August 11, 2016

Kentucky Fried Chicken Sent Chicks into Space?

KFC sponsored student John Vellinger’s “Chix in Space” project from 1983 to 1989.
The backstory is that I recently attended a party of former Kentucky Fried Chicken research and development engineers with my husband, and they brought several pieces of memorabilia to reminisce about their work.

An interesting incubator caught my attention, and I learned that they were instrumental in helping a young man from Lafayette, Indiana launch his science project.

In 1981, ninth grader John Vellinger had a question that he wanted to test: How does gravity affect chicken embryo development? He knew that gravity pulled the yolk, the developing chick’s food source, to the bottom of the egg, but hens would naturally move their eggs to keep the yolk from settling in one place. Incubated eggs also need to be turned regularly for healthy chicks. His hypothesis was that an environment without gravity would produce a more nourished chick. He thought this information would be valuable if space colonization ever occurred.

Paper Industry Keeps Forests Healthy

With 47 percent of Kentucky’s land in forest, it is no doubt that the Commonwealth has been a prime location for paper mills. In fact, paper production and finishing brought more than $5 billion to the Kentucky economy last year, according to the 2015 University of Kentucky Forestry Economic Impact Report.

Unfortunately, Kentucky’s paper industry took a $400-million-dollar loss when the Verso Mill in Wickliffe (Ballard Co.) permanently closed in July.

Chad Niman, a primary forest products specialist with University of Kentucky Forestry Extension, said the Verso Mill made white copy and magazine grade paper which is a shrinking market and one that is being impacted by imports.  He said that over 400 employees lost their jobs, and the closing also impacted trucking, over 100 logging firms in Kentucky and other regional businesses.

August 6, 2016

Farmer's Market Week Set for August 7-13

Dennis Thompson and, to his right, his daughter, Lily, and her boyfriend, Connor Duffy, offer samples of their fresh-baked breads to customers at the Wildflour Bakehouse booth at the St. Matthews Farmers' Market in July. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Kentucky farmers' markets schedule special events

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Some of Kentucky’s approximately 160 farmers’ markets will be celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week Aug. 7-13 with special events, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

“Farmers’ markets give consumers the chance to buy farm-fresh fruits and vegetables as well as meats, bread, sauces, cut flowers, crafts, and many other farm products,” Commissioner Quarles said. “They also provide an opportunity for shoppers to meet the people who produced the food. And they generate economic activity in their local communities. I encourage everyone to visit your local farmers’ market.”

August 2, 2016


Kentucky Farm Bureau

For the first time in over a year, food prices in the Commonwealth have increased, according to the latest Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey, albeit a very slight increase for the second quarter of the year.

The survey, taken quarterly and denotes the average total cost of 40 basic grocery items showed an increase of 1.03 percent. This is the first increase in food prices since the fourth quarter of 2014.

Overall the cost of the items totaled an average of $120.16 as compared to the $118.92 recorded during the first quarter of 2016.

July 20, 2016


By Katie Pratt, UK College of Agriculture, Food, & Environment

A rendering of the Grains Center of Excellence at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton.

Thanks to funding from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, the University of Kentucky Grains Center of Excellence will help advance Kentucky agriculture for decades.

The board awarded the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment a $15 million grant on July 15 to renovate and expand the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, with particular emphasis on grain crops and forages. The university must match the award.