A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ryan Quarles: State fair offers a chance to come together for Kentuckians from all walks of life

As a people who brim with pride for our state, each year Kentuckians of all backgrounds have an opportunity to embrace one of the Commonwealth’s time-honored traditions: the Kentucky State Fair. Growing up as a farm kid in Scott County, I would count down the days until I visited with Freddy Farm Bureau, watched livestock shows, and chowed down on a Kentucky Pork Producers sandwich. The 114th Kentucky...

Kentucky’s farmers make second highest number of donations in history of ‘Ag Tag’ program in FY 2017

Kentucky farmers made $612,106.42 in voluntary donations to the Ag Tag Program in the 2018 fiscal year ended June 30, the second-highest total in the history of the program, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced. “Once again, Kentucky farmers have stepped up to the plate for the future of Kentucky’s agriculture industry,” Commissioner Quarles said. “I am grateful to each and every...

Air force sergent, medical student named winners of first $5,000 Kentucky Proud Weddings Contest

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has awarded Benjamin and Allison Engelbrecht with a $5,000 grand prize package for winning the Kentucky Proud Weddings Contest. At a press conference at Mulberry Orchard in Shelby County, Commissioner Quarles congratulated Allison and Benjamin on selecting a Kentucky Proud venue for their wedding ceremony and for supporting Kentucky’s signature agricultural...

Kentucky Department of Agriculture partners with federal government to improve food safety

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help Kentucky food producers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Under the cooperative agreement, the FDA will release a total of $2.84 million to Kentucky over the next three years. The funds will be divided among the KDA, the University of Kentucky,...

Department of Agriculture, Farmer Veteran Coalition unveil new Homegrown by Heroes program logo

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) have announced a new logo for the nationwide Homegrown By Heroes agricultural marketing program. “The new Homegrown By Heroes logo refreshes the brand while more accurately representing active-duty members of the armed forces and military veterans in agriculture,” Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said. “Since...

Ryan Quarles elected vice president of regional association of state agriculture departments

The Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture (SASDA) has elected Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles to serve as vice president for 2018-2019. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles “I am honored to be elected by my peers to serve in this position to advocate for southern agriculture,” said Commissioner Quarles. “As Congress continues to debate the 2018 federal...

KDA inspectors step up the search for fuel pump skimmers as Kentuckians hit the road

As Kentuckians hit the roads for vacations, long weekends, and day trips, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) inspectors are on the lookout for credit card skimmers. “Credit card ‘skimming’ at fuel pumps is used to steal personal data, which crooks can use to make fraudulent charges,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Our inspectors examine fuel pumps...

New agriculture industry certification will expand career paths for Kentucky high school students

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has announced a state partnership that will open a new career path for Kentucky high school students. The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has added Agricultural Pesticide Applicator Certification to the list of qualified KDE industry certifications in a partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). The certification would qualify students...

KY Department of Agriculture, UK Extension partner for limited exhibit delivery for 2018 State Fair

Are you a state fair competitor who needs help getting your entries to the 2018 Kentucky State Fair (KSF)? In a new partnership, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and KSF are teaming up to deliver selected agriculture and non-ag general department exhibits. Fair entrants must meet the July 2 entry deadline and must contact regional...

Sec. Quarles: As we celebrate Hemp History Week; let’s help Kentucky make its own mark

This week Americans celebrate Hemp History Week. Here in Kentucky, we know industrial hemp is a crop that connects our past to our future. A quick survey of the crop’s history proves it is time for us to make our own mark on hemp history and allow it to flourish. Quarles The history of the United States is entwined with hemp’s history. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are believed to have...

Quarles to host USDA Under Secretary for Trade McKinney for roundtable June 6

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced that he will hold a roundtable with United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney on June 6 at 9 a.m. at the Limestone Café located in the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. “Kentucky agriculture needs international trade, but the rest of the world needs Kentucky agriculture,” Quarles said....

Milk 2 My Plate grant makes more dairy products available to Kentucky families

Thousands of Kentuckians who struggle to buy nutritious foods for their families now have greater access to fresh Kentucky-produced milk, thanks to a $30,000 grant from The Dairy Alliance to God’s Pantry Food Bank, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced This week. God’s Pantry used the grant to acquire seven milk coolers for its Winchester and Lexington-Fayette County food pantries. The...

Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp to feature Kentucky Proud products June 5-10

Kentucky Proud, which markets farm-fresh fare and ingredients from across the Bluegrass, will showcase the state’s top agricultural offerings and talented local chefs at June’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair fantasy camp June 5-10. The Kentucky Bourbon Affair is an intimate six-day exploration into the state’s signature spirit with more than 40 events featuring behind-the-scenes tours, private barrel...

Dairy Nights at the Ballpark in June to honor Kentucky’s dairy industry producers

Kentucky dairy farm families can get free tickets to the ballpark for Dairy Night festivities at two minor league parks in June as part of a Dairy Month celebration. Bowling Green Ballpark, home of the Class A Hot Rods, will honor Kentucky’s dairy industry on June 7 prior to the Hot Rods’ game against the Lansing (Michigan) Lugnuts. Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, home of the Class A Legends,...

Department of Agriculture recognizes three restaurants for reaching ‘Buy Local’ milestone

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has recognized three Kentucky Proud restaurants for reaching the lifetime cap on state reimbursements for local food purchases through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s “Buy Local” program. Bluebird Café of Stanford, Ramsey Enterprises Commissary of Lexington, and Windy Corner Market of Lexington were honored for reaching the $36,000 limit. “These...

Explore Kentucky wineries and breweries with ‘Drink KY’ smartphone app, earn rewards as well

The Kentucky Derby is over. Spring has sprung (finally). It’s time to get out and explore the Bluegrass State. Your explorations may include some of Kentucky’s many small-farm wineries and locally owned craft breweries. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has a free smartphone app that will help you find what you’re looking for, record notes of the beverages you sample, and earn rewards as...

AG Commissioner Quarles announces Kentucky Proud Wedding Contest, prizes include $5K

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced that Kentucky couples will have the chance to walk away with a $5,000 grand prize package in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) first Kentucky Proud Weddings Contest. Quarles “Kentucky couples want to share their love of their Commonwealth as well as each other,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This contest will provide an added incentive...

Early results of state’s 2017 Industrial Hemp Pilot Project reveals multi-million dollar economic impact

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday at the annual conference of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association (KYHIA) that preliminary analysis of the 2017 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program reveals a multi-million-dollar economic impact for the state. According to early analysis of the 2017 processor production reports, Kentucky licensed processors paid Kentucky growers $7.5 million...

Kentucky Department of Agriculture recognizes 2018 KHSAA-KDA Ag Athletes of the year

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles commended six Kentucky high school student-athletes involved in agriculture for being named the 2018 Kentucky High School Athletic Association-Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) Ag Athletes of the Year. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, center, honors the 2018 Kentucky High School Athletic Association-Kentucky Department of Agriculture Ag Athletes of...

Cannabidiol manufacturer Kings Royal Biotech breaks ground on 140-Job Facility in Carlisle County

Kings Royal Biotech Inc. (KRB), a manufacturer of cannabidiol isolate, has broken ground on its $30 million-plus facility in the Western Kentucky city of Bardwell, a project expected to create 140 full-time jobs. KRB will build its 75,000-square-foot building on nearly nine acres in Carlisle County. The facility will use state-of-the-art methods to extract, refine and re-crystallize cannabidiol (CBD)...