Shepherd’s “Agricultural Marvel”
CRYSTAL GWIZDALA | THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2021 | CATALYST MIDLAND
In Shepherd, the largest hemp processing plant in Michigan sits quietly. Michael Klumpp has farmed for 25 years, purchasing approximately 3,000 acres of land from his grandfather. He started out with corn and soy. In 2019, he joined the hemp industry and founded Ag Marvels, now growing about 300 acres of hemp.
Blake Klumpp is the field manager for Ag Marvels.Blake Klumpp, field manager at Ag Marvels and son of Michael, is very active with the company.
“I deal with people all over the [world] right now,” says Blake Klumpp. Klumpp deals with Greece, Switzerland, Australia, Thailand, Japan, Canada, several countries in Latin America and South America. Most of their international business deals with selling seeds. In the United States, Ag Marvels has operations in Texas and Oklahoma, and soon in Virginia.
The Klumpp’s are involved in many aspects of the hemp industry from seed to sales. That includes owning two retail hemp brands, Heirloom Grove and Funny Farms.Ag Marvels made it a point to be involved in all aspects of the hemp industry. They not only sell seeds and starters to farmers and businesses, but they also process the crops and sell farm equipment.
“It’s a brand new market and you’ve got to be one of the biggest players there to stay and make it, and that’s kind of where it’s getting to,” says Klumpp. “It’s a crazy market to stay on top of, … but we’re willing to make it work and we have made it work, thankfully. I think a lot of that too is [because] we’re expanded over the broad spectrum of things.”
Their family owns retail brands for hemp products, too. Jaime Klumpp owns Heirloom Grove, a CBD bath, body and wellness brand, and Michael Klumpp owns Funny Farms, a cannabis gummy company. Some of their products can be found at Craft Hemp Company.
So what’s it mean to be a processor?
This screw press is the first step in processing hemp, used to break down the harvested hemp crop. It can process approximately 1,000 lbs of hemp biomass into crude in a day.
Hemp is a versatile plant. The flowering portion of the plant is smokable, but it needs to be dried. CBD oil and other isolates are generally derived from the flower as well. The fibrous portion of the cannabis plant can be used to make textiles or even building materials like plastic. To craft these unique products, the plant needs to be processed.
First, the plant is broken down into a crude product — a viscous, amber liquid. Next, it gets distilled. This is used to create approximately 80% of hemp products. If desired, that distilled product can be further processed into a powder, called an isolate.
Ag Marvels employs a team of chemists that isolate CBD from the hemp plants. They also work to discover new cannabis isolates.
Given their success, Ag Marvels is working to build a certified organic, GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) lab in Shepherd.