Kentucky Department of Agriculture

7:30 am
Mon July 21, 2014

To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them

Kentucky hog farmer Travis Hood with Luther, a young Red Wattle boar. Hood started raising Red Wattles five years ago after cuts to his job, and began turning a profit on the meat in February.
Courtesy of Hood's Heritage Hogs

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:54 pm

Robertson County has the smallest population of any county in the state of Kentucky, and it's the only one, word has it, without a stoplight.

So it's an unlikely place to find a campaign to keep the food system more genetically diverse. But that is exactly what's happening on a small farm owned by Travis Hood, called Hood's Heritage Hogs.

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10:36 am
Fri May 30, 2014

What Role Can Hemp Play in Kentucky's Future Ag Economy?

Hemp seeds in plant
Credit D-Kuru, Wikimedia Commons

It’s a cool, overcast afternoon at Gaining Grounds Farm, about 60 miles south of Lexington. About 90 people, many of them veterans, farmers, or a combination thereof, are seated under a makeshift tent, taking refuge from a light rain that’s drizzling Gaining Ground's undulating 425 acres.

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3:15 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Kentucky's Hemp Saga Appears Headed for Court

Credit Erik Fenderson (Wikimedia Commons)

  The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is preparing to go to court to get 250 pounds of hemp seeds released to the state.  The seeds, imported from Italy, are being held at a UPS warehouse in Louisville.  The Drug Enforcement Administration argues a special permit is needed from the federal agency, despite language in the Farm Bill.                                               

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7:10 am
Wed October 9, 2013

Open House Set At KY Department of Agriculture

Credit KY Department of Agriculture

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is inviting the public to visit the state Department of Agriculture.

An open house is set for next Tuesday at Comer's office at Frankfort.

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4:01 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Kentucky Makes Some Money Back on Defunct Fuel Lab Equipment

Kentucky made back most of the money spent on equipment for the Department of Agriculture's now-defunct fuel lab in an auction today.

Division of Surplus Property Director Danny Ford says total bids exceeded $1.8 million this afternoon. The state originally paid about $2 million for the equipment. Bids came in low Monday but increased as the auction’s close neared.

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3:22 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Richie Farmer Reaches Plea Deal, Could Get 2 Years

Credit AP

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has reached a plea deal with prosecutors in a government corruption case that would put him in prison for two years.

Farmer's political career came crashing down during a 2011 bid for lieutenant governor, when complaints began to surface about his management of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

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2:45 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Ag Commissioner James Comer: Indictment of Richie Farmer Won't Affect Department


Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says the indictment of his predecessor Richie Farmer won't be an issue for the state Agriculture Department.

After taking office, Comer and his staff have helped with the many investigations of Farmer's tenure as commissioner. And Comer says he's made it his goal to restore public confidence in the department.

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10:18 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Farmer Indicted on Felony Fraud Charges

Former KY Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer

A federal grand jury has indicted former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer on four felony counts of misappropriating state funds and one of solicitation.  The indictment, unsealed today in Lexington, charges Farmer with using his state position to obtain thousands of dollars' worth of gifts, hotel rooms, clothing and computers. It also charges him with hiring friends who did little or no work for the state.  The indictment says that throughout his tenure as agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2012, Farmer wrongfully used public funds and state resources to obtain goods and services for himself and his family.

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2013 KY General Assembly
12:14 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Agriculture Education, New Markets Focus in New 5-Year Strategic Plan

Credit 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.

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9:00 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Will Kentucky's Veterans be the Next Generation of Farmers?


For several years military veteran Mike Lewis has been a farmer in Kentucky. But his experience with his younger brother, a fellow veteran, has turned him into an advocate for both. Lewis’s brother returned to civilian life after he was injured in Afghanistan and went to work on Mike’s farm. Lewis says his brother seemed to benefit from the work he was doing.

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