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Hemp agronomist David Williams passes away

Dr. David Williams of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Plant and Soil Science departmentDr. David Williams died Thursday, June 27, 2019

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David Williams, renowned agronomy professor who advanced dual hemp cropping through extensive research and was instrumental in the resurgence of hemp in the U.S. state of Kentucky, has died.

Director of the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability (RCARS) at the University of Kentucky (USA), Williams had led industrial hemp agronomic science research efforts in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences from 2014 until his death Thursday, June 27, 2019. 

‘Ferocious conviction’

“Dr. Williams led the Kentucky hemp industry with calm, steady demeanor and ferocious conviction,” Josh Hendrix, President of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable and a founder of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, said of Williams passing. “He embodied our ambitions to help ourselves and our neighbors work together to bring this crop that had been under the potato basket for the last 80 years into the center of the conversation about what the future of Kentucky Agriculture looked like.”

A practitioner, researcher and teacher of agronomic science his entire career, Williams was a frequent and well-known speaker at hemp industry events in the USA and internationally.

Kentucky hemp stakeholders and friends of Williams will mark his passing with a celebration of life July 14 from 2:00–5:00 p.m., at the E.S. Good Barn facility on the university campus in Lexington. The celebration is open to the public.


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