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...

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles declares Aug. 5-11 ‘Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week’

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has declared Aug. 5 through 11 “Kentucky Farmers’ Markets Week” and invites Kentuckians to celebrate all month long by visiting their local farmers’ market and posting photos to Instagram for a prize. “Kentucky’s farmers’ markets give consumers the opportunity to buy farm-fresh products directly from local producers. I am proud to declare Farmers’...

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...

Quarles says being master of ceremonies at annual Fancy Farm picnic is a ‘dream come true’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky’s annual premier political event happens this weekend in a small western Kentucky community and the man who has the job of master of ceremonies is busy preparing. 
The Fancy Farm Picnic takes place on Saturday at St. Jerome’s Church, as it has since 1880, although it did not begin serving as the fall kickoff to Kentucky’s political season until 1931, when...

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...

A ton of beef (yes, 2000 pounds) headed to food banks from Beef Council, Cattlemen’s Association

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Where’s the beef?  Well, a ton of it – that’s right, 2,000 pounds – is heading to Kentucky food banks, thanks to a donation from the Kentucky Beef Council and Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.   The announcement was made during a press conference on the Capitol grounds this week where Gov. Matt Bevin signed a proclamation designating May as Beef Month in...

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...

Quarles to join U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for third ‘Back to Our Roots’ Tour

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles will accompany United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue for the Secretary’s third “Back to Our Roots” RV tour on Thursday and Friday stops in Kentucky. “I am excited to join Secretary Sonny Perdue on his tour through Kentucky,” Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “Too often our leaders in Washington, D.C. get stuck in the bubble...

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...

Agriculture commissioner declares week of March 5 as Soybean Week in Kentucky

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has proclaimed the week of March 5 as Soybean Week in Kentucky to recognize the importance of soybeans and soybean growers to Kentucky’s economy and way of life. “Soybeans had an impact of more than $1.48 billion on Kentucky’s economy in 2017,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Soybeans are used as livestock and poultry feed, as biodiesel, in food products,...

Deadline near for Ky. Farm to School Junior Chef contest; open to high school, middle school students

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles reminds Kentucky school cooking teams that they have until March 15 to apply for the sixth season of Farm to School Junior Chef competition. Quarles “The Junior Chef program teaches essential food preparation skills while also educating young people about the importance of buying nutritious local Kentucky Proud foods,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This competition...

Ryan Quarles: ‘Ag Tag’ donations are an investment in the future of Kentucky agriculture

In the weeks to come, many of you will head to your county clerk’s office to renew your farm vehicle license plates, or “ag tags.” When you do, I hope you will make a voluntary donation to the Ag Tag Fund for the future of Kentucky agriculture. Proceeds from the fund are divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) for youth development and...

Quarles says president’s infrastructure proposal would address needs of Kentucky, other rural states

An infrastructure proposal unveiled by the Trump Administration would address the needs of Kentucky and other rural states and give them more control over the process, said Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, who joined other leaders from throughout the nation to discuss the plan in a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Monday. Ryan Quarles “President Trump’s election...

Ag Commissioner calls on Kentucky farmers to apply for Leopold Conservation Award; deadline April 15

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles issued a reminder to Kentucky farmers that Leopold Conservation Award applications are due by April 15. “The Leopold Conservation Award promotes a great tradition of conservation and land stewardship in Kentucky,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Our farmers are often the subject of much criticism, when in reality they care the most about the planet. The Kentucky...

Bluegrass Tomorrow to recognize 2017 Vision Award winners February 6 at Marriott Griffin Gate Resort

Herb Miller of Columbia Gas, Scott County Judge Executive George Lusby, President John Marsden of Midway University, Larry Jones of Community Trust Bank, and KY Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, are among the honorees at Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Vision Awards Breakfast February 6 at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort in Lexington. George Lusby The annual Vision Awards Breakfast is a time-honored...

Department of Agriculture Hemp program approves more than 12,000 acres for planting in 2018

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has approved 225 applications from growers to cultivate up to 12,018 acres of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2018. More than 681,000 square feet of greenhouse space were approved for indoor growers in 2018. “Kentucky continues to lead on industrial hemp research, exploring every aspect of this versatile crop,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan...

First-in-nation incentive aims to provide more local produce for Kentucky kids in summer meal programs

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has unveiled an initiative that will open a new front on combating food insecurity: summer meals for Kentucky children. In a speech at the Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced Monday that the Kentucky-grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program (K-VIP) will create an economic incentive for summer meal programs...

Ag Commissioner calls on Congress to remove industrial hemp from list of contolled substances

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has called on Congress to remove industrial hemp from the list of controlled substances under federal law and challenged the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) position on consumable hemp-derived products in remarks delivered Wednesday at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Industrial Hemp Advisory Board meeting. “When I became Commissioner...

Department of Agriculture offers funding for projects to support specialty crops; proposals due March 1

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is seeking concept proposals for 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funding, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced. “This funding is intended for projects that make Kentucky specialty crops more competitive in both domestic and foreign markets,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Specialty crops make up a significant part of Kentucky’s...