m gonna give a shout out or just a quick plug as we were talking about this, because it’s something that comes up and I just hear more and more buzz about the need to really put a separation, almost put the word term industrial back in the definition of hemp, right? For that definition, but to the hemp exemption, and in that you can get on hemp exemption.com. And it basically outlines, an effort or a bill with an effort to do just this given exemption to the fiber and grain production around the cannabinoid testing and licensing, it just changes it a little bit, it doesn’t exempt it completely from all tests, you know, or all licensing, but makes it easier, you know, remove some of the barrier to entry so that farmers are able to get into it and get straight easier. So I’d be happy to be interested in chatting with you about that being your perspective on. We can’t deny the certified seed or value the seed and especially for cannabinoid production, a certified seed, if it removes the risk for the farmer of losing their entire crop by growing a certified seed compared to a non certified seed. Now, that could be definitely beneficial. I just really look at the fiber and grain growth and production and what genetics we have available and know what’s available to farmers on a national scale versus regional right now. 

 

XIV. About the Operations

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, Do you guys touch on your operations? And maybe already touched on this? Do you guys have an agronomist on your team that you work directly with? Or are you consulting with the farmer for the field? Talk to me about that relationship? How did that come about?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, so we work with a couple of folks from around here. I’ve worked with the K State Extension in our local region here in Holton, Kansas, and they’ve been a big help on kind of advising, guiding and giving us those those those tips and pointers on how our soil looks, what’s the plans, you know, how we can regenerate those levels that we need for hemp production? You know, the demands that hemp has, that’s something that everyone’s kind of still learning, I guess. And so they’re, they’re kind of, yeah, we’ve been working with a few folks to up our knowledge and get them in and have them learn about it to help others as well.

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, How does it really play a role in bringing or revitalizing indigenous farming practices? You know, where do you really see it as that tool or opportunity?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Revitalizing indigenous practices? Um, that’s a question to think about there.

 

  1. Indigenous and Farming Practices 

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, I’m kind of curious, you know, as not understanding, indigenous practices and farming practices very well. Somebody asked this the other day on one of our calls about how we are really utilizing hemp to support their practices and their farming practices that are traditional to, you know, their culture and their land and so on.

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, I guess Okay, to that point. A lot of it is mechanical, of course, we’re using our machinery to plant to harvest all of that. But we do believe in what hemp does, and that’s regenerating, regenerating our soils, you know, if we have some wetland water projects, you know, regenerating those, just the soil health, the ecosystem health, and I guess that’s, that’s kind of tailored to that question, just really respecting those facets of what our land base is. And that’s really what we have, and what we’re going to pass down to our next generation. So we really want to keep that healthy and vital and, and not really damage those ecosystems. So people down our next generations are able to enjoy them as we do now. So what we know now we were able to acknowledge what we’ve been doing. And hemp is, is something that we believe, can be a part of that regeneration process for, for all those things just mentioned.

 

XXI. Sustainability

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, I totally agree. Yes. And it was kind of a broad question or a difficult question. But really, it’s, yeah, it fits into so many sectors, from circular economy for animal feed, and for better lip soil or better carbon in the soil. I mean, there’s just so many things that I could go on and on about that we’ve all talked about so many times. When you talk about sustainability, what does sustainability mean? You know, there’s so many definitions, I feel like it’s so broad. What is that to you personally, what is sustainability when you guys are going after something more sustainable?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Sustainable to me means something that  in line with renewable, so sustainable, being able to do that year after year without those, those negative effects of what the conventional practices, kind of what we see is happening with the conventional practices without doing those things that help to mitigate the issues that come along with the conventional practices.

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, What’s your observation? I guess, because I’m, I’m curious about what you’ve experienced in this transition from conventional practices to more regenerative practices.

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, So we kind of take on both with our, with our approach to planting Him we live in, in kind of the prairie, so one of the most diverse ecosystems in the nation. So we, of course, need to be able to mitigate our weed pressures. So those conventional ways are probably one of the, I would say easier ways, but that’s why we’re kind of going forward in 2023 with interceding row crop or cover crops, just so we can do that process of regenerative Ag in lieu with our hemp operations. So we can really focus on shying away and that’s our main goal is to reduce our inputs as far as chemicals fertilizers and, and try to figure out how it works with Yeah, interspecies planting. Okay, but still It’ll be able to supplement our processing facility and operations that we have invested in.

 

XXII. Offtake Agreement

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, So tons per hour. What do you guys look at as far as offtake? Agreement? I kind of understand for those that don’t understand the information, ag equipment or have not really looked into it. I’m curious, you want to kind of talk to us about things like, what does your volume look like? What are some of the specs that you guys are looking to meet? You talked about it? On the processing side?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, as we aren’t fully up and operational yet, I don’t have a word on that. But as advertised up to up to two times an hour is as advertised, we’re gonna kind of see where, where we fit in with, with those numbers, and then just kind of promoted from there. Yeah. And also, as well, as, you know, bail type, bail size, and variety type. Those are some of the variables that we’re kind of considering seeing, you know, how they process? Is there a lot of weed pressure that came in those bales? And so yeah, there’s a lot to go into kind of crunching those numbers from my understanding, before we’re operational fully yet.

 

XXIII. Genetic Makes Difference

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, want to keep hearing those things that you want to know, like, I love the weed pressure, you know, running our trials through decortication makes great data, right, each of these, each of these different genetics in different regions or locations. Not only that, but different types of processing. Right, you know, is it really the genetics that makes such a difference? Or nowhere? Does the type of processing really play a big role? Or how much of each of those plays a big role towards some end products?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, and that’s what we’re interested in is even the reading process like wind, Rose, winter reading, you know, leading stocks up? What processes the most efficiently and, and so that’s, those things we’re going to learn. And if there’s people who have that data, we’d love to see how that works.

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, where are you guys leaning? As far as, you know, rows with rows versus which reading? I’ve seen both right. We’ve seen them both done. I think that the size of stocks make a big difference, the longer the crop grows.

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Yeah, we laid it down when Rose for our first successful harvest. But we do intend to do some, some trials with some winter reading, leaving them standing. And yeah, see how they read in that fashion? Every effort people do it over all winter. And just everything in between. and So it’d be interesting to see how those turnout.

 

XXIV. Marketing and Selling Into Long Term

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, a lot of times you hear people say equipment is going to be built, I hear this said, that equipment is really going to be built based on the end product, end goal, where would you say that end product is for your region? What  would farmers typically be growing for? When do you anticipate a project to get to your crystal ball? Where are you guys going to be marketing and selling for the long term? Textiles?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, yeah, I think fiber and the textiles, and everything down that road, we’re seeing a lot of hempcrete building materials being done throughout the native tribes in America and so with their housing, and they’re, they’re, as you said, sustainable, that would be towards that industry and that belief that these things are more sustainable, they’re more renewable, we can produce this at a faster rate than you know the logging industry is and keep it coming year after year.

 

XXV. Biggest Needs

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, What would you say some of the biggest needs of your tribe are right? This is what I see is a huge opportunity and not just with yours, right and any economy or any small community right is this circular opportunity. If one of my areas has a housing need that has a massive shortage, the ability to grow and supply to our own demand right and be able to to really create this circular economy I think that is also a huge piece of sustainability. Right as you know, keep it, keep that supply chain in house without risk of or with minimal risk or less risk of disruption. You know, what are Some of those and I’m just curious, you know, some of us some organizations have huge cattle ranches, some have housing needs. Some are, like I said, have no land, but have water crises or some Superfund sites. What are some of those that, you know, may be opportunities to explore for offtake agreements?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, I think the housing you mentioned would probably be one of the bigger ones. Yeah. So as far as needs housing to keep that in a circular economy, of course, we’re producing hemp. Yeah, there are tribes around us that have modular home companies that kind of want to incorporate industrial hemp into those building materials. And so I think that’s really, really awesome, really interesting. And really moving forward with the thinking of how we can utilize this crop, industrial hemp with the already established things going on.

 

XXVI. Feed Coalition

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, totally Well, that’s what gets me really excited, right is where can we really fit this supply into an existing supply chain that we’ve already got polar demand from and I think that the housing becomes an extremely nice opportunity. And I love the prefab or modular building idea of prefab balls made out of hemp, whether it’s the SIP panels or Yeah, it’s any material, right, but it just makes sense that it can be pressed or molded, and then put into a wall. And obviously, there’s challenges, because it’s not done yet. But that is definitely exciting for me. Very, very cool. Very cool. Also, of course, animal bedding and feed, you know, I’m interested in really getting behind the feed, are you connected with that feed coalition at all?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, I’m not too much we’ve been. We’ve been kind of attending some networking events here, with K State in their research on feed and all that. But yeah, we’d love to see that move forward, we, of course, have bison herds and cattle. So to be able to feed them that fatty and protein rich source of grain.

 

XXVII. Partner with Universities

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, You guys have that capability. And I think that that no grain whether you guys are growing grain or for grain or not, you know, as the farm and the skill, you know, increases, being able to definitely harvest that grain as an additional revenue becomes exciting again, for me, it’s popular economy, you know, in this sustainability aspect. It’s exciting. There was a great question, right? And asked earlier, how you partner with universities for research studies. And I’m curious, what are some of those studies you guys are working on?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, we have not partnered, we of course reached out a lot of them are doing things already. And we’d love to be a part of that, of course, we’re near some of the bigger age schools in the country, K State, K us down the road. And so yeah, we’ve just kind of, I’d love to be a part of that. And, and while they’re out there, and they’re listening, we’re here and we’re ready to be a part of that research.

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, Facility is opening up, right, it changes the game. We’ve got material that you can give to people to sample and try and understand similarities. I think that it’s nice to at least I would find I find it a little bit comforting. It’s exciting that you’ve got other people that are operating similar equipment and you know, have have built this proof of concept in your area to help partner on supply and gain interest. And it’s nice to see the momentum in Kansas. You guys are really doing a good job.

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Yeah, and I definitely want to give a shout out to them,like I did in South Bend. I’m kind of giving us some insight on how this line works and some of the practices and even Melissa doing the research down there. We’re excited to see that and even attend their open houses. I mean, there’s a lot of networking opportunities there. But to see Kansas, slowly building up, you know, and meeting these other folks that are doing it in Kansas is really inspiring. 

 

XXVIII. Growth

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, it’s been fun to watch, you’re done a great job. And as far as universities go, I’d love to help connect on collaboration, especially the material science side. It’s where I’m starting to really geek out is know what is this next step? What do we get to make with it? As soon as we can get raw material into, you know, the kids hands, they’ll change the world with it. And so it’s pretty exciting. I’d love to help make connections. As universities reach out in your area or, you know, have interested in gaining material, I’ll be sure to make the connections. I did see a few people today. I said Jay was looking for some materials you have to get on. I saw Brandon was looking for material for hemp Building. Building, he said, I’m trying to find a hemp partner for building materials to feature in our showrooms finding someone who is open to it has been challenging. And so connecting with him, this would be great. And then also, who else did I see that was looking for material? It was just Jay. But yeah, so be sure to connect. Also, I think it was for horse bedding, someone was looking for horse bedding, he made a comment. So we’re definitely starting to see interest, you know, the education is starting to get out there, the buzz about the value of it is starting to get out there. It’ll be interesting what price points start to do you know, as it starts to scale? Do you guys have intention, you know, in the near future of scaling to multiple lines, or no? What does growth look like for you guys over the next few years?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, We have definitely thought of that. For sure, but yeah, I’ll drop all of our contact information in there to where Brandon, thanks for those questions. And anybody else who wants to kind of get a hold of us? And if we can provide anything for you, or vice versa? And then yeah, let’s definitely connect.

 

XXIX. Timeline

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, Talk to me about the timeline before you guys are up and operating. Like when I wanted to order hurd What’s an estimated time? When will it be available? Available? Potentially?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, I would say yeah, about three months, we’re about three months from having production packaged and ready material for folks.

 

XXX. Green Energy Grants

Mandi Lynn Kerr said, Has the US government helped subsidize the tribes with any green energy grants?

Theo Wahquahboshkuk said, Yes, there are a few grants out there we put in for the smart commodities grant, which there was a lot of funding in there tailored towards renewables, tribal nations, underserved communities, etc. And they just released another $550 million funding opportunity which I think is going to go towards those types of communities.

 

 

 

Mandi Kerr
Author: Mandi Kerr