In January 2019, Silver Lions Farms CEO, Tracy Saville, gave a presentation to the White Pine County Commission about a hemp farm that the company was investing in 60 miles northeast of Ely, an investment that will bring a new major economic future to White Pine County.
Phase one of the project has been an investment of $35 million: land cost $10 million, construction was $7 million, a super structure was $9 million, seeds were $4 million and seeding and farm equipment another $5 million.
Construction was completed in just seven weeks and an additional 350 acres near Cherry Creek was purchased.
A state-of-the-art 250,00-square-foot greenhouse has been built, and as of June 3, 8 million seeds have been planted inside the greenhouse.
Ian Bullis, White Pine Couny Commissioner, explains how hemp is not marijuana. “It is a fibrous material, great for a variety of paper products as well as an incomprehensible variety of applications and benefits derived from its oils.”
Healthy Farm Management is under contract to grow industrial hemp. Its mission is to help heal millions, while providing an impactful economic opportunity that includes jobs while bringing revenue to the state of Nevada.
Bullis expressed his excitement for the Silver Lions Hemp Farm.
“Honestly, our community has been blessed beyond measure, not just in having a new industry come to our area, but to have the character, level of professionalism, and diverse skillsets of creative people that are at the helm of the company is more than I could have ever hoped for,” he said.
The Farm Bill that was passed in 2018 changed the game for farmers. Shipping product across state lines became available and federally managed water is now being utilized to irrigate hemp fields.
“Even though the farm itself may not actually be a high-number employer, what I am particularly excited for is the lateral industry growth that will become a natural biproduct of this company’s presence in our county,” Bullis said.
Processing and harvesting operations are reported to have a harvest target in October, with 8 million pounds of harvested biomass by Dec. 1.
Phase 2 is projected to begin in the winter of 2019 through the spring of 2020 that will equate to 259 million seeds per year.
“I believe we will see a major influx of companies, who utilize hemp as a raw material for their product, scouting the area and possibly looking to move their operations to our county, saving them a lot of money and time by cutting out necessary freight,” Bullis said.