Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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.                                               

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.

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.

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.

kyagr.com

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.

agpolicy.ky.gov

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.

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.

wikipedia.org

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.

wikipedia.org

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.

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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