HempWood Named Winner Of KAM’S 2024 Coolest Thing Made In Kentucky Tournament Presented By Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance


HempWood, an innovative lumber alternative that uses hemp and a soy based glue to make organic flooring and other products, has won the second annual Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) 2024 Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky Tournament Presented by Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance.

HempWood’s victory was announced Monday by KAM and Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance during a trophy presentation ceremony with Senator Rand Paul held at Murray State University, where HempWood was launched in 2018.

“Being known as the Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky is really cool,” said HempWood founder Gregory Wilson. “We are an agriculture tech startup from Murray State in far western Kentucky, and winning this competition is proving to people what we can do.”

“Congratulations to HempWood of Murray, and thank you to the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers and Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance for sponsoring the competition, which celebrates the innovation and creativity of manufacturers across our Commonwealth,” said Senator Paul.

Now in its second year, the tournament is an online voting, bracket-style competition that allows Kentuckians to pick the 2024 Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky from the thousands of world-class products manufactured in the Commonwealth.

“Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance is proud to support the fun and interactive Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky competition. This contest has not only generated a lot of interest across the state, but it’s also highlighted just how many amazing and useful products are made right in our own backyard,” said John Sparrow, Executive Vice President & CEO of KFB Insurance. “We congratulate HempWood on their victory, and, from one homegrown company to another, we think it’s extra special to see their success growing from deep roots within the Bluegrass State.”

From an initial field of 102 nominations, HempWood defeated Louisville Slugger baseball bats in the final round of the tournament, which was launched in mid-February.

“Tens of thousands of votes were cast, and for 2024, HempWood is the Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky,” said KAM President and CEO Frank Jemley. “HempWood is an outstanding example of Kentucky manufacturing innovation and ingenuity. KAM congratulates HempWood on its victory and thanks the competitors and voters that participated in this year’s Coolest Thing tournament.”

“Congratulations to HempWood on earning the title of Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky,” said Governor Andy Beshear. “With more than 6,000 manufacturing operations in Kentucky, the commonwealth is home to thousands of incredible products and HempWood topped the list against some impressive competition. Also, congratulations to every company that was recognized during this year’s competition, and I want to express my gratitude to each of you for being quality employers in our state.”

“This year, thousands of world-class products competed in a tournament to be named the Coolest Thing Made in Kentucky,” said U.S. Representative James Comer of Kentucky, who represents Murray and most of western Kentucky in Congress. “On behalf of the 1st Congressional District, I want to congratulate the Murray-based company HempWood on winning the 2024 competition. HempWood continues to be a revolutionary leader in the hemp industry.”

“We are doing what everyone is talking about,” Wilson said. “But carbon-negativity and sustainability, eco-friendly, plant-based products aren’t buzzwords to us. It is who we are and what we make.”

Manufacturing is the bedrock of Kentucky’s economy, employing 258,000 Kentuckians and supporting an additional 1.7 million indirect jobs for every manufacturing job – meaning manufacturing is nearly one-fourth of Kentucky’s workforce.

About the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers

Our mission at the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers is to make a better Kentucky by promoting and growing manufacturing and the economic opportunities it creates in the Commonwealth. Learn more at


More Posts