Kentucky’s best wines named during 2017 Commonwealth Commercial Wines Competition

Some familiar names and a first-time winner rounded out the list of Commissioner’s Cup-winning wineries at the 2017 Kentucky Commonwealth Commercial Wine Competition. “The Commissioner’s Cup is the highest recognition awarded in the Commonwealth to the top Kentucky wine of the year in each of four categories,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “These and the other medal-winning...

Dept. of Agriculture, Farmer Veteran Coalition extend Homegrown by Heroes program through 2021

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday an expansion of the Homegrown By Heroes program. At the Kentucky Agricultural Council meeting today in Louisville, Commissioner Quarles announced that the KDA has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to extend their partnership through 2021. Additionally, the KDA is expanding membership eligibility...

Kentucky’s military veteran farmers encouraged to take part in first of its kind Census of Agriculture

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is encouraging Kentucky military veterans who are farmers to respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, a snapshot of American agriculture taken every five years. “Many veterans are finding that farming provides a way for them to continue their service to their communities and their country,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “This year’s Census...

Ag commissioner praises signing of new agreement to resume live equine exports to China

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles praised the resumption of live equine exports to China at a signing ceremony in Beijing Monday. The agreement, signed by United States Ambassador to China Terry Branstad and Minister Zhi Shuping of the People’s Republic of China, clears the way for the importation of all breeds of U.S. horses, including high-quality Thoroughbred racing horses, to China, where...

KDA official attends meeting of state, provincial agriculture leaders from U.S., Canada, Mexico

Kentucky had a voice in a meeting of state and provincial agriculture officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico last week in Denver. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles sent his chief of staff, Keith Rogers, to represent the interests of Kentucky farmers at the 26th annual Tri-National Agricultural Accord. “Kentucky agriculture needs international trade, but even more, the world needs...

Dept. of Agriculture accepting applications for 2018 hemp program, seeks public input on regulations

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has opened the application period for Kentuckians wishing to participate in the state’s industrial hemp research pilot program for the 2018 growing season. “I am proud to report that our program participants grew more than 3,200 acres of hemp this year, the most ever under the industrial hemp research...

Ryan Quarles: Fall in Kentucky is a great opportunity to explore the state’s many agricultural destinations

It’s that time of the year: The days are growing shorter, the leaves are changing colors, and farmers are harvesting crops. Autumn provides a great opportunity for Kentuckians to get outside and explore the many agricultural destinations in our state. A recent study shared by The Washington Post revealed that an estimated 16.4 million Americans incorrectly think chocolate milk comes from brown cows....

Quarles toasts state’s growing craft brewing industry as part of Kentucky Proud Beer Week

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles raises a glass to Kentucky’s craft brewers to commemorate Kentucky Proud Beer Week. Quarles will join Derek Selznick, executive director of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers, and Dr. Scott Eidson, president of the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance, to mark the special week with a news conference on Friday at 1 p.m. EDT at Country Boy Brewing in Georgetown. “Kentucky’s...

KEEP convening second annual statewide Equine Industry Conference Oct. 15-16

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) will convene the second annual statewide gathering of leaders representing all aspects of Kentucky’s horse industry on Oct. 15-16 at the Embassy Suites on Newtown Pike in Lexington. This year’s conference will bring together 300 representatives of all breeds and disciplines, legislative and regulatory policy-makers and emerging leaders from...

Quarles promotes ‘putting safety into practice’; declares Farm Safety Week for Sept. 17-23

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has proclaimed the week of Sept. 17-23 as Farm Safety and Health Week in Kentucky to call attention to the hazards unique to farming and encourage all Kentuckians to put safety first. “Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Farmers are at risk of harm from machinery, livestock, chemicals, weather, and...

Quarles promoting Kentucky agriculture in Japan as part of new international trade initiative

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is traveling in Japan for an international trade mission with the United States Meat Export Federation to advocate for Kentucky farmers through September 8. “Last week, I announced my administration would begin taking a more assertive role in international trade,” said Commissioner Quarles. “Kentucky needs international trade, but more importantly,...

Montgomery Co. High School first to repeat as state champion of Farm to School Junior Chef competition

Montgomery County High School became the first team in the history of the Farm to School Junior Chef program to repeat as state champion when it prevailed over Corbin in the fifth annual Junior Chef championship cook off at the Kentucky State Fair. “Congratulations to Montgomery County on this remarkable achievement,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “I commend all 16 teams that participated...

Food pantries in five Eastern Kentucky counties receive donated freezers as part of hunger initiative

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles brought a little hope to Eastern Kentucky’s less fortunate on this week when he helped deliver freezers donated by Farm Credit Mid-America and CoBank to food pantries in five counties. “Thanks to the generosity of these agricultural lenders, food pantries throughout the Commonwealth will be able to accept donations of meats and other frozen foods,”...

Ryan Quarles: Kentucky’s fabulous State Fair is coming up; come share the great tradition, Aug. 17-27

The Kentucky State Fair is one of the highlights of the agricultural year in Kentucky. As a farm kid from Scott County, I have many fond memories of past state fairs. It’s a chance to rub elbows with our neighbors, reunite with friends from across the Commonwealth, and show off the best that Kentucky agriculture has to offer. The 113th edition of this great tradition is Aug. 17-27, and, as always,...

Quarles praises giving spirit of Kentucky farmers as ‘ag tag’ donations exceed $629,000

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced that voluntary “ag tag” donations in the 2017 fiscal year that ended June 30 amounted to $629,865.43, setting a record for the largest amount donated since the program began. The voluntary donations are divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Ryan Quarles “This number is a testament...

Commentary: Be on the lookout at the gas pump this summer — avoid the skimmers

By Ryan Quarles Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Summer is a great time to make memories with family and friends. Whether you are spending your summer out on the farm, driving to your local ice cream shop, or hitting the road for a vacation, Kentuckians should be on the lookout for preying credit card skimmers seeking to steal sensitive information while you fill up your gas tank. Credit card skimmers...

Two agricultural lenders donate chest freezers to more than 120 food pantries across Kentucky

In every Kentucky community, urban and rural, there’s a food insecurity problem. One in six Kentuckians is not always sure where their next meal is coming from. For children, the number is one in five. To help solve this challenge, agricultural lenders Farm Credit Mid-America and CoBank are providing chest freezers to more than 120 food pantries across the state. The freezers will enable increased...

Nine Kentucky Boys and Girls Clubs boost cooking, gardening programs through ‘Ag Tag’ grant

Several hundred Kentucky youth will learn hands-on gardening and cooking skills this summer thanks to a Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) “Ag Tag” program grant awarded to nine clubs in the Kentucky Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. The grant was facilitated by the Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom (KyAEC), a non-profit organization that promotes an understanding and...

State brewers, KSU collaborate on unique craft beers to be released during Kentucky Proud Beer Week

Kentucky brewers, Kentucky Proud producers, and Kentucky State University (KSU) will produce craft beers infused with locally grown ingredients that will be released this fall. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles joined representatives of the Kentucky Guild of Brewers, the Kentucky Hop Growers Alliance, and KSU to announce the project. The craft beers will be released Oct. 12-14 during Kentucky Proud...

Low-income families in 22 counties will double purchasing power at farmers’ markets, stores

Additional federal, state, and private-sector funding will enable more low-income families in 22 counties to double their purchasing power at participating farmers’ markets and retail stores across Kentucky. Kentucky Double Dollars merges and expands programs already offered by Community Farm Alliance (CFA) and Bluegrass Farm to Table (BGFtT). The popular Double Dollars Programs merged under this...