Quarles says president’s infrastructure proposal would address needs of Kentucky, other rural states

An infrastructure proposal unveiled by the Trump Administration would address the needs of Kentucky and other rural states and give them more control over the process, said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, who joined other leaders from throughout the nation to discuss the plan in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Monday. Ryan Quarles “President Trump’s election...

Ag Commissioner calls on Kentucky farmers to apply for Leopold Conservation Award; deadline April 15

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles issued a reminder to Kentucky farmers that Leopold Conservation Award applications are due by April 15. “The Leopold Conservation Award promotes a great tradition of conservation and land stewardship in Kentucky,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Our farmers are often the subject of much criticism, when in reality they care the most about the planet. The Kentucky...

Bluegrass Tomorrow to recognize 2017 Vision Award winners February 6 at Marriott Griffin Gate Resort

Herb Miller of Columbia Gas, Scott County Judge Executive George Lusby, President John Marsden of Midway University, Larry Jones of Community Trust Bank, and KY Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, are among the honorees at Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Vision Awards Breakfast February 6 at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort in Lexington. George Lusby The annual Vision Awards Breakfast is a time-honored...

Department of Agriculture Hemp program approves more than 12,000 acres for planting in 2018

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has approved 225 applications from growers to cultivate up to 12,018 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2018. More than 681,000 square feet of greenhouse space were approved for indoor growers in 2018. “Kentucky continues to lead on industrial hemp research, exploring every aspect of this versatile crop,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan...

First-in-nation incentive aims to provide more local produce for Kentucky kids in summer meal programs

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has unveiled an initiative that will open a new front on combating food insecurity: summer meals for Kentucky children. In a speech at the Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced Monday that the Kentucky-grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program (K-VIP) will create an economic incentive for summer meal programs...

Ag Commissioner calls on Congress to remove industrial hemp from list of contolled substances

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has called on Congress to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances under federal law and challenged the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) position on consumable hemp-derived products in remarks delivered Wednesday at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Industrial Hemp Advisory Board meeting. “When I became Commissioner...

Department of Agriculture offers funding for projects to support specialty crops; proposals due March 1

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is seeking concept proposals for 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. “This funding is intended for projects that make Kentucky specialty crops more competitive in both domestic and foreign markets,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Specialty crops make up a significant part of Kentucky’s...

Ky Proud Promotional Grant Program participation increases 11 percent, average award $4,800

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has announced the 2017 Kentucky Proud Promotional Grant Program has allocated all available funds for this calendar year. “In Kentucky, we are lucky to have one of the most successful marketing programs in the nation, and that’s Kentucky Proud,” said Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “I’m happy to say promotional grant participation jumped 11 percent in 2017,...

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...