Jeffrey Brooks of OleyHemp: “You need to find people that have a passion towards the goal of building a more sustainable world”

You need to find people that have a passion towards the goal of building a more sustainable world. Surround yourself with people whose goals are similar to yours and, in my case, looking for more sustainable products for the world — if you find them, hold on to them and be genuinely involved with all those people. […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

You need to find people that have a passion towards the goal of building a more sustainable world. Surround yourself with people whose goals are similar to yours and, in my case, looking for more sustainable products for the world — if you find them, hold on to them and be genuinely involved with all those people. We all need to help each other out and learn from each other in order to succeed.


As part of my series about “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeffrey Brooks.

Jeffrey Brooks has been leading successful business ventures across numerous industries for over three decades. As a trusted partner to large and small companies, Jeffrey’s reputation rests on his ability to responsibly manage corporate growth through strategic planning and execution. To achieve his goals, Jeffrey has always worked hard to nurture passionate, professional cultures that share his vision and enthusiasm for the work ahead.

As the founder and managing director of OleyHemp, developing quality products and services are at the heart of his company’s mission. Through his many years of business acumen and professional successes, Jeffrey knows how to build infrastructure that is sustainable, responsible, and profitable. Thanks to Jeffrey’s vision and ingenuity, OleyHemp is known throughout the industry for its superior sustainability practices, and the brand is held in high regard among medical and consumer markets alike.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I had a lot of farmland and decided to review my options for what to grow. At that time, commodities prices were very low, and that was problematic. I started reading about hemp and all the different areas that hemp could be used as an industrial-grade alternative and realized that I could earn more growing hemp than by growing corn or wheat.

With that in mind, we started growing our first crop as part of an industrial hemp test program in Pennsylvania. There wasn’t much of an industrial market for hemp at that time, so we started developing our own line of OleyHemp products utilizing the high-quality crops grown on our farm. Our first product was kitty litter, then we added luxurious hemp-based soaps, and the rest is history. Now, our product line has grown to include a full line of pet-related, consumables, and health & wellness products all grown and harvested by our team.

Yes, I still feel confident that over the next five years, many industries (automobile, garment, and the construction industry) will begin integrating more hemp-based solutions (think hempcrete), making the use of hemp much more mainstream. And when that happens, OleyHemp will be ready to supply the much-needed demand.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was just a farmer working to grow a product that I hoped could be incorporated into better, more eco-friendly products in the future. The more I read, the more fascinated I became with trying to determine better solutions for growing, cultivating, and breaking down the stalks into the fiber.

Most hemp farmers try to retro-fit equipment that was not originally designed to harvest hemp plants. Thus causing a slow down in processing and an increase in plant waste. We wanted a better solution, so we developed our own technology to take the plant from the field into the processing facility, where we separate the herd and the fiber coming off the plant. This saves us time and ultimately allows us to increase the herd’s collection for use in products like kitty litter, hempcrete, and much more.

The herd is more used for kitty litter and hempcrete, and the fiber is used more for garment centers, automobiles, among others. The interesting story is that we started as farmers. We learned more and more about the product that we became manufacturers and equipment manufacturers to boot and create the capability to pursue new and better products for the country.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

To grow a healthy crop, you need to invest in the best seeds, right? Well, when we were starting, we ran into our share of unscrupulous seed sellers. We searched high and low for high-quality seed growers but found that many of the so-called experts were selling either bad seeds or okay seeds at very high prices.

We would purchase seeds, prep the land for planting, and then wait to have zero plants sprout. It was very frustrating. But, we were not alone. Farmers across the country were experiencing the same issue. So, we set out to test a variety of agricultural practices and cultivation processes quickly determined that finding a premium seed supplier was paramount to growing a successful crop.

Many people were making a lot of promises to farmers about how much money they were going to make by growing hemp, but it did not happen. It’s been a very tough time dealing with people in this space because they haven’t been 100% reliable and honest. I still don’t know which companies produce the best seeds, but we keep working, and maybe it is not that funny story, but it was definitely a good-hard lesson.

Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

The most exciting product that we’re working on right now is developing a hempcrete block maker that will be able to create hempcrete blocks for use in the construction industry. The hempcrete blocks will be a game-changer for the building industry. Hempcrete is super strong and completely moisture-free, allowing developers to build breathable homes — just think no allergies, no pesticides, and 100% eco-friendly and better for the environment.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I definitely had tremendous support from my family. I learned about hard work and family values, and I believe those are key to succeed in whatever you do.

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

More than marketing strategies, it is all about finding the right people to be on your team. You need to find somebody passionate about what you’re doing and have the energy and the desire to meet your expectations. A strong team that wants to fulfill those dreams that you have and share in your passion. If they don’t have the passion for helping and working with you, then they’re not going to be worth much. If everybody has passion and love for something, they will succeed over someone that is just very smart or works because they have to, not because they love it. It is essential to find somebody that believes in what you’re doing, and that will take you to where you need to be.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?

Many positive things excite me about the industry, starting with the fact that we are working towards better products based on hemp. It is going to be in the plastics industry, in the housing industry, and even in the clothing industry. We’re going to have all of these products that will be made from hemp, and that’s a massive benefit to society and the world.

We’re going to have better products, all sustainable and biodegradable. And that’s the most important thing — more sustainable products for the planet itself, and much healthier for people.

On the other hand, some of my biggest concerns are what the government will do to prohibit people from making these products. Also, how will they help us with growing if they can’t allow us to just have this as an open market, with all the restraints. I think that’s the biggest concern. Lastly, there are still misperceptions of this industry, so we need more information out there to see all the benefits and the different things that can be created. This will also help farmers and producers like myself who can provide the world with varying product options that will be better for health and overall lifestyle in the long-term.

Can you share your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business”? Please share a story or example for each.

Test, Test, Test any seeds that you purchase. Your first year, try planting a variety of seeds to see how well they produce. Also, don’t trust the people telling you that they’re going to buy all the products you can make because they’re not. And do your due diligence with vendors and suppliers (including white label companies).

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

You need to find people that have a passion towards the goal of building a more sustainable world. Surround yourself with people whose goals are similar to yours and, in my case, looking for more sustainable products for the world — if you find them, hold on to them and be genuinely involved with all those people. We all need to help each other out and learn from each other in order to succeed.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Hemp is a market that is going to be the next industrial revolution. It is going to change every aspect of our lives. Every product that we’re going to be using in the future will be made out of hemp, and most importantly, it is all going to be biodegradable.

This could be very beneficial because it will absorb all the nitrogen in the air and make healthier soils. We’re going to have fertilizers that are going to be made from organic hemp. Our soils will be all organic because we would not need to use pesticides and herbicides to grow them. We will figure out how to make it without using pesticides that kill the bees and damage people’s health because of the chemicals and pesticides in our vegetables and fruits. By doing this, we will create a much more sustainable and healthier environment for everybody.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Instagram @oleyhempfarms

Facebook: OleyHempFarms

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Jeffrey Lee of FitTrack: “Start getting resourceful!”

by Fotis Georgiadis
do what you love with Jeffrey Flack #LivingFearlessly #ThriveGlobal
Community//

Love What You Do!

by Lisa McDonald
Community//

Vicki and Fred Modell: “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain”

by Ben Ari
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.