Joe “Daddy Burt” Burton

Kentucky Farming Legend

Joe ‘Daddy Burt’ Burton was one of the largest hemp farmers in the country during the early 1900s. He is also family. Bob Estes, the founder of Daddy Burt Hemp Co is the great-grandson of Daddy Burt. Daddy Burt Hemp Co. was inspired by his great legacy of farming, helping others and doing things the right way, never cutting corners.

Daddy Burt with his hemp plants


Daddy Burt was born in 1893 and grew up in Garrard and Jessamine counties of central Kentucky, just 20 minutes from where our offices are now in Lexington. One defining feature of Daddy Burt’s life was his commitment to service. Like many who lived in rural towns during the early 20th century, Daddy Burt took on multiple roles to meet the town’s needs. Along with farming hemp, Daddy Burt was the police judge of Nicholasville and the Jessamine County Jailor.

Many mornings as jailor, Daddy Burt would wake up before sunrise and help Momma Burt, his wife, prepare breakfast for the Jail prisoners. Once everyone was cared for and fed, he would head to the family farm to tend to his hemp and tobacco crops. When farming chores were complete for the day, Daddy Burt would wash up, dress in his suit, and head towards the courthouse to check on the courts and politics.

In the 1930s, Kentucky Governor Albert “Happy” Chandler recognized Daddy Burt as a leader in hemp farming and appointed him Hemp Farming Specialist.  His mission was to teach central Kentucky farmers improved techniques for hemp farming. There was never a slow day for Daddy Burt. He felt an obligation to his community and to help improve the lives of others. Today, we feel that same passion for helping others at Daddy Burt Hemp Co.


World War II

Daddy Burt’s commitment to service continued when World War II began.  During the war, America’s supply lines of jute, a plant used to make rope and cloth, from Southeast Asia were cut off.  Hemp was an essential replacement for jute, so a campaign was created by the USDA to encourage American farmers to grow hemp for the war effort. This campaign was known as the Hemp for Victory program. All of Daddy Burt’s 5 sons joined the military and he did his part by answering the call for hemp to support the war effort.  He committed himself to the cause and increased his farming operations, producing one of the largest hemp crops in the country. He dedicated its use to the government. In 1942, Daddy Burt was honored by the US Department of Agriculture War Board for his vital participation in the Hemp for Victory campaign.

Letter to Joe "Daddy Burt" Burton from the United States Department of Agriculture (War Board) from 1942


Daddy Burt passed away in 1959 at the age of 67. Stories of the great man, his legacy, and hemp farming history live on today with Daddy Burt Hemp Co. In Daddy Burt’s honor, we are committed to doing things the right way – by controlling every step of the process from Plant to Product, never cutting corners – to ensure we provide the highest-quality CBD and hemp products available anywhere. Our commitment is unwavering.

Written by:

Bob Estes

Bob is the founder and CEO of Daddy Burt Hemp Co. Bob has quickly become an authority and expert in the hemp & CBD industry. He originally developed an interest in science and engineering and received a degree in Industrial Engineering, which led him to a career in the nation’s space program. Bob worked for several aerospace companies supporting the space launch for NASA and the Department of Defense. Since Hemp farming has been revitalized in America over the last decade, his family legacy has called to him. Daddy Burt Hemp Co. is the rekindling of Bob's family's hemp farming legacy, dating back to the early 1800s. Bob has been profiled by Smiley Pete Publishing and has been featured in articles about CBD/Hemp on,,, and many more.