Why would someone want a job-career in the kenaf industry? I can think of 2 important reasons. One is kenaf seed, fiber and wood has over 25,000 different uses and those with a long term view of the future will have many career opportunities as kenaf becomes more and more popular and used in the market place. Two not sure what you want to do for the long term but want to be able to change directions and expand your options in a growing industry that will be around down the road.
With students entering college to pursue a career and after 2 years of study that career becomes obsolete, having a stable career path that gets better as the years go by would be a wise choice.
So asking the right question(s) when it comes to choosing a career, can be a real challenge. Taking on this challenge, on behalf of others, I have had to assume the viewpoints of students, instructors, businesses, communities, investors, circular economies, manufacturers, regenerative farming, climate change, and others.
While assuming each of these viewpoints, I started out with the question, "What would I need and want, ideally"? I have also had to look at the reality from each of these viewpoints. One of those realities of students looking at their future, is they don't always know what they want to do in the years to come, and have no certainty on having job availability near where they live.
Throughout history, the idea commonly agreed upon, was to specialize in one thing. When considering having a home and a family, job security becomes an important factor, and more often than not, job security has taken precedence over "being happy with ones' job". The next series of questions I asked are:
"What if I could get fast hands on instruction for a job that is waiting to be filled in my community"?
"What if I did not like this job what other choices would I have"?
"What if I had no money to pay for this instruction"?
Coming up with solutions and answers that are real for students is only one part of the whole coordinated system. Continuing the process of assuming another viewpoint asking vital questions, lets address 3 key businesses in the kenaf industry. Farmers, Processors and Manufacturers have their own vital questions that need to be answered.
Over the years I have been asked many questions from experienced farmers of all types, as well as individuals with no experience with farming. When it comes to kenaf farming, we have enough answers to move forward, while gaining the experience and knowledge we get along the way. There are many options when it comes to answering the following common questions that are most often asked.
"What equipment will I need to farm kenaf"?
"How much profit can I expect per acre"?
"What will it cost me to start my kenaf farming business"?
"Who will buy my fiber-wood core-seeds"?
The only way to answer these questions accurately is to design the supply chain with the ideal circumstances met and test these out on a small scale and then do the math and prepare to deliver that meets the requirements of all stakeholders. Getting hands on training for job-career that addresses these and other questions ahead of time and during the development stage, may prove to be invaluable. We have a plan for this that makes sense and we are moving forward on it now.
What I have found recently and what makes the most sense is 2 types of processing equipment. One type processes both kenaf and industrial hemp into various size powders, ideal for the plastics and paper industries. The other type, processes the stalks of kenaf or industrial hemp into both short and long fibers as well as the wood core separation. Fibers for textile and clothing industries and wood core for kenafcrete, hempcrete, particleboard, mulch, bedding, and other industry uses. Job-career choices that support this activity are many and we can expect additional job-career options in the future.
Additionally when seed supplies reach a certain quantity, processing seed for its oil content and processing the seed shell into powders of various sizes can take place. This will provide resources for food industries, bio-fuels, paints, and other existing industries.
As our partners continue moving forward with fine tuning the production process with both types this year 2021, we expect to have answers to the following questions by the end of the year.
"What price per pound of fiber and wood core can be paid to the farmer"?
"What are the full costs of processed fiber/core for each type of processing"?
"What are the lab results of kenaf and industrial hemp powders, fibers and core"?
"What quantities are needed for each of these industries along with price and specifications"?
"How many acres are needed for growing kenaf to meet these demands"?
"How much seed is needed to plant these acres and where will the seeds be supplied and at what price"?
"Where should our next 50 processing centers be located"?
"Did our greenhouse seed growing pilot work and is it cost effective"?
"How we will proceed with hiring and training for all the needed job-career"?
The manufacturer utilizing kenaf and/or industrial hemp resources for their manufacturing processes, will be a driving force for down stream and upstream job-career choices. Their part in reducing pollution and favorably affecting climate change is no small part.
But in order to make this work for the manufacturer the following questions must be answered honestly by the processor.
"Can you provide consistent results based on the specifications we require"?
"Can you provide the quantities needed and delivered on schedule"?
"Can you meet or match pricing of competitive resources"?
On the job training in the past has been successful when long term plans were the norm in communities throughout the USA. Choosing a career path and sticking to it, made for a foundation in communities, where buying a home and raising a family were possible and made sense.
As we complete the testing for seed growing operations we will have locations from south to north throughout the USA. Having known varieties of kenaf seed that will grow just about anywhere in the USA, will make it possible for those that want to start their kenaf farming operation. These pioneers will learn what it takes to plant, grow, harvest and sell to their local markets. Processing centers will appear and the equipment manufacturers will train them on how to use the equipment. This will open up positions for on the job training and careers.
Markets like hempcrete/kenafcrete, kenaf insulation, currently have professional training in the USA.
Specialized skills in the 6 Recommended Practices listed on this page and servicing our kenaf growers throughout the country will be needed.
When it comes to technology there are existing technologies that have proven to be the most successful that will be used to ensure success along the way. In addition, our proven methods discovered along the way and any improvements that have developed will be added.
The following are job-career training based on my model for a demonstration site. This training is planned to be delivered through my non-profit company Awaken Tours and Training of Onaway Michigan (ATTOM) to be registered in 2021.
Kenaf Partners USA will be owned by ATTOM
To begin with, the following have been selected to be included in the initial line up.
Study technology for students and instructors.
Public Relations Tours and Tour Guide, Customer Relations
Marketing – Surveys and Promotional Design
Sales and Customer Relations for Retail, Wholesale and Commercial Products and Services
Modern Management Technology – Managing by Statistics.
Tractor Operation and Maintenance
Key-line Plow Operation and Maintenance
Soil and Water Sampling
Lab Equipment Operation and Maintenance
Soil Testing and Reports
Water Testing and Reports
Seed, Fiber, Core Testing and Certification of Analysis
Heavy Equipment Operation and Maintenance for earthwork projects.
Green Powerhouse Operation and Maintenance
Kenaf Seed Growing Operations Planting and Harvesting
Kenaf Fiber Growing Operations Planting and Harvesting
Bamboo Planting and Harvesting
Kenafcrete and Hempcrete Formulations
Kenafcrete and Hempcrete Mixing and Application Equipment Operation and Maintenance
Bamboo Framing Design and Installation
ReGen Network for Kenaf and Hemp Administration for our Farmers and other applicable Partners
Kenaf and Hemp Powder Processing Equipment Operation and Maintenance
Kenaf Seed Cleaning, Certification and Bagging Equipment Operation and Maintenance
Kenaf Fiber Decortication Equipment Operation and Maintenance
Kenaf Fiber Baling and Handling Equipment and Maintenance
Kenaf Core Sizing and Bagging Equipment Operation and Maintenance
Kenaf and Hemp Powder, Fiber, and Core Storage and Distribution Coordination and Software Tracking and Reporting
Kenaf Seed Oil Extraction, Packaging Equipment Operation and Maintenance
When it comes to job security and job-career, being trained and competent in more than one specialty is the best way to discover your passion and a career that you will be happy with for the rest of your life.