Fibonacci LLC will locate a HempWood manufacturing operation in Calloway County, Kentucky. The company will invest more than $5.8 million and is expected to create 25 full-time jobs.
According to company officials HempWood, with its patented process and product made from hemp fibers and soy-based adhesives, has been in development for the past decade and is viewed to have a number of advantages over traditional oak hardwood.
Fibonacci will lease an 11,230-square-foot facility in Murray for its first manufacturing location with plans to establish a world-class, automated HempWood operation.
The company located in Murray after its leaders established a relationship with Murray State University, and 800 tons of hemp stalks have already been contracted through growers in west Kentucky. The operation is expected to begin production this summer, state officials said.
“We look forward to being a productive member of Kentucky’s agricultural and manufacturing communities, and the enormous opportunities of HempWood as a renewable alternative to Oak,” said Greg Wilson, Owner of Fibonacci. “Dr. (Tony) Brannon from Murray State University planted the seeds and Phill McCallon, Kentucky employee No. 1, demonstrates Kentucky’s expertise in agriculture and manufacturing.”
In addition to a higher availability of hemp, hemp stalks grow in six months, compared to oak trees, which take decades, Wilson said processed hemp can reach 20 percent higher density than oak, which provides sustainability and hardness. HempWood can be used in products ranging from flooring and furniture to woodworking projects and culinary serving boards.
“The commonwealth’s burgeoning hemp industry is quickly gaining national attention, and this exciting project will significantly intensify that spotlight,” Governor Matt Bevin said. “This hardwood alternative opens up new possibilities within the construction and woodworking industries and emphasizes the capabilities hemp has across numerous sectors. We are grateful to Greg Wilson and Fibonacci LLC for locating the United States’ first HempWood operation in Kentucky, and we look forward to the powerful impact the company will have on the region’s economy and the overall industry.”
“When I became commissioner of Agriculture, I said I wanted to make Kentucky the epicenter of the hemp industry in the United States,” Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said. “The fact that Greg Wilson and Fibonacci LLC are choosing Kentucky to locate the first HempWood operation in the United States is a testament to the work we’ve done to strategically position Kentucky’s hemp industry. I thank Fibonacci LLC and look forward to following their story.”
Mark Manning, President of the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corp., said the more time he spends around Fibonacci, the more he believes in the company’s potential.
“I have gotten to know this company quite well over the last few months and am impressed with their knowledge of the industry, as well as their technology,” Manning said. “I am proud that they chose to do this project in Calloway County and look forward to their success.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in February preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $300,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets. In addition, Fibonacci can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network.