A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

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...

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...

Ag Commissioner Quarles wants farmers to be treated fairly, farmers want trade over aid

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says the new tariffs announced by President Donald Trump are about fairness to farmers. Speaking to reporters this week, Quarles said since taking office, he has been an advocate for policies that “give American farmers access to other countries, and that we’re also treated fairly and equally compared to other countries.” He said...

U.S. Department of Agriculture legal opinion says hemp can be moved across state lines

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a legal opinion stating hemp can be transported across state lines, an action saluted by Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. “The policy announcement from the United States Department of Agriculture confirms what Kentucky has been saying all along,” Quarles said. “The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp legal nationwide,...

It will be Bevin vs. Beshear in Nov. 5 general election; matchups for other state constitutional offices set

By Tom Latek and Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Kentucky voters have spoken – or at least nearly 20 percent of them – and the race for the governor’s seat is going to be a battle between two political heavyweight rivals. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin received 51 percent of the party’s vote in Tuesday’s primary in his bid for reelection and Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear will be his opponent...

Quarles welcomes EPA Administrator Wheeler to Kentucky for Farmers’ Roundtable in Georgetown

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles welcomed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to Kentucky on Friday for a roundtable discussion with Kentucky agriculture producers and industry representatives at Meade Tractor of Georgetown.  “Administrator Wheeler is no stranger to Kentucky agriculture, as he visited the Kentucky State Fair as my guest in 2018,” said Quarles....

Anti-hunger advocates from across the nation make summit on rural child hunger in Kentucky a success

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign gathered anti-hunger advocates from across the country, including Kentucky, to look for ways to reduce hunger among children in rural communities during a national conference March 21-22 in Louisville. The national anti-hunger organization featured educators, researchers, food bank leaders, government officials, and others at its first Rural Child Hunger...

Ryan Quarles: ‘Check the box’ for Kentucky’s hungry when you file your state income tax returns

Nearly 1 in 6 Kentuckians – including 1 in 5 Kentucky children – don’t know where their next meal will come from at some point in the year. That’s why I launched the Kentucky Hunger Initiative nearly three years ago: to combat the unfortunate reality that so many of our friends and neighbors are food insecure. With tax season upon us, you can “check the box” to join the fight to reduce...

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...

Sales of Ky. hemp products more than tripled in 2018 compared to 2017; farmers paid twice as much

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced Monday that sales of Kentucky hemp products in 2018 were more than three and a half times higher than the previous year and that the amount that farmers were paid for their harvests more than doubled. “When I became Commissioner of Agriculture, I promised to make Kentucky the epicenter of hemp production in the United States,” Commissioner...

Ryan Quarles: Give to ‘Ag Tag’ fund, invest in future of Kentucky agriculture and develop leaders

Deep roots grow leaders. That’s how Kentucky’s agricultural community develops leaders for our future. “Deep roots grow leaders” is also the theme of this year’s Ag Tag campaign to raise funds to invest in organizations building the leaders of tomorrow. Kentucky farmers recently may have received a note from their county clerk with a reminder to renew their farm vehicle license plates. At...

Agriculture commissioner applauds national organization’s adoption of new policies on hemp

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles on Tuesday applauded a national organization of government agriculture officials for adopting a new hemp policy that recognizes its economic potential and encourages uniformity in regulation. Commissioner Quarles authored the policy based on Kentucky’s existing hemp regulatory framework. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)...