A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear appoints new task force to guide and advance ‘America’s AgriTech’ capital in Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear has appointed members of a new task force that will guide the administration in building America’s AgriTech capital in Kentucky. “AgriTech is the future of agriculture, and Kentucky is uniquely positioned to embrace and deliver on it,” the Governor said. “Being the global leader in the AgriTech industry not only will make Kentucky’s farms more productive and efficient, but...

Beshear administration keeping promise, working to build America’s AgriTech capital in Kentucky

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced that his administration is keeping its promise to build America’s AgriTech capital in Kentucky. Actions taken by Beshear on Wednesday include signing an international agreement with 16 other partner organizations, including the Dutch government, that are committed to the same goal. The Governor also established an AgriTech Advisory Council to guide the commonwealth’s...

Ryan Quarles: COVID-19 pandemic makes clear the need for rural broadband internet connectivity

Across the nation, the coronavirus has highlighted issues in our food supply chain, our reliance on foreign countries for medical supplies, and the difference between strong, data-driven leaders and weak ones. But for Kentucky families and workers, perhaps the largest problem is one we’ve attempted to solve for years: internet connectivity, particularly in our rural communities. I spoke with many...

Agriculture roundup on COVID-19: Farmer’s hopes dip as pandemic roils markets

The Rural Blog Here’s a roundup of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the agriculture sector: Farmers’ hopes for a good year pushed Purdue University’s Ag Economy Barometer to a record high in February, but pandemic fears caused the barometer to plunge in March. The barometer is based on monthly surveys of 400 U.S. farmers. “Price forecasts for most agricultural products...

Farmers can earn $10,000 in Cooperative Dove Field Program; enrollment period extended to March 10

Farmers can earn extra money and support Kentucky’s hunting heritage by participating in the Cooperative Dove Field Program offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The program leases privately owned and managed fields for public dove hunting in the fall. Enrollment is open through March 10. “This creative program gives our farmers an additional income opportunity, and...

Quarles encourages Kentucky Proud members, local organizations to apply for promotional programs

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky Proud members and local organizations to apply for three Kentucky Proud promotional programs. “Kentucky Proud grant programs help promote the Commonwealth’s local foods and agricultural products,” Quarles said. “As a result, these grants also help Kentucky family farms and agricultural businesses succeed. The aim of these grants...

Mitch McConnell: Trump’s landmark USMCA deal is a win for Kentucky workers, farmers and consumers

Kentuckians are rightfully known for being hard workers. I’m glad more of them, from Paducah to Pikeville, are benefitting from our country’s strong economy, which has been bolstered by Republican policies. The Republican-led Senate just gave Kentucky workers another boost in an overwhelming vote by passing President Trump’s landmark trade deal called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement...

Kentucky agriculture dealing with worsening drought conditions and the summer that never seems to end

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky It is the summer that never seems to end. Already into October, and much of Kentucky is still dealing with temperatures in the 90s. Coupled with the driest September since the 1800s, Kentucky farmers know something must give. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than half of Kentucky is in the severe drought category and some areas of southeastern Kentucky...

Sterling College expands program to Kentucky; offers two-year study in Wendell Berry Farming curriculum

Among an increase of college closures and mergers, Sterling College in Vermont is bucking the trend by expanding its campus to a second site in Kentucky. After a competitive application process this spring, the first cohort of 12 students for the leading-edge Wendell Berry Farming Program of Sterling College, inspired by iconic American poet, novelist, activist, farmer and Kentucky native Wendell Berry,...

Government report shows agriculture lenders still discriminating against women, farmers of color

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Women and minority farmers are consistently denied agricultural loans, according to a report released this month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Farmers and ranchers rely on loans to buy land and purchase supplies and equipment. Most farmers in need of cash apply for credit through commercial banks, a network of lenders known as the Farm Credit System,...

UK Spray Clinic helps producers make more informed applications to create better environment

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Grain crops producers learned ways they can make the most accurate, efficient and environmentally conscious chemical applications during the University of Kentucky Spray Clinic. The clinic, in its second year, is one offering of the Kentucky Agricultural Training Schools, which are part of the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence in Princeton. “The whole...

UK’s Western Kentucky summer forage tour to feature Ohio County farm revitalization in progress

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Participants who attend the University of Kentucky’s summer forage tour will see a farm revitalization in progress in Ohio County. The event is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at the D and D Farm in Horse Branch. Farm owners Bub and Lakayah Daugherty purchased the cattle operation in 2013 but quickly ran into productivity issues with unreliable sources for forages...

UK Ag Training School to host Spray Clinic on July 18 at Research and Education Center in Princeton

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky The Kentucky Agricultural Training School will host a Spray Clinic on July 18 at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton. The clinic will include field demonstrations and interactive experiences for participants. “The goal of the Spray Clinic is to take the complex topic of pesticide applications and break it down into simplified...

Mitch McConnell: Elected officials must work with parents to protect our youth from nicotine addiction

The youth vaping crisis is putting the health of our children at risk. To address this rampant and dangerous new trend, I’ve introduced the “Tobacco-Free Youth Act,” a bipartisan federal bill with my fellow tobacco state colleague, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). Once enacted, our legislation will raise the minimum purchase age for all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 and help protect...

Ag Commissioner Quarles wants farmers to be treated fairly, farmers want trade over aid

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says the new tariffs announced by President Donald Trump are about fairness to farmers. Speaking to reporters this week, Quarles said since taking office, he has been an advocate for policies that “give American farmers access to other countries, and that we’re also treated fairly and equally compared to other countries.” He said...

Kentucky business, government leaders serve up $46K in February ‘Serving Up Solutions’ benefit dinner

The second annual Serving Up Solutions dinner in February raised $46,235 in ticket sales and sponsorships, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced. The dinner benefited Feeding Kentucky (formerly the Kentucky Association of Food Banks), Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, and GleanKY. Proceeds amounted to more than double those of the inaugural dinner in 2018. “Once again, we are overwhelmed...

Ryan Quarles: Give to ‘Ag Tag’ fund, invest in future of Kentucky agriculture and develop leaders

Deep roots grow leaders. That’s how Kentucky’s agricultural community develops leaders for our future. “Deep roots grow leaders” is also the theme of this year’s Ag Tag campaign to raise funds to invest in organizations building the leaders of tomorrow. Kentucky farmers recently may have received a note from their county clerk with a reminder to renew their farm vehicle license plates. At...

Wet week intensifies stressed pasture problems, creating more challenges for Kentucky farmers

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Agricultural land in the Bluegrass state is saturated with abundant rainfall from recent weeks. A new system threatens to drop 3 to 5 inches on top of soaked pastures, creating more problems for farmers who are already facing weather-related challenges with nutrition and overall animal health. “Unfortunately, more rain is on the way,” said Matthew Dixon,...

Ryan Quarles: USMCA must be passed to protect, expand market access for American agriculture

On the heels of the successful passage of the federal farm bill, and with a new year upon us, there is a major opportunity to protect and expand market access for American agriculture in 2019: Congress must pass USMCA. The last year has been dominated by headlines about international trade and the tough tri-lateral negotiations involving the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Now, a new trade framework...

Quarles declares Nov. 10-17 as statewide ‘Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry’ Week

As Kentucky sportsmen and women head out for deer hunting season starting Nov. 10, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is encouraging them to consider donating their harvest to a charitable feeding agency as part of the second annual “Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry” Week in Kentucky Nov. 10-17. “It is an unfortunate reality that one in six Kentuckians is food insecure,” said...