‘A Better Solution’: Gold Standard Farms’ Vision For a Hemp Future

Jarrel Howard, CEO, Gold Standard Farms

Gold Standard Farms is a family-owned, Tennessee-based hemp cultivator with nearly 100 years of history behind it.

While much of the company’s history is rooted in traditional agriculture, including soybean and corn production, Gold Standard Farms CEO Jarrel Howard has launched his family business forward into a new era with hemp cultivation.

After taking over as CEO in 2020, Howard introduced hemp cultivation to his family’s farm, adding a new crop to carry the company forward. Later that year, Gold Standard Farms became the initial strategic partner for Viola’s incubator program, which launched in October 2020.

Now, with Howard in his third year as CEO, he’s certain this was where he was meant to be all along.

“This was my purpose,” Howard says, “to be home and take care of the farm for as long as I can and make sure we get another 80 to 100 years out of it.”

Howard joined Business Times for this exclusive interview to share insight on how Gold Standard Farms has evolved over the years, how hemp revolutionized the company, and what the future holds for his family business.


Year founded: 1941
Location: Martin, Tennessee
No. of Employees: 6 full-time, 25-35 part-time during harvest
Total acreage: 70 acres, with 9,700 square feet of indoor cultivation
Your cultivation style in one sentence or less: A better solution

Zach Mentz: What can you tell us about Gold Standard Farms’ cultivation?

Jarrel Howard: It’s indoor. We have 100 lights. We got 22 benches, but right now we’re only

‘A Better Solution’: Gold Standard Farms’ Vision For a Hemp Future on cannabis business times