James Comer

KY Department of Agriculture

Kentucky won’t elect its next governor for more than two years. But Republican Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer all but declared his candidacy at Saturday’s Fancy Farm Picnic, stopping just short of an official announcement.

WKMS/John Null

After the successful passage of his Industrial Hemp Bill this year, Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer is staying tight-lipped about his plans for the next legislative session, but Comer says rural economic development efforts need to be refocused around agriculture.

A new brand of milk called Udderly Kentucky is now available in 32 Walmart stores in central and south-central Kentucky.

The milk is produced, pasteurized and bottled in Kentucky and is being offered in whole, 2 percent, 1 percent and skim varieties in gallon sizes.

Barbetorte, Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer tweeted Monday that an industrial hemp bill will get a hearing this week in the House Agriculture Committee.

Wikimedia Commons

Industrial hemp supporters are ratcheting up the pressure to force a vote on a stalled bill that would allow farmers in Kentucky to grow the crop if federal ban is lifted. A group led by state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer urged House Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom McKee Thursday to allow a vote on the bill. The group included a prominent northern Kentucky tobacco farmer who lives in McKee's district.

KY Department of Agriculture

Kentucky's agriculture leaders are supporting a new five year strategic plan to help the industry in the state.

The plan, put together by the Kentucky Agriculture Council, puts emphasis on agriculture education, creating new markets and recruiting new people to farming.

Barbetorte, Wikimedia Commons

The industrial hemp debate will resume in Frankfort later this morning.  A bill seeking a pilot project for hemp in Kentucky will be discussed in a Senate committee.  Carrying the ball for putting hemp in farmer’s fields is Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.

 “We find new uses every day for industrial hemp," he says. "It’s a green crop.  It’s something that is replacing plastic in the automotive industry.  You can make paper with industrial hemp, textiles, cosmetics and lotions, bio fuels.”

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Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner says comprehensive immigration reform would have a tremendous impact on the state’s farmers and livestock producers. James Comer says if it weren’t for immigrant labor, many Kentucky farmers wouldn’t be able to harvest their crops.

Barbetorte, Wikimedia Commons

Support for industrial hemp is growing in Kentucky behind the efforts of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. With last week's endorsement from U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, Comer now has the majority of the state’s federal delegation behind him.

Both senators and half of the state's congressmen have publicly endorsed legalizing industrial hemp. They say Kentucky is well-suited to be a leader in growing hemp for fiber and oil. But the push does have its opponents.

Barbetorte, Wikimedia Commons

Another supporter has come out in favor of industrial hemp in Kentucky. The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, announced today that it supports hemp as a crop for oil and fiber.

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