Dozens of farmers across Alabama are planting the state’s first legal hemp crop since 1937.

Fran Summerlin held in her hand an eight-inch tall hemp plant with a one-inch root ball.

She admired it for a moment before planting it in a freshly plowed row in the middle of a former pasture on the east side of Chandler Mountain between Birmingham and Gadsden.

“My daddy would be proud,” she said. Rows of hemp were planted on a five-acre plot on the land her father bought back in 1977, just after Summerlin graduated with a forestry degree from the University of the South.

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Greg Garrison ~ ~