Who We Are
Our family farm has grown into much more.
Here is our story…
the patriarch of the Iverson family, Ross Iverson, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sent home with end-of-life pharmaceuticals that managed his pain but left him completely incapacitated and lethargic; he was given less than two weeks to live.
Desperate to find something better for their father, siblings Ken, Barb, Nels, and Paul Iverson reached out to their cousins, Tim and Ian Shaughnessy, who had just started making CBD products at their Portland extraction facility. The Iversons were very hesitant about using cannabis-related products but were at the point where they were willing to try anything that might help their dad. Tim gave his cousins CBD capsules and, with both fear and hope, they took them home to Ross.
Within a couple of days, Ross was out of bed on his own and sitting at the table with an appetite. Within two weeks, he was in a gator, riding around the fields enjoying the family’s annual Tulip Festival. Family, friends, and the community shared 42 quality, lucid, days with Ross before he passed. Though the science behind these results was not fully understood, Ross’s family believed this improvement was a result of CBD.
Later that year, Iverson Family Farms added industrial hemp to the long list of crops the family has grown on its land since 1950. They started small with 18 acres surrounded by corn because…what would the neighbors think!? In 2016, attitudes toward hemp were still evolving in this conservative, rural farming community. Back then, hemp was widely misunderstood and often lumped in with marijuana. There was certainly an element of risk involved in planting that first crop, but the family couldn’t turn away from what they had seen CBD do for their father and the potential effects it could have on the lives of others. So, they grew and harvested. The farming was second nature for this family, but what would they do with that harvest? Once again, they joined forces with their cousins and, in late 2016, set up their first CO2 extractor in an unused out-building down on the farm. It was an exciting time, but the challenges faced were only beginning.
The very first extraction machine was a 90-liter prototype from Canada, but it wasn’t quite doing the job. Where do you go for new technology in this emerging industry? The answer was on the other side of the world, in China – where the Chinese have built extraction machines for decades.
Importing two 150-liter extractors along with setting up a post-processing lab laid the foundation for what would eventually become FSOil. The extraction machines would be the first of many equipment challenges, but with every challenge came the opportunity to learn and innovate. Since that first 90-liter machine, the FSOil team has either designed or customized additional extraction machines, filtration systems, solvent recovery systems, cold traps, in-line winterization systems, hemp harvesting, drying and processing systems, and numerous hemp cultivation innovations.
In just three years of operation, FSOil added over 100 employees from field to factory, built a world-class facility with a second one close to completion and supplies several of the most reputable CBD companies in the country. It is the showcase of local, state, and federal politicians aiming to both learn and show others how to “do hemp the right way.” The facility is toured regularly by groups from all over the country and the world looking for a blueprint for the industrial hemp CBD industry. From farmers in Iowa and South Dakota, to bankers in Canada, to hemp farmers in China and state and federal regulators, FSOil continues to evolve and lead with its unique ingenuity and trademark warmth and openness. It’s no wonder that Ken, Barb, Nels, Paul, and Tim are regularly invited to speak at industry conferences and private engagements on the topic of hemp and CBD.
To this day you will find each of the founding owners working at the facility or on the farm – side by side with the next generation; not because they have to, but because they want to. To love what you get to do every day with the knowledge you are helping others is perhaps the greatest gift you could ever hope for.
It’s an incredible story how 42 days in one life changed and continue to change all the days going forward in the lives of so many others.