November 23, 2016

Hunters turn sport into a way to feed the hungry

By Aimee Nielson
From KYAgNews

Bracken County deer hunters set out on a brisk fall morning with more than antlers on their minds. They were hunting to provide meals to the hungry in their communities.

“For many years, we have watched the bountiful herd of white-tail deer grow in Bracken County,” said David Appelman, agriculture and natural resources extension agent for the Bracken County office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. “The county benefits economically with the vast number of hunters here during season. Unfortunately, the number of deer has exceeded the balance and crops, gardens and vehicle damage are at an all-time high. There are even concerns that the size of the herd is affecting the health of the deer.”

November 22, 2016

Effects of forest fires reverberate into economy

By Carol Lea Spence
From KYAgNews

Dry weather has resulted in an extreme fall fire season in Eastern and Southern Kentucky.
Dry weather has resulted in an extreme fall fire
season in Eastern and Southern Kentucky.
The forestry sector plays a major role in Kentucky’s economy. The state has recently been hit hard by forest fires in the eastern and southern regions, and the damage will be felt statewide.

In many Eastern Kentucky counties, forests account for more than 80 percent of the land base. In 2015, revenues from timber harvests, primary industries such as logging and milling and secondary industries that use lumber and other primary products in manufacturing added $14.6 billion in direct, indirect and induced revenue to the state’s economy. One acre of harvested timber results in nearly $24,000 in direct revenue and a total of nearly $40,000 in indirect and induced revenues, said Jeff Stringer, extension professor of silviculture in the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry.

November 21, 2016

Make Kentucky Proud the Centerpiece of your 2016 Holiday Season

Kentucky Farm Bureau

Most dishes for a family feast can be found right here in the Bluegrass State

Three key ingredients to a successful holiday gathering in Kentucky.

In homes all across the Commonwealth, loved ones gather to eat, giving thanks for another bountiful Kentucky harvest.
Picture a large table with a perfectly-roasted, golden brown turkey alongside a perfectly baked country ham, both ready to be carved. Several large bowls surround the turkey and ham platters, holding cornbread dressing and an assortment of colorful vegetables.

Over to the side rest freshly-baked pumpkin and pecan pies, and another Kentucky Proud favorite, Derby-Pie.

Would you be surprised that this entire meal was grown or raised on Kentucky farms? From the turkey to the Christmas tree and everything in between, you and your loved ones can enjoy an all-Kentucky Proud holiday.

Young Farm Family Finalists: Gajdzik Family

Matt and Amanda Gajdzik

The Gajdziks have been involved in farming most of their lives. Matt, although not born on a farm, had the benefit of spending time on a dairy operation at a young age. His love for agriculture grew from there, encouraging him to become a first-generation farmer. Amanda’s family were farmers and she grew up on a diverse grain, cattle and tobacco operation. Both received college degrees in agriculture and began their first farming endeavor together in 2002 with 10 cows. The two worked public jobs while growing the farm and today their operation consist of 2,000 acres they jointly farm with Amanda’s sister and brother-in-law. Their farming operation includes corn, soybeans, burley tobacco, apples, peaches and hemp.

Young Farm Family Finalists: Furnish Family

Kentucky Farm Bureau

Ben and Katie Furnish

In 2003 Ben bought his first group of cows and raised his first tobacco crop utilizing the farming background he grew up with on his parents’ 176 acre cattle and burley tobacco operation. From that point he expanded significantly on what his father had started and purchased his first farm of 46 adjoining acres in 2005. Over the next decade he would continue to grow through purchased and leased land. Today, he and his family operate on more than 1,400 acres of owned and leased land. Farm production includes stocker steers, burley tobacco, corn, soybeans, wheat, mixed hay and, for the last two years, industrial hemp. The Furnishes also custom harvest hay for a neighboring farm and custom harvest grains for neighboring farms when needed. Katie has a degree in nursing and works part-time as an RN at their local hospital. The couple has two children with another on the way. Ben, who has a degree in agriculture economics, uses the Kentucky Farm Business Management program to help compare his family operation to others of the same size in an effort to improve and be more profitable.