A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky art contest increases pollinator awareness; children ages 5-18 encouraged to participate

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles invites Kentucky’s youth to participate in the Kentucky Pollinator Stakeholders Art Contest. The contest is designed to educate the public on the benefits of pollinators and encourage behaviors that promote pollinator habitats across Kentucky. “In agriculture, we know the importance of pollinators,” Quarles said. “This contest will allow children from...

Quarles encourages Kentuckians to keep state’s hungry in mind during season of giving

In this season of giving, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles encourages Kentuckians to remember Kentucky food banks and their partners. “In Kentucky, there are nearly 700,000 Kentuckians, including nearly 200,000 children, who struggle with hunger,” Quarles said. “That means one in seven adults and one in five children in Kentucky lack access to enough food for a healthy, active...

Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference to take place virtually across four days in January

The 2021 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference, the premier event for statewide produce growers to interact and learn, is set to take place virtually across four days in January, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “Each year experts in Kentucky’s produce community come together to share their knowledge with the rest of the state,” Quarles said. “Learning from...

Kentucky Board of Agriculture promotes Dr. Katie Flynn to State Veterinarian; Dr. Alex Hagan as deputy

The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture (SBOA) yesterday unanimously approved Dr. Katie Flynn to serve as the new State Veterinarian at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Dr. Flynn joined KDA as the Deputy State Veterinarian earlier this year. Dr. Alex Hagan, a veterinarian in Shelbyville, Kentucky, has been approved by the SBOA to serve as Deputy State Veterinarian, taking Flynn’s vacated...

Gardens surge in popularity during summer; Quarles urged Kentuckians to grow Victory Gardens

This summer, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles encouraged people to get their hands dirty and get in touch with their agricultural roots. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) teamed up with the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program (KYNEP) to motivate Kentuckians to plant a Victory Garden and enjoy the fruits and vegetables...

First-time winners take home two awards in Kentucky wine competition; event showcases state’s best

Two of the five Commissioner’s Cup awards went to first-time winners at the eighth annual Kentucky Commonwealth Wine Competition and Commissioner’s Cup on Nov. 14 in Lexington. Silver Springs Farm Eqwine and Vineyard and Talon Winery, both of Lexington, took top honors in two of the judged categories. “Once again, Kentucky wines showed their continued quality at this year’s competition,”...

Kentucky students encouraged to apply for 2021 Kentucky Ag Athletes of the Year recognition

Kentucky student-athletes who are involved in agriculture are invited to apply for one of six scholarships and recognition as a 2021 Kentucky Ag Athlete of the Year. The program is a partnership of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). “Athletics and agriculture have a lot in common. They both teach the value of effort, discipline,...

Kentucky hemp application portal opens Nov. 16; online application portal on KDA website

The window to apply for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s 2021 hemp licensing program will open Nov. 16, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. “We believe there will be a long-term hemp market in Kentucky, but across America the hemp industry has been having a difficult year,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Acreage is down significantly across the nation in light of FDA...

KDA partners with other organizations to administer grant to help veterans enter agriculture field

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is partnering with other agriculture organizations in administering a federal grant directed to establish and enhance farming opportunities for military veterans, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced. The $746,567 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant will provide agricultural opportunities for veterans and transitioning service members....

Kentucky Department of Agriculture internship program application period open for college students

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky college students seeking a career in agriculture or government to apply for positions in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) internship program for the 2021 summer. Ryan Quarles “Our KDA interns gain the unique opportunity to work alongside department employees and serve the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Quarles...

Ryan Quarles: Kentucky needs to support farmers and restaurants during COVID-19 pandemic

Across the nation and around the world, the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise. This alarming trend has raised concerns that the economic lockdown from the spring could return. Leaders in Frankfort can and should be creative in using available resources and developing guidelines to prevent further damage to Kentucky’s economy this winter while also encouraging Kentuckians to follow CDC guidelines. When...

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...