A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Green grass can fool cattle produces; early spring grasses may not provide the best source of nutrition

Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Spring is on the horizon. Most cattle producers are ready to put the cold and snow behind them and see the pastures greening up. But University of Kentucky beef specialist Katie VanValin urges producers not to let the green grass fool them. “The growth we see in our pastures in the early spring can be deceiving,” she said. “From a nutrient standpoint, it often...

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture to offer backyard poultry webinar series beginning Feb. 11

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled increased interest in backyard poultry production. New flock owners may need to learn a few basics for their birds to thrive. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will offer a webinar series to help with the learning curve. “We recently launched a Facebook page to connect with our Kentucky...

Beam Institute’s Bourbon Industry Conference goes virtual March 10-12; online registration now open

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Bourbon was born in Kentucky. An $8.6-billion industry in the Bluegrass State, it boasts more than 21,000 jobs, accounting for a third of all distilling jobs in the United States. The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky is committed to offering industry professionals and enthusiasts innovative research and educational opportunities....

Mid-South Stocker Conference goes virtual to reach cattle producers; offers practical information

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The 2021 Mid-South Stocker Conference will challenge producers to take a broad view of their operations from the comfort of their homes. Due to COVID-19, the conference is taking place online with the theme, “Looking at the Big Picture — How the Parts Fit Together in Your System.” The Mid-South Stocker Conference is an annual event, a partnership of the...

UK offers numerous online beef education opportunities for Kentucky cattle producers

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has been offering online education for many years, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty in the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences are using a variety of methods to teach beef producers. “We’ve had to get really creative to reach producers in the past year,”...

Early winter blast prompts livestock producers in Kentucky to think about cold months ahead

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky An early blast of cold, snow and ice arrived in the Bluegrass, and that puts pressure on farmers to make sure their animals are ready for the winter assault. “The combination of cold air and wind create windchills that cause dangerous and emergency-category periods of livestock cold stress,” said Matt Dixon, agricultural meteorologist for the University...

James B. Beam Institute receives donation of barrel storage equipment to advance teaching, research

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky An equipment donation from Koetter Construction will enable the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky to construct a modern barrel-storage system inside the Independent Stave Company – Boswell Family Barrel Warehouse at the institute. “With the announcement that the James B. Beam Institute was going to build a barrel warehouse...

UK extension poultry specialists leads veterinarian training to treat growing backyard flocks

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Americans were showing an increased interest in backyard poultry flocks. Once the pandemic took hold, that interest began to grow even more, as people pursued hobbies at home. University of Kentucky extension poultry specialists Tony Pescatore and Jacquie Jacob saw growth in backyard flock numbers and were concerned the...

UK extension beef specialist says managing calf stress helps improve weaning outcomes

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The most stressful period in a calf’s life is probably at weaning. Until that time, a calf relies on its mother for just about all its needs—nutrition, protection, comfort. Although producers can’t completely eliminate stress during weaning, helping cattle deal with it can go a long way. “It’s important that we think about weaning as a period of time,...

UK agricultural economist says fall calf market depends on corn, wheat and a few unknowns

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Cattle prices have been on a roller coaster ride in 2020 thanks in part to COVID-19. While there are still a few unknowns, University of Kentucky agricultural economist Kenny Burdine sees potential for a stronger fall calf market than we saw in fall 2019. In the spring, the pandemic created a bottleneck in the processing industry that Burdine said led to a decrease...

UK Beef Bash goes virtual in COVID-19 world; annual event for beef producers moves online, set for Oct. 1

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Beef Bash is a unique field day for Kentucky beef cattle producers, held annually since 2008. Due to concerns about COVID-19, the 2020 event will go online Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. CST. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Kentucky Beef Integrated Resource Management Program and the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association have traditionally...

KDA establishes annual scholars fund with UK distillation, wine and brewing studies program

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The Kentucky Distillers’ Association is establishing a scholars program to fund scholarships aimed at increasing diversity in the distilled spirits industry. The KDA UK Scholars Program Fund will annually support full tuition for up to four students in the University of Kentucky’s distillation, wine and brewing studies program. “As there are too few diverse...

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment offers Virtual State Fair for next 11 days

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is offering 11 days of a Virtual State Fair, Aug. 20-30 on the college website at https://www.ca.uky.edu/statefair2020. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky State Fair officials decided to close the fair to the general public, but that doesn’t mean Kentuckians can’t enjoy some...

Free pasture-finished beef production workshop offered online by UK, Virginia Tech and WVU

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Beef producers and consumers have a growing interest in forage-finished beef. The University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University are offering a free pasture-finished beef production online workshop Aug. 11-13 from 7-9 p.m. “Getting adequate growth to reach a ‘finished’ state and addressing market issues can be challenging for producers...

UK’s James B. Beam Institute rallies industry partners to provide vital sanitizer during pandemic

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The COVID-19 pandemic has created shortages of vital sanitizer for everyone. The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky has rallied during the crisis and gathered industry partners to make sure UK HealthCare and the entire UK campus has enough sanitizer to reopen more safely this fall. “Early on in the pandemic, we made about...

UK alums lead effort in Kentucky milk product giveaways, work with dairy farmers during pandemic

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky On a hot July day, cars lined up as far as the eye could see at Pulaski County High School to collect free dairy products. Similar lines are forming across the state. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Kentuckians have adapted to temporary food and supplies shortages. Many have also become food insecure for the first time in their lives due to unexpected...

Extended heat wave in forecast will put stress on Kentucky livestock producers, corn growers

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Things are heating up again in the Bluegrass. As the week progresses, the humidity and temperatures will rise and Kentucky’s agricultural producers need to be aware of the impacts the heat may have. “We are looking at an extended period of heat stress, beginning July 15,” said Matthew Dixon, meteorologist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture,...

UK’s James B. Beam Institute receives donation of distilling equipment to advance teaching, research

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky received a large donation of distilling equipment from the institute’s founding partner, the James B. Beam Distilling Company. Jim Beam’s donation included two tractor-trailer loads of stills, tanks, pumps and instruments from the historic craft distillery in Clermont, reducing...

UK equine specialist reminds horse owners to begin planning for future hay needs right now

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky In the midst of a bountiful first cutting of hay, a University of Kentucky equine specialist reminds horse owners to start thinking about how much hay they need in the future. “The photos I’m seeing look great,” said Bob Coleman, extension equine specialist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “There is some good-looking hay out there,...

With interest in backyard chickens on the rise, experts warn of dangers of bacterial infections

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky When school is out and the weather turns warmer, people become more interested in raising backyard chickens. Since human interactions with poultry can raise the risk of bacterial infections, University of Kentucky poultry specialists are urging new and experienced backyard flock enthusiasts to remember safe handling principles. “We’re seeing an even higher...