From farm markets to meat processors, agency OKs $2.2 million in investments

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board approved $2,245,146 in diverse local and regional agricultural and rural development projects across the commonwealth at its monthly board meeting.

The investments include:

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Kentucky Grape & Wine Council Initiatives: The Kentucky Department of Agriculture was approved for up to $259,000 in state funds over two years to continue to support the Kentucky Grape and Wine Council. Funding will be used for vineyard expansion, branding, advertising, wholesaler reimbursement and a label cost-share grant. As of 2020, there are 70 wineries and more than 125 grape growers in the Kentucky.

Agriculture Education Program and Curriculum Development: Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom Inc. was approved for up to $120,000 in state funds for educational materials and program services. The project will continue to provide agriculture-based educational programs and resources to teachers, schools and volunteer farm educators to grow agricultural literacy, develop future consumers and encourage students to consider agriculture-based professions.

Farm Retail Market: Triple J Farm, located in Scott County, was approved for up to $180,000 in multiple county and state funds to build a new farm market. Triple J Farm plans to partner with at least 15 different growers and producers within the state.

Produce Facility: Nash Farms, located in Washington County, was approved for up to $45,679 in multiple county and state funds to develop a produce facility. The facility will be designated for receiving, washing, packaging and storing fresh produce to increase production and meet current consumer demands. The facility will help to ensure food security within the community and the community’s access to fresh, quality produce. Surplus produce in the facility will be donated to the local community action center.

“I am pleased that Nash Farms will receive this funding. It will help provide food security and access to fresh produce for this community and others,” said Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville). “I want to thank the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy for recognizing the worthiness of the investment. Most of all, I want to thank the Nash family for their hard work. Nash Farms exemplifies what it means to be Kentucky Proud. I am excited to see what the new facility will produce for the Nash family and Washington County.” 

Meat Processing Investment Program – Level 2:

— Loretto Butcher Shop, located in Marion County, was approved for up to $37,500 in state funds to purchase and install custom processing equipment and building improvements. The facility estimates an increase in the number of animals processed by up to six beef equivalents/week and 10 hogs/week.

“I would like to thank the board for their support of this important project to install custom meat processing equipment at Loretto Butcher Shop,” said Sen. Jimmy Higdon (R- Lebanon). “It is important that we support small business, but also support food security by allowing them to increase the amount of weekly processing. The future of food processing includes growing local, processing local and buying local. This is a great way to invest tobacco settlement funds in a traditionally tobacco-dependent community.”

— Moonlight Meat Processing Inc., located in Whitley County, was approved for up to $37,500 in state funds to purchase and install USDA processing equipment. The facility estimates an increase in the number of animals processed by up to 15 beef equivalents/week.

Farm Water Management Program – Small Scale Grant:

— Andrew Ellison d/b/a Southern Sweet Berry Farm was approved for up to $1,912 in state funds to install a water line and micro-irrigation system to use water from a pond for its blueberry operation. This is a Small Scale Grant project in Graves County.

— ASAPFish LLC was approved for up to $10,000 in state funds to install a pump, piping and cistern to capture and distribute water from a spring throughout the aquaculture farm. This is a Small Scale Grant project in Woodford County.

County Investments:

Fayette County

Fayette County Conservation District was approved for $225,000 in Fayette County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $4,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Heather Silvanik at heather@kyfccd.com or 859-233-0191 ext. 3.

Fleming County

Fleming County Fiscal Court was approved for $5,000 in Fleming County funds to administer DAR for the 2020 program year with an $80 per animal fee to producers. For more information, contact Kathryn Dryden at flemingtreasurer@gmail.com or 606-845-1834.

Franklin County

Franklin County Cattlemen’s Association Inc. was approved for $131,134 in Franklin County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $5,000 for the 2020 program year.  For more information, contact James Morse at james.morse@ky.gov or 502-330-2014.

Franklin County Conservation District was awarded $8,750 in Franklin County funds to administer DAR for the 2020 program year at no cost to producer, unless removing over 20 head of livestock. In addition, $5,750 in Franklin County funds was awarded to administer Shared-Use for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Crystal Harrod at fccd103@gmail.com.

Greenup County

Greenup County Extension District Board was approved for up to $10,000 in Greenup County funds to purchase mobile livestock pens. The pens will be used for the Greenup County Fair and other agricultural events. Two-hundred families involved with the Greenup County Fair and livestock shows will benefit from this project.

Hancock County

Hancock County Conservation District was approved for $99,287 in Hancock County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $2,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Gary Baker at gary.baker@hancockky.us or 270-927-9616.

Jackson County

Jackson County Cattlemen’s Association Inc. was approved for $160,464 in Jackson County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $5,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Amanda Pennington at Amanda.vaughn@outlook.com or 859-779-1897.

LaRue County

Hinton’s Orchard & Farm Market LLC, located in LaRue County, was approved for up to $10,000 in multiple county funds to expand its commercial kitchen. The kitchen expansion will include an additional food prep area and will increase capacity for concessions during the fall season. Surrounding county farm families will benefit from this project.

Owen County

Owen County Farm Bureau Inc. was approved for up to $4,000 in Owen County funds to improve accessibility at the farmers market facility. Additional parking and driveway expansion will allow for more traffic in and out of the market. Currently, 22 farm families sell products at the farmers market.

Pendleton County

Pendleton County Agricultural Diversification Association Inc. was approved for $184,408 in Pendleton County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $5,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Kenneth Nash at pccaip@gmail.com or 859-816-0340.

Scott County

Scott County Soil Conservation District was approved for up to $250,000 in Scott County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $5,000 for the 2020 program year. In addition, $30,000 in Scott County funds was awarded to administer NextGen with a maximum producer limit of $3,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Darcy Smith at scottcountycd@yahoo.com or 502-863-2466.

Wayne County

Wayne County Agriculture Development Council Inc. was approved for $125,600 in Wayne County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $2,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Glen Roberts at groberts@uky.edu or 606-348-8453.

Webster County

Green River Area Beef Improvement Group Inc. was approved for $19,782 in Webster County funds and $6,755 in state funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $3,000 for the 2020 program year. In addition, $2,625 in state funds was awarded to administer Youth with a maximum student limit of $1,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Stacy Marksberry at grabig@bellsouth.net or 270-929-0194.

Woodford County

Woodford County Agriculture Advancement Council Inc. was approved for $275,000 in Woodford County funds to administer CAIP with a maximum producer limit of $4,000 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact David Dennis at dwdennis1955@gmail.com or 502-472-4085.

The County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP) provides farmers with incentives to allow them to improve and diversify their current production practices. CAIP covers a wide variety of agricultural enterprises in its 11 investment areas, including, but not limited to, bees and honey; equine; forage; beef and dairy cattle; goats and sheep; horticulture; poultry; swine; timber and technology, as well as energy efficiency and production; farm infrastructure and water enhancement; marketing; and value-added production.

The Deceased Farm Animal Removal Program (DAR) serves as a measure to facilitate the coordination of environmentally sound and cost-effective disposal of deceased livestock for Kentucky producers.

The Next Generation Farmer Program (NextGen) addresses the growing need for a specialized program that would benefit producers ages 18 to 40 that have been engaged in an agricultural operation for a minimum of three years.

The Shared-Use Equipment Program assists broad-based community organizations with the purchase of farm equipment. The equipment purchased is made available for producer use in a specific county on a leased basis.

The Youth Agricultural Incentives Program (Youth) encourages youth to engage in and explore agricultural opportunities.