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Little Priest Tribal College to offer Cannabis Studies degree in partnership with Doane

Little Priest Tribal College to offer Cannabis Studies degree in partnership with Doane

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Little Priest Tribal College (LPTC), located in Winnebago, Nebraska, will offer seven online cannabis courses in partnership with Doane University’s School of Innovative Learning as part of a new associate degree unveiled this fall — Cannabis Studies. This partnership is the first of its kind between the two institutions, and will help train a new workforce in Nebraska for hemp cultivation, testing, regulations, processing and more.

“Building academic partnerships in cannabis studies is critical for educating the future workforce, and for giving students the experience and credentials to enter a booming job market that provides opportunities to earn income for families and communities,” said Dr. Andrea Holmes, director of cannabis studies and professor of chemistry at Doane. 

Holmes will teach four of the seven cannabis course offerings at LPTC and is widely recognized as a national and international expert in cannabis chemistry, testing and processing. The courses will be both in-person and online to provide students with a flexible education. 

The partnership between the two institutions began in July 2021 after discussions of how to grow and develop hemp cultivation at Ho-Chunk Farms, owned by the Winnebago Tribe’s Economic Development Corporation. The farm was selected in 2019 to grow hemp on the reservation following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which marked a historic development for Native American reservations in supporting the production of food, fiber and jobs for tribal governments and individual tribal producers. This included the production of industrial hemp and allows tribal governments to create their own regulatory framework for hemp production. 

“This is a great and exciting opportunity for Little Priest Tribal College students as they enter an era of new horizons by gaining knowledge and marketable skills in a growing industry. Students will be able to apply the newly acquired skills, as future jobs within the Tribal community develop and to support Ho-Chunk Farms hemp production. By partnering with Doane University for the Cannabis Studies program, we will work to ensure that not only will Ho-Chunk Farms be successful hemp producers but that we can become leaders in the hemp industry in Nebraska and nationwide,” said Loretta Broberg, LPTC’s vice president of teaching and learning.

Doane University, which was founded in Crete in 1872 and now has campuses in Crete, Omaha and Lincoln, has become a leader in cannabis education in Nebraska and the Midwest. The university first launched its Professional Cannabis Certificate Program in 2019 and was the first institution in the state to open an ISO certified cannabis testing lab, which has since been sold to private operation. 

LPTC is named for Little Priest, the last true war chief of the Ho-Chunk people. The college began offering academic courses and community education classes in August 1996 and has about 150 students enrolled. The Cannabis Studies program is currently open for enrollment and students can contact Alyssa Turnquist, director of admissions, at alyssa.turnquist@littlepriest.edu for more information. For more information about LPTC, contact Loretta Broberg, vice president of teaching and learning, at loretta.broberg@littlepriest.edu