BLANCHARDVILLE, Wis. — When Steve Acheson first returned to farming — after his military service and a college education — he rented land for a community-supported-agriculture business. He tried to incorporate veterans into everything he did.

By the third year he was doing well with 140 members and had snagged a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to fund a veteran-training program. And then health problems derailed his dream. He needed emergency back surgery in early 2016. The landowner decided to withdraw rentals options on the land.

“I kind of lost that (passion) in 2016; I found myself lost in direction,” he said. “Not being able to work at something I’m passionate about.”

And then he bought 6 acres near Blanchardville, Wisconsin.

“I had no concrete plans to start farming again,” he said. “But when hemp was legalized I thought it was a good way to go back into my passion, and with a plant I could use myself (for pain). A bunch of us small farmers got together. We have bylaws cast, membership agreements in place and we’re ready to start crops. It’s called www.gofundme.com/south-central-wisconsin-hemp-cooperative-launch" target="_blank">South Central Hemp.”

The group has launched a GoFundMe campaign and a website. Visit www.scwihemp.com for more information on South Central Hemp. Visit www.gofundme.com and search for “South Central Hemp“ for more information on the GoFundMe campaign.