Hemp was first introduced to Wisconsin farms in 1908 when a few acres were cultivated as an experiment at the State Asylum at Mendota in Dane County and at the State Prison in Waupun. The experiments proved a success and soon spread to more farms. The demand for hemp increased during WWI and in 1917, Wisconsin ranked second nationally in both acreage and harvest of hemp. Though growth of hemp farming slowed after the war, Wisconsin continued to lead the nation in the 1920s, with Dodge, Green Lake, and Fond du Lac counties responsible for 70 percent of the total U.S. crop. Hemp production declined in the 1950s due to the growth of synthetic fibers. Today, hemp is grown on a limited basis in Wisconsin.
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[Source: Wisconsin's Cultural Resources Study Units, Wisconsin Historical Society]