New apprenticeship program announced

South Bend Industrial Hemp, Great Bend, Kansas, is launching an apprenticeship program for two positions through Kansas Farm Bureau’s Rural Kansas Apprenticeship Program. 

“South Bend Industrial Hemp strives to be a leader in this emerging industry, while maintaining our foundation of core values we’ve developed in our rural community,” said Melissa Nelson-Baldwin, a co-founder of South Bend Industrial Hemp. “It is only natural to extend to a partnership with like-minded grassroot organizations such as Kansas Farm Bureau. Our focus is improving the health of our community by providing job opportunities and economic growth in conjunction with personal development.”

The program is designed to provide training and technical instruction to employees hired into specific operations positions. Apprentices will be recruited, interviewed, hired and employed by South Bend Industrial Hemp. Contact the company for more information about their hemp processing facility operator apprenticeship at

KFB will serve as the intermediary sponsor working with South Bend Industrial Hemp and the Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship to assist in the administration of these apprenticeship opportunities. Apprentices will receive mentorship, training and compensation while developing skills in a high-demand agricultural career path.

“KFB is excited to develop a program where South Bend Industrial Hemp and its employees can grow alongside each other to support agriculture and rural Kansas,” says Joel Leftwich, KFB’s chief strategy officer.