September 15, 2016

Ag Careers Spotlight: Layer Field Service Representative

Jessi Stewart, Egg Innovations
Many of us are asked what we want to be when we grow up several times throughout our childhoods. And for most of us, the answer changes quite often as we discover our interests and passions.

But what I have found interesting within the farming community is that the job title is not nearly as important as the industry. The opportunities provided to young people in agriculture, such as 4-H and FFA, typically encourage them to seek out agriculture-related degrees even though they may not know exactly what their job will be.

I recently met Jessi Stewart, a field service representative for Egg Innovations. Her company is the largest originator of free range, pasture-raised commercial eggs in the U.S., and her job is to make sure that contract farmers have what they need to be successful, as well as to make sure that the hens are being cared for within the company’s high standards.

August 31, 2016

The State of the Kentucky Dairy Industry

This article is part of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Candid Conversations Series

FB Candid Conversations presents a discussion about the topical issues facing the agricultural industry in a question and answer format with a member of Kentucky’s agricultural community. In this column, issues facing the dairy industry are discussed with Carl Chaney, a longtime dairyman and co-owner of Chaney’s Dairy Barn, a dairy/retail/restaurant operation in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

For those unfamiliar with dairy operations, briefly describe a typical day on the job.

In the past, my day typically began about 4:40 in the morning and I tried to be at the barn ready to bring in the cows by 5:00 a.m. We are a small family farm and we milk about 60 cows so we’re not worried so much about how many cows we can put through the parlor in an hour. That never was a concern of ours; it was always about taking care of the cows. Once we had finished with the milking, we got everything cleaned up; did whatever else needed to be done on the farm or at the farm store until we milked again around 4:00 p.m. and started that process all over again. After we fed the cows and did the cleaning we got finished around 7:00 that evening unless we had a cow calving or crops to put up. About two months ago we put in a robot to milk the cows and we can sleep to about 5:30! Now we are milking three times a day. This investment is working well for us along with a new compost bedded pack barn. We are getting more milk from the cows because they are more comfortable.

Water Management Working Group Sees Accomplishments in First Year

Water Management Working Group Chair Steve Coleman
Over the past three decades, Kentucky has experienced at least five significant droughts resulting in immeasurable crop and livestock losses and often pitted urban and rural users against each other. Last year Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) initiated a Water Management Working Group (WMWG) comprised of a diverse group of experts from the agriculture, natural resources and governmental agency sectors to devise plans to combat water issues proactively as opposed to reacting to a situation once it has occurred.

The WMWG has initiated many forward steps in opening up critical conversations about water issues including the suggestion of House Bill 529, legislation that established a state board to oversee such issues.

The Kentucky Water Resources Board (KWRB) is the result of this new law and is administered by the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet to assist in conducting research and developing recommendations to enhance the quality of water resources accessible for agricultural production in the state.

August 26, 2016

Montgomery County Junior Chef team captures the coveted skillet trophy

Boyle County, Pikeville, and Henderson round out the final four

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles presents the Farm to School Junior Chef championship trophy to the Montgomery County team: from left, Gabby Hovatter, MacKenzie Green, Joy Pidgorodetska, and Hayden Holley.
(Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Montgomery County prevailed over Boyle County by a knife’s edge in the fourth annual Farm to School Junior Chef championship cook off Friday at the Kentucky State Fair.

“Congratulations to Montgomery County for an outstanding job throughout the competition,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “This year’s tournament was perhaps the most competitive we’ve ever had, and that reflects the growing enthusiasm for this program throughout the Commonwealth. We appreciate all the coaches who took some of their valuable time to work with their student teams, and we’re especially grateful to our partners at Sullivan University for increasing their commitment to this program.”

The Montgomery County team of Hayden Holley, Joy Pidgorodetska, MacKenzie Green, and Gabby Hovatter prepared Farmer’s Choice Dirty Rice to win over a panel of three judges from Sullivan University. The Boyle County team – Sidney Darnell, Samantha Stewart, Mady Thomas, and Chandler Lane – prepared Barbeque Pork Tacos with Apple Poppy Seed Coleslaw to reach the final match.

August 18, 2016

Quarles, Fischer honor Kentucky Local Food Heroes

The 2016 Kentucky Local Food Heroes Awards were presented Aug. 18 at the Kentucky State Fair. Pictured are, from left: Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Jared Goforth, Tyler Greene, Jake Guinn (representing Sherman Fracher), Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Mark Barker of Farm Credit Mid-America, and Caroline Heine of Seed Capital KY. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Producers selected in electronic voting conducted by Seed Capital KY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Producers from Garrard, Lawrence, and Mercer counties were announced as this year’s crop of Kentucky Local Food Heroes today at the Kentucky State Fair.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer honored Tyler Greene of Sunwatch Homestead in Garrard County, Jared Goforth of Fluty Lick Farms in Lawrence County, and Sherman Fracher of Abiding Grace Farm Artisan Foods in Mercer County. They were selected as the 2016 Local Food Heroes in electronic voting conducted by Seed Capital KY.