Kentucky Department of Agriculture

8:18 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Ag Department Investigation Not on Personnel Board Agenda

Credit Ed Reinke / AP

An ongoing investigation into alleged improprieties at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture isn’t on the agenda of the Personnel Board’s last meeting for the year. Board members voted earlier this year to open an inquiry into personnel issues at the Department of Agriculture under former Commissioner Richie Farmer. Board Executive Director Mark Sipek says it could be months before the investigation is completed. A state audit accused Farmer of using state employees for personal business like hunting and shopping trips, yard work, and chauffeuring his dog.

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11:07 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Drought Impact on Kentucky Agritourism Still Unknown

It could be next year before Kentucky agriculture officials will know how much drought affected state agritourism. Visits and tours of working farms peak in August, September and October, but drought has caused some farmers to scale back their events, like corn mazes and apple picking. State Agritourism Director Ben Shaffar says some Kentucky farmers realize as much as a 200 percent revenue boost from agritourism activities. But until the season ends, Shaffar can’t say what the numbers will look like this year.  

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6:56 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Edelen to Release Agriculture Department Audit

State Auditor Adam Edelen is expected to release findings today from a financial review of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The review looks at agency operations under the administration of Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. Newly elected Commissioner James Comer asked for the special audit after he took office in January, saying it's needed to restore public trust to the agency. The Department was thrust into the center of state politics last year when Farmer, who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor, was accused of misspending public funds.