A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Quarles to host ‘Restaurant Roundtables’ to hear first-hand from Kentucky Proud buyers

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles will host a series of “Restaurant Roundtables” in the coming weeks to thank Kentucky small business owners and chefs for sourcing food from Kentucky farms and hear firsthand about the challenges they faced during the coronavirus pandemic. “No industry has suffered more during the coronavirus pandemic than those businesses in the hospitality...

Registration now available for third Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit to be held virtually March 3

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Kentucky Proud brand is co-hosting the third annual Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit March 3, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. For the first time, this event will be virtual this year. This virtual event is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST and brings together professionals and stakeholders for a half-day of presentations highlighting innovative...

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles to to kick of winter agriculture conference February 22

As much of the nation begins to thaws from wintry weather next week, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles will open up the Winter Policy Conference for the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). “The NASDA Winter Policy conference gives agricultural policymakers an opportunity to learn from one another as we seek to continue supporting farm families across...

Kentucky Department of Agriculture to host virtual Community Supported Agriculture Fair Feb. 22-28

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Kentucky Proud brand is once again co-hosting the Virtual Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Fair from Feb. 22-28. Kentucky Proud is partnering with Bluegrass Farm To Table, the Organic Association of Kentucky, the Kentucky Horticulture Council and Edible Kentucky & Southern Indiana magazine to host the event online. “When the COVID-19 pandemic...

Agriculture Direct Marketing Summit Feb. 16-18 to offer producers tips on approaching direct sales

When income flows directly from consumers to farmers, everyone benefits. Consumers have access to the freshest food, farmers can ask a premium price for their product because there is no middle-man, and local economies benefit in the form of jobs and local purchases. For farmers who are thinking about this for the first time or have been doing direct sales for years, the Agriculture Direct Marketing...

Quarles announces grant funding opportunities now open at the Kentucky Department of Agricultures

Several grant funding opportunities are open at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture offers a number of grant funding opportunities to support farmers, restaurants, and research institutions every year,” Commissioner Quarles said. “These grant programs are more important than ever before...

Kentucky art contest increases pollinator awareness; children ages 5-18 encouraged to participate

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles invites Kentucky’s youth to participate in the Kentucky Pollinator Stakeholders Art Contest. The contest is designed to educate the public on the benefits of pollinators and encourage behaviors that promote pollinator habitats across Kentucky. “In agriculture, we know the importance of pollinators,” Quarles said. “This contest will allow children from...

Department of Agriculture seeking nomination for 2021 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is inviting Kentuckians to nominate a farmer or forester for the 2021 Kentucky Leopold Conservation Award. “Contrary to popular perception, farmers are some of our greatest conservationists and stewards of the land,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “Every year, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is honored to work with the Sand County Foundation...

Quarles encourages Kentuckians to keep state’s hungry in mind during season of giving

In this season of giving, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles encourages Kentuckians to remember Kentucky food banks and their partners. “In Kentucky, there are nearly 700,000 Kentuckians, including nearly 200,000 children, who struggle with hunger,” Quarles said. “That means one in seven adults and one in five children in Kentucky lack access to enough food for a healthy, active...

Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference to take place virtually across four days in January

The 2021 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference, the premier event for statewide produce growers to interact and learn, is set to take place virtually across four days in January, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “Each year experts in Kentucky’s produce community come together to share their knowledge with the rest of the state,” Quarles said. “Learning from...

Kentucky Board of Agriculture promotes Dr. Katie Flynn to State Veterinarian; Dr. Alex Hagan as deputy

The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture (SBOA) yesterday unanimously approved Dr. Katie Flynn to serve as the new State Veterinarian at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Dr. Flynn joined KDA as the Deputy State Veterinarian earlier this year. Dr. Alex Hagan, a veterinarian in Shelbyville, Kentucky, has been approved by the SBOA to serve as Deputy State Veterinarian, taking Flynn’s vacated...

Gardens surge in popularity during summer; Quarles urged Kentuckians to grow Victory Gardens

This summer, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles encouraged people to get their hands dirty and get in touch with their agricultural roots. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) teamed up with the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program (KYNEP) to motivate Kentuckians to plant a Victory Garden and enjoy the fruits and vegetables...

First-time winners take home two awards in Kentucky wine competition; event showcases state’s best

Two of the five Commissioner’s Cup awards went to first-time winners at the eighth annual Kentucky Commonwealth Wine Competition and Commissioner’s Cup on Nov. 14 in Lexington. Silver Springs Farm Eqwine and Vineyard and Talon Winery, both of Lexington, took top honors in two of the judged categories. “Once again, Kentucky wines showed their continued quality at this year’s competition,”...

Kentucky students encouraged to apply for 2021 Kentucky Ag Athletes of the Year recognition

Kentucky student-athletes who are involved in agriculture are invited to apply for one of six scholarships and recognition as a 2021 Kentucky Ag Athlete of the Year. The program is a partnership of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). “Athletics and agriculture have a lot in common. They both teach the value of effort, discipline,...

KDA partners with other organizations to administer grant to help veterans enter agriculture field

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is partnering with other agriculture organizations in administering a federal grant directed to establish and enhance farming opportunities for military veterans, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced. The $746,567 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant will provide agricultural opportunities for veterans and transitioning service members....

Kentucky Department of Agriculture internship program application period open for college students

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky college students seeking a career in agriculture or government to apply for positions in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) internship program for the 2021 summer. Ryan Quarles “Our KDA interns gain the unique opportunity to work alongside department employees and serve the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Quarles...

Kentucky Proud brings cheese for a cause into Kroger; partial proceeds to benefit local food banks

A new initiative to help food-insecure families across the state is bringing Kentucky Proud artisan cheese products to select Kroger grocery stores. Kentucky Cheese Cares lets consumers join the fight against hunger by purchasing award-winning Kentucky specialty cheese products at participating Kroger locations. Fifty cents from each unit sold will be used to distribute Kentucky dairy products through...

Kentucky crafted beers infused with Kentucky Proud products on tap for Oct. 28 release in annual series

Crafting Kentucky Proud beers with Kentucky agricultural products is the focus of this year’s Kentucky Proud Beer Series, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. Now in its fifth year, the beer series combines the best of what Kentucky has to offer from its breweries with its farms. “Every October, Kentucky’s craft brewers use locally grown products to brew one-of-a-kind beers...

Quarles signs MOU to coordinate efforts between Kentucky Department of Agriculture and EPA

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish collaborative efforts and foster relationships between agencies, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is honored to enter into this new memorandum of understanding with the...