A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Proud launches statewide 2019 holiday ad campaign to showcase Kentucky farm products

Kentucky consumers are reminded that “the freshest gift ideas come from Kentucky farms” in the 2019 Kentucky Proud holiday advertising campaign that will launch statewide next week. “Kentucky Proud products make unique, thoughtful gifts from the Commonwealth we all love,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “Buying Kentucky Proud also helps support Kentucky farm families and small...

Department of Agriculture to host first Hemp Summit Dec. 4 at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will host a Kentucky Hemp Summit on Dec. 4 for those interested in learning more about the hemp industry, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. “We decided to host a Kentucky Hemp Summit so that Kentuckians can learn more about this crop that connects the Commonwealth’s past to its future,” Quarles said. “The Summit will feature...

KDFWR increasing monitoring of deer and elk for chronic wasting disease as hunting season returns

As hunters return to the woods and fields for the fall seasons, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is increasing its efforts to monitor the state for chronic wasting disease (CWD) at the same time. Seventeen years ago, the department recognized an encroaching threat to Kentucky’s deer and elk herds and took steps to prevent the spread of CWD to the state. Now, in 2019, the agency...

New recipe card series — ‘Cook Wild Kentucky’ — to educate Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are teaming up to raise awareness about “Cook Wild Kentucky,” a new recipe card series from the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment aimed at educating Kentuckians on how to prepare wild game. “It is an unfortunate reality that 1 in 6 Kentuckians is food...

KDA connects farmers to Kentucky schools in October, holds high school culinary competition

School districts throughout Kentucky will hold special events to celebrate Farm to School Month in October and raise awareness of the advantages of serving local foods to Kentucky school children. “Farm to school helps Kentucky students get access to fresh, nutritious local foods that will help them to grow up strong and healthy,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “At the same time,...

New film ‘Silo’ combines farm safety education, entertainment; premieres in Kentucky on Oct. 12

A film about the dangers of entrapment in grain bins — “Silo” — will premiere in Kentucky at the Louisville International Festival of Film on Oct. 12 at the Muhammad Ali Center, 144 N. Sixth St. “I’m proud to say that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Home Safety Program was consulted for this film,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said, noting much of the movie...

Kentucky hemp program application period for 2020 opens Nov. 15 with new online application

Kentucky hemp growers and processors may apply for a hemp license from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) hemp program for 2020 beginning Nov. 15, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. Ryan Quarles “We are constantly looking for ways to improve our hemp program,” Quarles said. “We are making significant changes to the application process for the 2020 growing season...

Pew Trusts: Many first-time growers still don’t have buyers, but keep dreaming big with risky hemp crops

By April Simpson and Sophie Quinton Pew Charitable Trusts Standing between two rows of thigh-high hemp crops close to the Tennessee-Kentucky border, the retired owner of a New Hampshire convenience store cheerfully recalled why he chose to grow his first hemp crop this year. Barry Paterno, 67, is a gardener, not a farmer — he likes to grow tomatoes and corn. But he saw on the local TV news that an...

Ryan Quarles elected vice president of National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles was elected vice president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) at its annual meeting. “I am grateful to my counterparts in the other states for electing me to such a prestigious office,” Quarles said. “Policy makers at the federal and state levels will address trade, low commodity prices, the growth of the hemp...

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles proclaims Sept. 15-21 as Farm Safety and Health Week

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has proclaimed the week of Sept. 15-21 as Farm Safety and Health Week in Kentucky to encourage farmers and farm workers to put safety first at all times. “Farmers face all sorts of risks in the course of their work – machinery accidents, chemical exposure, unruly livestock, grain bin entrapment, severe weather, and many others,” Quarles said. “In Kentucky,...

Voluntary donations to Department of Agriculture ‘Ag Tag’ program reach second-highest total in FY 2019

Kentucky farmers donated $613,246.37 to the Ag Tag Program in the 2019 fiscal year ended June 30, slightly more than the total for fiscal 2018 and the second-highest total in the history of the program, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced. “The Ag Tag Program has succeeded in providing much-needed funding for promoting agriculture and educating Kentucky’s youth on the importance of...

Quarles invites Kentuckians to visit 115th Kentucky State Fair; mid-summer showcase runs Aug. 15-25

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is inviting all Kentuckians to visit the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s mid-summer showcase at the 115th Kentucky State Fair Aug. 15-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. “The Kentucky State Fair brings the best of Kentucky agriculture together in one location,” Quarles said. “The fair is a golden opportunity for farmers to talk to the...

Kentuckians invited to celebrate Farmers’ Markets Week by visiting markets, posting to Instagram

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles invites Kentuckians to celebrate Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week by visiting a local market and posting photos from their visit to Instagram in August. Entrants could win a basket of Kentucky Proud products. For the second year in a row, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is conducting the social media contest to commemorate Farmers’ Markets Week Aug....

Ryan Quarles: Farms to Food Banks reduces hunger, helps farmers recoup losses for produce not sold

When you and your family shop for local produce at your farmers’ market or grocery store this summer, what will you look for? A recent study found that most people look for produce without any blemishes. What happens to produce with a cosmetic blemish? At the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), we work to steer that nutritious produce to hungry Kentuckians in need through a program called Farms...

Ryan Quarles elected president of Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles was elected president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (SASDA) for 2019-20 in its annual conference this week. “I am honored and humbled to be elected by my peers in the other southern state departments of agriculture,” Quarles said. “This position will enable me to utilize Kentucky’s positive relationship with the...

Ryan Quarles: Hemp History Week — take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been with this versatile crop

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Henry Clay. These great Americans grew hemp in the United States long before it became illegal over much of the 20th century. This year, Kentucky has around 1,000 licensed hemp growers and more than 130 licensed hemp processors who are joining the ranks of the great Americans who have grown hemp. This Hemp History Week, it’s important to remember where our state...

Kentucky’s Harlan County High School is runner-up in Regional Junior Chef Competition

North Carolina edged out Kentucky on Friday – not on the basketball court, but in the kitchen. Apex High School of North Carolina prevailed in the second annual Southeast Region Junior Chef Competition at Sullivan University in Louisville. Kentucky champion Harlan County High School was the runner-up among the state champion high school culinary teams from six states. “These teams are what Junior...

Kentucky cattle producers, clothing store ‘Raising the Steaks’ against hunger as part of KDA’s initiative

Kentucky’s beef industry is celebrating Beef Month by “Raising the Steaks” against hunger in May. For the second year in a row, the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, the Kentucky Beef Council, and Wildcat Wearhouse are teaming up on a T-shirt to honor the Commonwealth’s beef cattle industry while helping Kentuckians in need. Gov. Matt Bevin prepares to ceremonially sign House Bill 311 as...

Ag Commissioner Quarles announces grants to 25 Kentucky food pantries as part of Hunger Initiative

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced 25 Kentucky food pantries will have additional cold storage space, thanks to grants from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Ag Commissioner Quarles celebrates grant awards to Kentucky food pantries. “We launched the Hunger Initiative nearly three years ago to look for solutions to food insecurity in Kentucky,” Agriculture Commissioner...

Kentucky Department of Agriculture sponsoring Kentucky Proud Direct Farm Marketing contest

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has announced the Direct Farm Marketing Division is sponsoring a contest for Kentucky FFA members actively involved in the production, growth, and marketing of farm commodities or value-added products. “What better way to get our youth in the habit of going to a farmers’ market than a contest?” Commissioner Quarles said. “Kentucky FFA students are some...