A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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...

KDA secures USDA grant to purchase 56 freezers, refrigerators for Kentucky food pantries

Fifty-two local food pantries across Kentucky will soon have more space to store food items, thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant secured by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “Thanks to the hard work of our Division of Food Distribution and Kevin Peach applying for the grant, we were able to fund the purchase of 56 appliances to keep food fresh during the pandemic,” Commissioner...

Quarles urges Kentuckians to grill ‘locally-sourced burgers’ in honor of Beef Month in May

With more than a million beef cows, Kentucky boasts largest beef cattle inventory east of the Mississippi River and the eighth-most in the nation as the state celebrates Beef Month. “With the weather warming, I urge Kentuckians to join me by throwing some locally-sourced burgers on their backyard grills in honor of May as beef month,” Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “Beef is not...

Feeding Kentucky purchases 10,080 pounds of Purnell’s ‘Old Folks’ sausage to aid hunger initiative

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced Feeding Kentucky has purchased 10,080 pounds of Kentucky Proud pork sausage from the iconic Purnell’s “Old Folks” headquartered in Simpsonville. The purchase is funded by a historic donation from Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company to Feeding Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative last month. “When we started the...

KDA Hunger Initiative results in donation of 560,000 eggs from Cal-Maine Foods to Feeding Kentucky

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced the donation of more than 560,000 eggs from Cal-Maine Foods to Feeding Kentucky as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Initiative. “Kentucky agriculture continues to step up to the plate to fight hunger during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Quarles. “Thanks to Cal-Maine Foods, more vulnerable Kentuckians have access...

Kentucky State Board Of Agriculture selects Dr. Katie Flynn as deputy state veterinarian at KDA

The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture (SBOA) has unanimously approved Dr. Katie Flynn to serve as the new deputy state veterinarian at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Flynn currently serves as the Veterinary Specialist for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Animal Health Branch and brings 18 years of regulatory animal health experience to the KDA. “I appreciate...

KDA to support farmers’ markets as essential business with Kentucky Proud ad campaign

After holding a digital roundtable with Kentucky farmers’ markets managers, Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced a new Kentucky Proud social media advertising campaign that will support farmers’ markets during the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s the time of year when Kentucky’s farmers’ markets are opening up around the state,” said Quarles. “After speaking with many farmers’ markets...

Winners of ‘Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow’ KDA Poster and Essay Contest announced

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced the winners of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s annual Poster and Essay Contest. The theme of the 2020 contest was “Kentucky Farmers: Ready, Set, Grow.” “Congratulations to each of these winners, who so vividly depicted in art and writing how our farmers all across the state are helping to grow the safest, most abundant food...

Feeding Kentucky purchases more than 13,000 Kentucky ground beef hamburgers to aid initiative

Feeding Kentucky has purchased 3,408 pounds of Kentucky ground beef with funds from Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance’s historic half-million dollar donation as part of Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles’ Kentucky Hunger Initiative. The purchase translates into more than 13,000 4-ounce hamburger patties that will go to vulnerable Kentuckians during the coronavirus pandemic. “Hunger doesn’t...

Al Cross: The politics of coronavirus are tough and they are only going to get tougher

We figured the ides of April would be the first crucible of Andy Beshear’s governorship, with a Republican legislature rendering its verdicts on the Democratic governor’s proposals and vetoes. But for a month, Beshear has faced a much greater test: how to deal with a deadly pandemic that is tanking the economy and altering the political landscape. And it will only get tougher. In the first month...

Six Kentucky high school student-athletes involved in agriculture earn scholarships from KHSAA, KDA

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced the six Kentucky high school student-athletes involved in agriculture that have been named the 2020 Ag Athletes of the Year by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “Typically, I join these outstanding, agriculturally-minded student-athletes on the floor of Rupp Arena to award these scholarships,...

Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance donates $500,000 as part of Kentucky Hunger Initiative

In response to rising food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance Foundation will donate a total of $500,000 to hunger relief charities as part of Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles’ Kentucky Hunger Initiative. The donation is the largest single private donation made as part of the Kentucky Hunger Initiative...