A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Proud brings cheese for a cause into Kroger; partial proceeds to benefit local food banks

A new initiative to help food-insecure families across the state is bringing Kentucky Proud artisan cheese products to select Kroger grocery stores. Kentucky Cheese Cares lets consumers join the fight against hunger by purchasing award-winning Kentucky specialty cheese products at participating Kroger locations. Fifty cents from each unit sold will be used to distribute Kentucky dairy products through...

Kentucky crafted beers infused with Kentucky Proud products on tap for Oct. 28 release in annual series

Crafting Kentucky Proud beers with Kentucky agricultural products is the focus of this year’s Kentucky Proud Beer Series, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. Now in its fifth year, the beer series combines the best of what Kentucky has to offer from its breweries with its farms. “Every October, Kentucky’s craft brewers use locally grown products to brew one-of-a-kind beers...

Quarles signs MOU to coordinate efforts between Kentucky Department of Agriculture and EPA

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish collaborative efforts and foster relationships between agencies, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is honored to enter into this new memorandum of understanding with the...

Voluntary ‘Ag Tag’ donations at $611,743 in 2020; funds to be divided equally among 4-H, FFA, KDA

Kentucky farmers donated $611,743.08 to the Ag Tag Program in the 2020 fiscal year that ended June 30, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced. “Year after year, Kentucky farm families step up to support our premier youth agricultural organizations and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture,” Quarles said. “Since I have taken office, we have made a concerted effort to increase the...

KDA Poster and Essay Contest accepting entries from Kentucky students until March 1

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles invites Kentucky students to enter the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) annual Poster and Essay Contest. The theme of the 2021 contest is “Kentucky Agriculture Never Stops.” “The annual KDA Poster and Essay contest is a nod to how our farm families never stopped working during the coronavirus pandemic,” Quarles said. “With so many Kentucky...

Kentucky Proud sponsors women’s business conference; virtual event set for Oct. 6, 13, and 20

As part of its ongoing effort to support international trade, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is sponsoring the World Trade Center of Kentucky’s (WTC-KY) eleVate Women’s Breaking Barriers Conference, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “Women make up about 35 percent of Kentucky’s agricultural producers according to the latest agricultural census conducted by the...

Quarles joins call for poll workers in November; challenges FFA members, alumni to step up

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is asking members and alumni of Kentucky’s youth agriculture organizations to fulfill Secretary of State Michael Adams’ call to recruit poll workers for the November 2020 election. “Kentucky FFA has a long tradition of civic engagement,” Quarles said. “As Secretary Adams has made clear, we need young people to serve as poll workers so that we can...

Quarles urges Kentucky farmers to apply for federal coronavirus relief funds; portal closes Dec. 11

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky farm families facing market disruptions and associated costs because of the coronavirus pandemic to sign up for the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which opened on Sept. 21 and will run through Dec. 11. “Through the passage of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s CARES Act, the U.S. Department...

USDA proposes most cattle have electronic ear tags by 2023; switch to RFID tags strengthens ADT system

In an ongoing effort to increase animal traceability, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking public comment on a proposal that would only recognize radio frequency identification (RFID) devices as the official ear tag for interstate movement of cattle and bison that are required to be identified by animal disease traceability rules. Public comments will be accepted through Oct. 5 at the following...

Quarles sets Sept. 20-26 as Farm Safety and Health Week in Kentucky; theme is ‘Every Farmer Counts’

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has set Sept. 20-26 as Farm Safety and Health Week in Kentucky to encourage farmers and farm workers to put safety first at all times. The theme for this year’s safety week is “Every Farmer Counts.” “Farmers face a variety of risks in the course of their work, from machinery accidents, chemical exposure, unruly livestock, grain bin entrapment, severe...

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

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles was elected 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 selecting me to serve as president of NASDA,” Quarles said. “2020 has been a challenging year for all industries, but especially our agriculture sector. In this role, I...

Feeding Kentucky acquires 28,000 pounds of ground beef from Marksbury Farms for food bank distribution

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced Feeding Kentucky has acquired 28,000 pounds of Kentucky Proud ground beef from Marksbury Farms for distribution among Kentucky’s food bank network. The purchase is funded by a historic donation Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company made to Feeding Kentucky in April of this year as part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative started by Quarles...

Circuit Judge enters temporary restraining order against Beshear administration in KDA lawsuit

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced Thursday that a Scott County Circuit Judge entered a temporary restraining order against the administration of Gov. Andy Beshear in a lawsuit brought by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC. The lawsuit challenged the constitutionality and legality of Beshear’s use of executive power during the coronavirus...

Quarles challenges Beshear’s executive orders, claims violations of process in state constitution

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles filed a lawsuit Monday in the Scott Circuit Court in Georgetown to declare several of Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive orders to be violations of the processes outlined by Kentucky’s Administrative Practices Act and the state constitution. Quarles filed the case alongside Evans Orchard and Cider Mill, LLC, which joined him as a co-plaintiff in the case. “The...

Ryan Quarles: COVID-19 pandemic makes clear the need for rural broadband internet connectivity

Across the nation, the coronavirus has highlighted issues in our food supply chain, our reliance on foreign countries for medical supplies, and the difference between strong, data-driven leaders and weak ones. But for Kentucky families and workers, perhaps the largest problem is one we’ve attempted to solve for years: internet connectivity, particularly in our rural communities. I spoke with many...

Quarles celebrates hunger heroes in Letcher County; checks status of Kentucky Hunger Initiative program

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles visited Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises (CANE) Kitchen and the Cowan Community Center in Letcher County on Monday to check in on the status of a Kentucky Hunger Initiative program feeding children with Kentucky-grown fruits and vegetables and to mark the distribution of the 100,000th meal kit in the community. “Childhood hunger in Kentucky...

Quarles, UK encourage Kentuckians to grow victory gardens; campaign to reach every Kentucky county

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced a new Kentucky Department of Agriculture partnership with the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program to encourage Kentuckians to get in touch with their agricultural roots during the coronavirus pandemic. “Since starting the Kentucky Hunger Initiative years ago, the Kentucky Department...

KDA licenses hemp growers for 2020 season; economic numbers show hemp industry maturing

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has licensed 960 hemp growers to grow up to 32,000 acres and 150 hemp processors and handlers for 2020. The KDA has also licensed 4.6 million square feet of greenhouse space for production. “Hemp continues to draw much attention, and these new numbers reflect an industry that is still maturing,”...

Quarles secures donations from CoBank, Farm Credit Mid-America to expand mobile meals distribution

Farm Credit Mid-America (FCMA) and CoBank are funding a significant expansion of mobile meals distribution in high need areas to hungry Kentucky schoolchildren during the coronavirus pandemic, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced. The donation is a part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative launched by the commissioner in 2016. The donation provides enrichment grants to the Kentucky Kids...

KDA, KAM to hold fourth annual LAND forums; first two sessions to be digital versions due to pandemic

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles will lead eight forums across the Commonwealth to strengthen ties between agriculture and manufacturing. The first two forums will occur online in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The fourth annual series of LAND (Linking Agriculture for Networking and Development) forums will open June 18 and continue through Sept. 21. The forums are sponsored by the Kentucky...