February 20, 2017

Kentucky Farm Bureau policy development process continues, nearly 300 members head to nation's capital

Kentucky Farm Bureau

Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) volunteer leaders continue the organization’s grassroots policy development process this month as they head to Washington, D.C., with their list of 2017 national priority issues and a willingness to serve as “The Voice of Kentucky Agriculture.” The group, consisting of nearly 300 KFB members from more than 60 different counties, has scheduled a series of strategic discussions with Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation during the last week of February to examine issues facing agriculture and rural communities in the Commonwealth.

“Traveling to Washington, D.C., empowers our grassroots leaders and gives them the opportunity to meet their member of Congress one-on-one,” said Joe Cain, KFB’s Commodity Division director and coordinator of the meetings with Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation. “Establishing that kind of relationship with your representative is especially beneficial – for both sides – when issues arise.”

County leaders will be briefed on the current political environment in Washington by the staff of KFB and American Farm Bureau Federation on Monday, February 27. As the group prepares to meet with its Congressmen and Senators the following day, Dale Moore, Executive Director, Public Policy for the American Farm Bureau Federation will talk about national legislative priorities for Agriculture. U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture, wil be updating Kentucky farm families in attendance on national farm policy and the process of reauthorizing a new farm bill.

February 16, 2017

UK helps producer renovate hayfield

By Katie Pratt, UKAgNews

When Anderson County livestock producer Mike Wilson bought a 60-acre hayfield in Franklin County, he knew he had a lot of work in front of him.

Anderson County producer Mike Wilson talks about his hayfield seeded in novel
endophyte tall fescue, which is in the background.
The previous owners had let people cut hay for nearly 30 years without putting any nutrients back into the ground, which meant the existing grass stand was a mixture of Kentucky 31 tall fescue and weeds.

As he worked on improving the ground’s nutrients, Wilson knew from attending a University of Kentucky grazing school that he also wanted to renovate his field with a novel endophyte tall fescue variety.

Novel endophyte tall fescue varieties differ from traditional Kentucky 31 tall fescue in that they do not contain the endophyte that causes fescue toxicosis, a potentially fatal disease affecting many types of livestock, including cattle and horses.

February 13, 2017

Learning More about Animal Agriculture: A critical component of the ag industry

From Kentucky Farm Bureau

In Kentucky, animal agriculture represents well over half of the ag economy when taking into account all livestock sectors.

Most of this can be attributed to tradition but because of the investments made in the whole industry much of which comes from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, not only has livestock production grown but animal quality remains important and is exceptional in many cases.

Students enrolled in the agriculture programs at MSU
 are learning more than just how to care for animals.
What helps solidify this excellence of animals is the attention given by producers who know and understand the importance of making animal care paramount in their operations.

Drs. Flint and Patricia Harrelson also understand this practice and live it every day by teaching animal science at Morehead State University. The husband and wife team are assistant professors at MSU and lead students not only by way of books but through hands-on applications at the university’s nearby farm facility, the Derrickson Agricultural Complex.

February 11, 2017

Quarles urges action on Kentucky hunger problem

Ag commissioner gives update on Hunger Initiative at the Rally to Solve Hunger

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles gave an update of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) Hunger Initiative and urged all Kentuckians to help fight hunger in a rally to raise awareness of Kentucky’s hunger problem today in the Capitol Rotunda.
“The Kentucky Hunger Initiative got off to a great start in 2016, and we are continuing our efforts to develop a strategy to reduce hunger in Kentucky,” Commissioner Quarles said at the annual Rally to Solve Hunger. “I hope everyone will join me in donating part of their state income tax refund to the Farms to Food Banks Trust Fund and look for ways in your communities to help our fellow Kentuckians gain access to fresh, nutritious foods.”

Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Bonnie Jolly, and Dennis Liptrap
Bonnie Jolly, center, executive director of the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, and KPPA President Dennis Liptrap, right, donated a check for $5,000 from the KPPA to the Kentucky Association of Food Banks for purchasing pork products for distribution by KAFB member organizations. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is at left.

February 10, 2017

Wildlife Issues High on the KFB Priority List

Kentucky Farm Bureau

During Kentucky Farm Bureau’s recent annual meeting, one of the priority issues approved by its board related to wildlife populations. Specifically, the priority issue sought to, “Seek effective wildlife management that will reduce the wildlife population in an effort to alleviate continued crop and livestock losses, automobile accidents, human injuries, and loss of life.”

Farmers are no strangers to the damage and danger caused by populations of certain wildlife species to crops and property.

The USDA notes that, “Each year, wildlife cost property owners millions of dollars in damage, underscoring the need for responsible wildlife damage management.”

While total numbers for crop damage are hard to quantify, producers have long felt losses to their budgets due to decreased yields and replanting costs.