A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

Summit to promote local, sustainable food systems in Ky. set for Feb. 26 at UK’s Gatton Student Center

The second annual Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit will bring together the Commonwealth’s farm and food community for a day of workshops, networking and conversations. The event will take place on Feb. 26 at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton Student Center. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is proud to support the second annual Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit,” Agriculture Commissioner...

Four county fair boards awarded $300,000; grants for new construction projects at fairgrounds

Four Kentucky county fairs boards were awarded $300,000 from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) for new construction projects, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. “These grants will enable four deserving local fair boards to provide their citizens with a more enjoyable fair experience,” Quarles said. “Fairgrounds are important to rural Kentucky because they serve as...

KDA annual poster & essay contest — ‘Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow’ — accepting submissions

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is inviting Kentucky students to enter the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) annual poster and essay contest. The theme of the 2020 contest is “Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow.” “I hope every Kentucky student will submit an entry to express in art and writing how our farmers all across the state are helping to grow the safest, most abundant...

Hemp application period underway, deadline for growers is March 15; summit Dec. 4 in Louisville

The window to apply for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s 2020 hemp licensing program is now open, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced. “Kentucky’s hemp industry had a banner year in 2019 with nearly 1,000 growers and an influx of processors,” Commissioner Quarles said. “We expect that momentum to continue in 2020, and we look forward to seeing more farmers apply to grow...

Buy Local funds exhausted, Quarles cites ‘testament to the strength of Kentucky’s local food culture’

Funding for reimbursements under the Buy Local program has been exhausted for 2019, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced. Buy Local is a Kentucky Proud initiative that rewards participating restaurants, distributors, and other foodservice businesses for buying Kentucky food products. “This is a testament to the strength of Kentucky’s local food culture,” Quarles said. “More and more,...

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...