A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Bourbon County agriculture student Nelson Paul raises $7,000 for Farms To Food Banks

Bourbon County agriculture student Nelson Paul presented the Kentucky Association of Food Banks with a $7,000 donation for the Farms To Food Banks at Monday’s meeting of Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles’ Hunger Task Force at Feeding America – Central Kentucky in Elizabethtown. Paul, a graduate of Bourbon County High School, is studying at Bluegrass Community and Technical College...

Chef John Foster: Don’t just wonder about the strange things you see at the market, try them

Ever wonder about some of the strange things you see at the market? The odd little basket of this or that that never fills a table, because very few people will even know what it is much less purchase it. The colors are different, the shape is strange, sometimes the smell drives people away. Your farmer will know what it is, may even attach some sentimental value to it. They won’t grow it to feel...

Stop Foodborne Illness: As season approaches, safety tips for shopping at favorite farmers market

The month of May means it’s nearly time for America’s favorite food lovers’ tradition: visiting your local farmers market. In addition to all the invigorating colors, exquisite aromas, strong flavors, and spirit of community, the farmers market is also an opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with the people who produce your food! Their passion for food can be quite inspiring. Stop...

Sen. Mitch McConnell: Aiming to legalize growing industrial hemp and help Kentucky farmers expand

For far too long, the federal government has prevented most farmers from growing hemp. Although it was a foundational part of Kentucky’s heritage and today you can buy products made with hemp at stores across the country, most farmers have been barred from planting it in their fields. I have heard from many Kentucky farmers who agree it’s time to remove the federal hurdles in place and give our...

Commentary: You can help state's hungry and farmers during Farms to Food Banks Month

By James Comer Special to KyForward   When you donate a part of your state tax refund to the Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund, you’re helping Kentuckians in unfortunate circumstances – some of them your friends and neighbors – gain access to fresh, nutritious, local foods.   You’re also helping Kentucky farmers make a living. It’s good for economic development, and it’s consistent...

Tax credit for farmers who make food bank donations is incentive, ‘helps everybody’

Gov. Steve Beshear, seated, held a ceremonially signing of House Bill 141, which gives farmers tax credits for donations to food banks. (Photo from Kentucky Association of Food Banks)   By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   The effort to help alleviate hunger in the state got a major boost when lawmakers passed a measure that will give farmers a tax credit for their donations to food...

Chef John Foster: Make farmers market more than a place to shop; make it a destination

  The 2013 Lexington Farmers Market opens tomorrow. With temperatures expected to be in the mid-70s and the promised rain as elusive as a ghost, we seem to have once again shifted the jag into high gear, blown past the warning lights that spell spring and careened full tilt into the hot breath of summer. I can probably pull a column from last spring that starts almost the same way. And to me...

The high grain prices seen in 2012 are likely
to stick around through 2013, expert says

By Tim Thornberry KyForward correspondent   It was a year of records in 2012 when it comes to agriculture; some good, some not so good.   The good news was the projected breaking of the $5 billion mark in Kentucky agriculture cash receipts. More good news, at least for grain growers, came as prices neared or topped record levels.   The bad news, of course, was all this happened through...