Nicole Erwin, WKMS

  A federal opinion on industrial hemp research programs may provide new opportunities in Kentucky.  

Nicole Erwin, WKMS

Hemp has been used legally for years in products that display the US Department of Agriculture’s Organic Seal--as long as those products are imported. Any hemp based product originating from a domestic crop is banned from carrying this same organic certification. Kentucky Department of Agriculture Officials have said such a ban is a discriminatory act.

Tim McCabe,

Tennessee is receiving federal grant funding to support wetland enhancement for two separate projects. Projects include easements to improve water quality, expand habitat for federally protected species, reduce soil erosion, and additional outdoor recreation opportunities.

USDA, (wikipedia) CC BY 2.0

 More than 2 million Americans are plagued with opioid addiction. When those afflicted make a decision to turn their lives around, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack wants to make sure that help is available. Nicole Erwin spoke with the Secretary on the lack of support in rural communities.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

As the region reaches the peak summer season for crop acreage reporting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process so farmers and ranchers can participate in crop insurance programs.

University of Kentucky

  In addition to a general warming trend, growers across the Commonwealth are witnessing a more variable climate for crop production. That’s according to Dave Van Sanford, a plant and soil science professor at the University of Kentucky. His department was recently awarded a $120 thousand dollar grant from the USDA to observe resistant wheat varieties in warming environments.


A northwestern Tennessee county is among 68 rural communities receiving USDA funding for economic development. The Weakley County Municipal Electric System will receive a loan of one-million dollars to renovate the Adult Learning Center. 

For the past several years, a scientist in Brookings, S.D., has been engaged in an escalating struggle with his employer, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. The scientist, Jonathan Lundgren, says that he has been persecuted because his research points out problems — including harm to bees — with a popular class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development,

The City of Paris, Tennessee is offering empty lots to people who qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s single family housing program.

The city will accept as little as $1 from qualified loan holders for the seven available lots.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Kentucky officials have re-enacted a state-wide ban on bird sales and movement in response to an avian flu outbreak in southern Indiana.  State Veterinarian Robert Stout says he took the step out of an abundance of caution.