Women to Watch: Cady Goble
By Kaycee Barry
Cady Goble of Springfield Missouri is a farmer and project coordinator at the nonprofit Springfield Community Gardens, the owner of Queen City Micros, LLC, and the Director of Cultivation for The Wholesome Bud Company.
Cady obtained her Masters in Plant Science from Missouri State University, and has worked in various sectors of the horticulture industry.
Currently, Cady and her team at Springfield Community Gardens help disadvantaged and disenfranchised members of the community overcome barriers to growing their own food. Members include refugees, homeless veterans, and recovering addicts. With her shift to the cannabis industry, Cady is taking her passion and education of healing others through food, to healing others through cannabis. She is looking to lead The Wholesome Bud Company to become Missouri’s most trusted source for medical cannabis.
What inspired you to go into the growing field?
Goble: My passion for horticulture and plant science began several years ago while I was working towards a degree in biology at Ozarks Technical Community College. I took a plant and soil science class, and found that horticulture really peaked my interest. From there, my passion grew and I went on to work in various sectors of the horticulture industry – from greens keeping and landscaping, to plant science research and education, and local food production. Along the way, I completed my Masters of Science in Plant Science at Missouri State University, and started my own small business, Queen City Micros LLC, where I grow specialty microgreens for local chefs. I am also currently a farmer and project coordinator for Springfield Community Gardens. We are a local non-profit that uses grassroots efforts to create access to healthy, local food for our community. My introduction to the cannabis industry came when I ran into my friend Desmond Morris, CEO of The Wholesome Bud Company, at a bank several months ago. He told me that he was beginning to put together a team to apply for licenses to cultivate, manufacture, and dispense medical cannabis. He was looking for someone to head up cultivation, and he ended up inviting me to join the team a few weeks later. I was inspired to join the Wholesome team, because I am passionate about using my knowledge and skills in horticulture to help others in my community live happier, healthier lives. This is why I became a local food advocate and grower, in the first place. The medical cannabis industry is a new frontier in our state that is offering horticulturists, like myself, another way to continue our mission to positively impact the lives of people in our community by providing them with a safe alternative treatment for their medical conditions. It is providing me with an exciting new path for continuing to learn, and using my knowledge and skills to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
How do you compare what you are currently doing at your nonprofit to what you will be doing in the cannabis industry?
Goble: At Springfield Community Gardens, I grow food in a responsible and sustainable manner, and I work hard to help empower others do the same. Currently, my focus in food production mostly centers around helping disadvantaged and disenfranchised members of our community (like refugees, homeless veterans, and recovering addicts) overcome barriers to growing their own food. I provide them with space, supplies, and technical support. As Director of Cultivation at The Wholesome Bud Company, I will be using a holistic approach to training my staff to grow high quality medicine for the community in a way that is environmentally responsible, just as I help train people to grow their own food now. Though medical cannabis is a unique field, the experience that I have in production of specialty crops lends itself well to cannabis production. Just like I work tirelessly to grow healthy food for my community, I will strive to help The Wholesome Bud Company become Missouri’s most trusted source for medical cannabis.
What does an average day look like for a grower?
Goble: Though I can’t officially call myself a cannabis grower yet, I can tell you what a typical day might look like. Starting out, we will be cultivating indoors, so there will be a strong emphasis on sanitation to prevent introduction or spread of any pests or pathogens. So, the very first step at the beginning the day will be scrubbing up before entering any of the cultivation work areas. On any given day, myself and cultivation staff will be monitoring, feeding, watering, pruning, propagating, transplanting, cleaning, and sanitizing. Job responsibilities outside of routine monitoring and maintenance will differ depending on the day. Harvest days will be all hands on deck, as we will be processing hundreds of plants in one go. As the Director of Cultivation I will oversee all of these procedures and ensure that SOPs are being followed very carefully. My job will involve more staff management and oversight of the cultivation process, but I still intend to get my hands dirty, so to speak! I am a grower at heart, after all.
What do you love about the cannabis industry and community?
Goble: I love that the cannabis industry is so unique, especially on the cultivation side. The techniques and methodologies of cannabis cultivation are so diverse and fascinating. Cultivation methods can be as simple or complex as the grower wants them to be, and everyone seems to have their own trade secrets. Additionally, it is amazing to me that there are so many ancillary industries that feed into cannabis cultivation from consultation, to specialized equipment, to high quality genetics. The best thing about being a part of the cannabis community is meeting like-minded folks who are working hard to remove the stigma from this amazing plant, and to make it accessible to those who need it.
What do you think the biggest challenges are going to be?
Goble: I think the biggest challenge will be the ongoing efforts to remove the stigma that surrounds cannabis as a medical treatment or otherwise. Even though metro areas in Missouri are progressive in many respects, this is still a conservative state. Much of our population was brought up being taught that this plant is a dangerous drug, and that ideology still holds true for many people today. The good news is, we now have more opportunity for education and outreach in the public. We can talk openly about this now. There are many cannabis advocates who have come forward with testimonials and real, tangible reasons for promoting the benefits of this plant. At The Wholesome Bud Company, we are focused on reaching out to the public to show them that this industry can be a benefit to patients and our community, as a whole.
Why do you think women should be involved in cannabusiness?
Goble: As a female farmer, I pay close attention to the impacts that women are making in the agriculture industry. The USDA cites 31% of farmers in the U.S. are women. I would like to see this number grow and include women in the cannabis industry. Agriculture has always been depicted as a male-dominated industry, and I think cannabis is no different. But, today more women are interested in becoming growers. I see it in my own town. Many of the farmers and food activists I know are women. Additionally, there are several other talented and passionate women on the Wholesome team, from our technical writer to members of our advisory committee. Their contributions are invaluable, and we wouldn’t be able to do this without them. There are so many strong, intelligent, and skilled women who have the ability to use their voices and experience to make a positive impact on the cannabis industry and agriculture, at large. It is happening! So, lets keep it up ladies!