Jared Mirsky - Speaker at USA CBD Expo 2019

Mike Lewis

Mt. Vernon, Kentucky

Company: Third Wave Farms

Position: Co-Founder and Director of Agriculture

Speaking Topic: Regenerative Agriculture

Skills: Industrial Hemp Farming, Supply Chain, Public Speaker/Educator

Mike Lewis’s Biography

Farming is in Mike Lewis’ DNA. Born in the aptly named town of Farmington, Maine, Mike Lewis follows in his great grandfather’s footsteps as the first family member in two generations to continue the farming legacy. Raised throughout Maine, green farms and rolling acres accented Lewis’s childhood and cemented in him a love for the natural process of agriculture. An Army veteran, having served in the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery from 1992-1995, Mike Lewis understands the importance of tradition and the value of hard work. After the Military, Lewis worked on Lobster boats and offshore draggers fishing for haddock and monkfish as well as summered as a licensed arborist. From there, he explored sales positions in various companies selling products and worked his way up from sales trainer, to media buyer to script writer. The main investor of the company ultimately hired Lewis to establish a sales call center for a hedge fund in 2000.There, in addition to sales, he managed portfolios and built relationships with customers as well as trained all incoming sales team members. Five years later, Lewis opened his own branch where he had 22employees in 12 state that produced sales of financial products in excess of $25 million annually. In 2008, Lewis had an awakening that got him thinking about his legacy and purpose. This led him on a journey across the country looking to re-connect with nature. During this period, he spent time camping, canoeing, whitewater rafting and cooking in restaurants while reading a lot of books on philosophy, religion and ecology. He eventually landed in Kentucky and realized that it was farming that was calling to him. In 2009, he took an internship on an organic farm in Gravel Switch, Kentucky and founded Growing Warriors - the first Veteran oriented food security project with a mission to equip, asset and train military veterans in production agriculture to feed themselves, their families and their communities. To date, the organization has provided education and training resources to hundreds of veterans and their families. In 2014, Lewis began farming Hemp as part of the Kentucky Pilot Program. With the support of Fibershed and Patagonia Lewis became the first federally permitted hemp farmer in the US since prohibition. To date, Lewis has won numerous awards for his work in agriculture and farming, including the 2013 and 2014 Local Food Hero award, the 2015 Wendell Berry New Agrarian Kentucky Colonel award, the 2014 Yahoo People That Made the World a Better Place award, and the GRIST 50 award.

Third Wave Farms’ Biography

In 2017, Lewis co-founded Third Wave Farms - an industrial hemp company based Livingston, Kentucky. As a leader within the industrial hemp industry, Third Wave Farms is working to bridge the gap between farmer and consumer while creating a modern farm movement to revitalize a cottage industry. The company brings technology based solutions with better business practices to rural American communities. Third Wave Farms actively implements practices to help revitalize rural economies and introduce new business opportunities to American farms. Today, Lewis serves as Director of Third Wave Farms responsible for production and sales. He is a regularly sought after speaker and educates audiences on Agrarianism, Regenerative Agriculture, Farm Safety, Veterans in Agriculture and local economics. He also serves as Board Director of Growing Warriors, which, in 2019, partnered with Third Wave Farms in an effort to incubate future farmers. In addition, Lewis is on the Board of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) a non-profit trade association representing more than one thousand supporters, farmers and business members serving the hemp industries where he is involved in helping to shape policy, standards and educational resources for farmers. He was the first president of the board of the Kentucky chapter of HIA and is a former member of the KY Hemp commission- the group that crafted Kentucky and federal legislation surrounding the Farm Bill that was passed in January 2019. He has been recognized as a Farm Aid hero for his work with Veterans and sustainable agriculture and holds the position of director of the KY AgrAbility project at University of Kentucky Cooperative. The vision of AgrAbility is to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities, so that they, their families, and their communities continue to succeed in rural America. Lewis currently resides in Kentucky with his wife, daughter and son. When he is not on the farm or working the fields, Lewis enjoys reading and debating the relationships between religion and ecology


 
 

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