Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Industry and regulatory leaders to discuss using hemp products in animal feed

Amber Betts
WSDA Communications

When the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to begin regulating hemp production, many in the animal feed industry hoped to use hemp byproducts as a source of protein, fat, and fiber content in animal feed. However, while the bill allowed for production of hemp, it was silent on whether hemp ingredients could be allowed. 

Animal feed experts at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will join the Association of American Feed Controls Officials (AAFCO) and the National Industrial Hemp Council of America (NIHC) for a webinar next week to talk about this issue: “Why isn’t hemp in animal feed? A discussion on overcoming challenges and gaining approval.” The webinar is scheduled for Aug. 9, from noon to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

In addition to the nutritional value, hemp ingredients are a potential alternative to existing, more costly, but already approved ingredients. It is essential to ensure safety for each ingredient for every intended animal species, as well as the humans that may consume meat, eggs, or dairy products from animals that consume these ingredients. Each species has differing nutritional requirements for their various life stages that are typically met through a complete and balanced feed fed for long periods of time. Alternatively, humans can choose what they eat on a daily basis to get their nutrition from a variety of food sources.

Interest in including hemp in commercial animal feed has gained traction since USDA’s Agricultural Improvement Act (also known as the Farm Bill) passed in 2018. However, use of the ingredient in animal feed and pet food remains under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and state regulatory agencies with an established safety review for all ingredients.


The meeting organizers’ goal is to connect industry peers, and discuss the challenges and how to move forward to make hemp a safe and beneficial feed ingredient.

Fifteen leading experts from feed manufacturing, hemp production, scientific research, and regulatory oversight will participate in a three-part panel discussion, Q&A and conversation around:

  •     Scientific research and data,
  •     Ingredient review and approval, and
  •     Interests and concerns

More information on the event, and to register can be found online at:

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