Hemp Feed Coalition (HFC) a 501(c)(3) dedicated to obtaining federal approval for the use of hemp grain products in animal feed, is pleased to announce a landmark achievement with the tentative approval of Hemp Seed Meal (HSM) for Laying Hens at the recent Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Mid-Year Meeting.  With the FDA-Center for Veterinary Medicine’s (FDA-CVM’s) recommendation for approval, the Ingredient Definition Committee approved the HSM tentative definition on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, with no opposition. This will go before AAFCO’s Board and members for final approval, and then be adopted into the Official Publication later this year. This historic milestone has been more than three years in the making and will allow processors to formulate with HSM in the diets of laying hens as a source of protein and fat at an inclusion of no more than 20%. To see the ingredient definition in its entirety, please visit hempfeedcoalition.org/applications.

This hemp grain derivative is a highly nutritious ingredient with a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, healthy oils, and a complete protein profile. Research confirms the nutrition profile and functionality of hemp feed resemble that of soy and canola while alleviating concerns about its suitability as an ingredient. Evidence also shows increased value over typical feed sources, with significant improvement in egg quality as HSM concentration increases in the hen’s diet. Notably, hemp-fed hens lay eggs enriched with essential fatty acids such as ALA, DHA, and GLA, and increased amounts of Lutein which are known promotors for human health. The safety of HSM has been validated through FDA-CVM’s rigorous evaluation, providing formulators and feed mills assurance that HSM is a safe and viable protein and fat source. Data to support this application included the validated method and quantification of cannabinoids in both the ingredient and egg product, and it was verified that any potential cannabinoid contaminants did not transfer over to human food products.

Safe, nutritious alternatives like HSM improve efficiencies across US feed supply chains. Feed mills and formulators have eagerly awaited this approval, having recognized the potential of hemp feed products long ago. HFC looks forward to collaborating with feed producers to incorporate HSM as a viable solution to their supply challenges.

Farmers interested in hemp have expressed their desire for additional rotations but are hesitant to do so without the risk mitigation of a feed market.  New crops like hemp bring benefits to soil, disease control, and farm flexibility; and with hemp in particular, lower input needs, resulting in a more sustainable supply chain overall.  “Hemp’s integration into animal feed is a catalyst for agricultural advancement. It’s an opportunity for farmers to diversify with lower risk for supply chains to become more sustainable, and for the entire agricultural community to reap the benefits of this versatile crop.” – Andrew Bish, President of HFC and COO of Bish Enterprises, a company rooted in agricultural innovation.

HFC is excited to enable a more nutritious ingredient, reduce risk for farmers, and open hemp market opportunities.  HFC members are proud to support these efforts and lay the groundwork for hemp grain products in feed across species. To learn more on the benefits of HSM for laying hens, join HFC and visit the MemberZone page to access additional data and resources.

Hemp seed meal

Special thanks to this application’s Key Partners Wenger Feeds, IND HEMP, Eurofins Food Chemistry Testing, Healthy Oilseeds, LLC, New West Genetics and to HFC Board Members.

Hemp Feed Coalition is a 501(c)(3) organization that consists of hemp and feed industry leaders dedicated to facilitating the health of our animals as well as the expansion of the hemp industry. HFC is currently prepping trial data and seeking partners- Become a Champion of the next Hemp Feed Application.  

Official Press Release

Healthy Food, Healthy Feed, Healthy Planet