Meet Cheri and Lynn
Cheri and Lynn organically grow their Full Spectrum Hemp in beautiful Platteville, Colorado (just 30 miles from Nedquarters in Boulder). Cheri and Lynn met in high school and have been besties for 48 years. After working in the corporate world and raising families, they decided to join forces and return to their rural roots. It’s not every day two grandmothers set out to become the world’s best hemp farmers, but as they say, “you really have to participate in your healthcare.” We sit down with the dynamic duo Cheri and Lynn to hear how they rose to the top in a male-dominated industry, despite all the odds. Read the interview:
Ned: So, you go way back . . .
Cheri: Both Lynn and I grew up in a country setting and went to high school there, which is how we first met in high school as freshmen in 1971.
Lynn: We’ve been friends for 48 years. Woah! Yikes! That’s a huge number, that sounds awful when you say it. What sets us apart is we each allow the other person to be who they are. In other words, you kinda take the good and you take the bad and it doesn’t matter, it really doesn’t matter. I feel that I found what I want to do, and who I want to do it with.
Meet Cheri, one of Ned's Natural Cycle Collection Farmers
Ned: How did you get to where you are today?
Lynn: Both of us have been in the corporate world. You have to do that as you’re raising your families and have all that insurance coverage and all the benefits that come with it. But both of us were looking for an opportunity, and, understanding what Cheri has gone through in the past ten years [with cancer], I knew there was something more we could do. And I was ready to leave my corporate job and just jumped at the chance when Cheri called me. It wasn’t something I needed to think about. And for me it was wanting to do something not for a big corporation but for myself and for — I know it sounds trite, but — just to make a difference in this world, and I think hemp does, frankly.
Cheri: I’ve been basically retired since 2012 because of cancer (my original diagnosis was 11 years ago). After going through chemo and radiation and all the different poisons, basically, that they fed into me, we had started hearing about hemp. I basically started doing my research and thought this will be great. We can grow it and process it, which means I can use it to hopefully keep the cancer at bay, or at least reduce the need for other treatments. And then I started reading about all the other stuff that’s beneficial from the different cannabinoids. We are really committed to keeping the Full Spectrum, which makes it challenging when you’re trying to sell to retail companies because there's not a large group yet that understands that Full Spectrum is really the way the industry needs to go. We’re determined to hang in there because we absolutely believe in what we’re doing.
Meet Lynn, one of Ned's Natural Cycle Collection Farmers
Ned: Why did you decide to get into hemp farming?
Cheri: What really drives me is the hope that by promoting CBD and really educating people, that could maybe turn their thought process around that natural is better and to try to get people to recognize that today's modern medicine isn't necessarily the best for our bodies. And hopefully, just because of my background and what I’ve been through with cancer, it might lend a little bit more creedence when I’m trying to get people to understand, ‘look, here’s why you want to use CBD.’ It’s for health, both for me, my family — I mean, I’ve got my family all on it — and friends. I’m so excited because of the possibilities of what CBD can do for the body. It’s just fascinating to me. Obviously we’d like to make enough money that Lynn can support herself and we got a little extra income, but we’re not looking to make millions. That was never in our thought process. We didn’t look at it and go, ‘how much money could we make?’ We thought, how fun would this be and we get to work together and we’re doing something that potentially can be terrific for people’s health.
Lynn: Well, the biggest thing for me was that I didn’t realize how much I missed the rural landscape. I grew up on a 60 acre ranch. The first time we were at the farm, the Rockies were in the background and the birds were chirping and I just felt like, ‘this is it, this is what I need to do.’ And against Cheri’s advice — she did not want me to quit my job — but I ignored that! And it worked. I knew enough about myself and my previous troubles and knew that I would be fine. We all have to have money to live on because you gotta put a roof over your head and food on the table, but when you’re out there in the sunshine and you’re working around the plants, you just get so excited. We’re like little kids out there. It’s very calming and peaceful and you just get this sense that everything is right with the world. Even though it’s hard work, you just feel good because you’re doing something that’s productive.
Ned: Quality seems to be a very important piece to your farming, why is this important to you and how is your hemp grown differently than others?
Lynn: I think most farmers are just concentrating on ‘how can I survive on this farm?’ For us, you don’t set yourself apart unless you do something different. Quality means what we’re providing we stand behind 100%. We know what it is, know how we grew it. We also found we don’t need insecticide, we don’t need fungicide. the plants just take care of themselves.
Cheri: We do a tremendous amount of reading and investigating as to what we can give the plants so that they can produce the best and have higher levels of all the cannabinoids. We test all throughout the growing process; we don’t wait until the very end. We really rely on our soil testing. And so we can test and know where the plant is at and if we need to help it out. The plants don't need a lot of manipulating, they’re very good at doing what they do and so we try to let them do that. You can have plants that don’t particularly “look good” but once you harvest and dry them and have them tested, they're great! It sounds hippy-dippy, but nature has been taking care of itself for how many years?
Ned: Nature is the best designer.
Cheri: Oh yes! You can tell the difference when you go to the hemp conferences, the people who are in it looking to make a ton of money and there’s not a lot of thought put into it the quality of what they're producing. And that, to me, is a little scary because when I look at all these ads online for CBD oil, I think ‘OMG, somebody could really get a bad taste from using a product that has not been grown organically or has been forced in some fashion in order to increase yield and these people are putting that in their body.’ So Lynn and I are both committed to making sure that our quality is really true quality and that what we’re growing has the highest level of cannabinoids we can get and the widest variety so that it truly is an oil retailers can use and with confidence say we’ve got Full Spectrum and it’s so much better for you body. So that’s what our hope is.
Ned: What’s your personal experience with CBD?
Cheri: I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia when I was really young, and I had a massage therapist who got me on essential oils and it just made such a tremendous difference, so now knowing what CBD oil can do, it’s even more exciting for me. It definitely helps with the pain in my hip area, because the cancer is in the left of my left glute muscle. I do notice with my CBD oil I don’t have the severe pain in my hips, so I don’t need as much pharmaceutical pain medicine. I’ve been able to cut way back on that which is great, because then I have more energy. The hope is that the longer I use it, the better my chances are that at some point, hopefully, my cancer will stop coming back because I’m giving my body what it needs to do what it can do. I mean, our bodies are amazing. I’m hoping that the longer I take it, it just improves my chances of my cancer not metastasizing and eventually, hopefully, going away.
Lynn: I was diagnosed with thyroid disease and they first wanted to take it out. I had never been in the hospital, except to have kids, and I said no! I’ve been level for at least ten years . . . They were all surprised, but I wasn't. Also, after thirty years of jogging, I had trouble with my right knee that’s no longer there. I had trouble with a finger joint, well it’s no longer irritated, so I do know what CBD does for me. There’s also not a need so much to dig down when you need extra energy.
Ned: Why were you open to working with Adriaan and Ret and being a part of the Ned brand?
Cheri: That they cared enough to know where the product came from and what went into growing it. We just had such a good sense when Adriann and Ret came out to look at the farm. It was just kind of that feeling when you meet someone and you just know deep down there’s a connection there. We were ecstatic when Adriaan and Ret started inquiring and put the time and effort into meeting us and getting our background. We just really felt like this is where we want to go, we want to work with people like this that are concerned more about the impact that good quality CBD oil can have on somebody’s health than about making a quick buck.
Lynn: We didn’t sugar coat anything. We just said, this is us. This is what we're doing. Both of us have a lot of integrity, and I have no intention of straying from that. Ever. I did see the video on the website about Ned's farming partner and it just resonated with me that this is somebody that does it for the same reason also.
Ned: Why are you excited to be a part of Ned’s Natural Cycle Collection?
Lynn: It’s really important that there's more than what's out there now. Developing CBD products that can help women is really innovative. I think that's tremendous because there just isn't a lot out there that's natural.
Cheri: It’s great there’s more women getting involved in CBD. I think it’s so important that there's something out there that’s easy to take and there's other things in there that will also help support the female aspect. Having something on the market that can help in a multitude of ways is wonderful. I don’t want to have to buy 10 different bottles of different herbs . . . It’s the way of the future in terms of healing.
Ned: What do you do to stay healthy?
Cheri: I think it takes the Western medicine approach but it also takes the holistic approach, and I think you gotta have all of it if you’re going to live into your 90s and live healthy. I think where people get trapped is, they look at these doctors as this ‘know all, be all’ entity. You really have to participate in your healthcare. You just do. You gotta be cognizant of what else is out there, what the possibilities are. I’ve gotten in plenty of arguments with doctors because I won’t take what they want me to take or go down a certain path.