Bob Lawrason

Bob went on to found a national 
organization, Kenaf Partners

“At Kenaf Partners USA a major goal we are striving for is Successful Businesses Using Kenaf.”

Bob’s focus is on growing kenaf, a plant similar to hemp in versatility, use and value, but without the legal restrictions. In some ways it is not as well known as hemp, so his challenge is to educate people on the benefits as well as get this super useful plant into broader use. One challenge has been having a source for kenaf seed grown throughout the USA in sufficient quantities to meet the demands. He thus founded Kenaf partners, and has launched 7 pilot projects on 10 sites in 2019, based on 31 varieties of seed growing operations.

Viable germination and seed yield will be calculated and lab tested. Those varieties that pass the test will be added to their catalog released later this year. With this catalog an individual can determine which varieties they can grow for seed in their latitude and what markets they would be suited for. The next few years seed from kenaf seed operations will be supplied to new seed growing operations only, until the seed supply is sufficient to offer to corn, soy, cotton farmers as a rotational cash crop. This is the low hanging fruit these farmers have been looking for. Lower input costs, higher yields, local markets with prices they are in control of. This will start the process of reducing herbicides, pesticides, fertilizer erosion and other forms of pollution that end up in our waterways etc. Photos from growers can be seen here:

Kenaf has many uses and Bob is working on getting a number of them into broader use. One of these is soil building, which shows promising results:

The logging of trees continues to increase around the globe. “Our approach to replace the need for logging by introducing a transition option for this industry as seen here:”

Kenaf farmers who desire to do so will be able to transition to woody perennial polycrops, food forests, silvopasture, alley cropping, agro forestry etc, thus making their systems even more resilient, profitable, and regenerative.

Kenaf may someday help replace fossil fuels.

On housing you may have heard of hempcrete, used to build homes. Kenaf can be used in the same way. Housing.html Kenaf Partners will offer workstores in 2020 and are in the planning stage. Bob has partnered with Derek Cross who has many years experience with both kenaf and hemp. He hosts the podcast Hemp Chat - hear Bob on the show.

Kenaf may someday help replace fossil fuels. With bio-diesel made from kenaf seed and the use of kenaf-made solar electric and super capacitors, regions can increase the resiliency of local economies and find a balance of exchange to meet the needs for their community.

“We released two books this year and are currently releasing a French Edition requested by the farmers and one of our partners in Togo Africa. I have partnered with Richard and Mary Rensberry, authors and illustrators of books for children ( also for adults and businesses), teaching values that can affect culture, ethics, social and others that embrace the ethics of permaculture.”

You can download the first Kenaf Book for free here:

To see the children’s book, titled “Seeds for Life, Kenaf” see “

Bob’s strategy and plans are based on permaculture design and principles. These can be applied to any scale you want to address, handle many of the worlds problems especially when you stack functions and apply all the tools, principles and ethics to your designs.

"Your graduates are very active

“I want to let others know that having attended your Permaculture Design Course (PDC) more than once has made a difference each time to understand Permaculture, the design process and to think and act from a whole new perspective. I would attend another one of your PDCs if possible and know that I would learn more and better understand. I can't imagine what my life would have been like had I attended one of your PDCs earlier in my life. I believe that the world would be in better shape had I and others learned some years ago. I am partial to PDCs attended in person with other students and not online. I have also watched the stats of your student graduates compared to other instructors and have noticed your graduates are very active in applying what they learned. I would recommend your PDC above any others.”

Thank you Bob, for the groundbreaking work you are doing with kenaf! We’re excited to see how things unfold for you!
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