October 6, 2016

Ag Careers Spotlight: Food Equipment Sales Specialist

David Hayden was born into an Owensboro farm family. Since he was familiar with the art and business of commercial beef and poultry production, he decided to study animal sciences at Murray State University.

It was not until his senior year, however, that he discovered his professional calling.  An exchange program with Oklahoma State University introduced David to the study of meats, and he knew he wanted to learn more.

David returned to OSU and earned his master’s degree in meat science, which led him to a successful career in the food industry. He is currently a regional technical sales manager for JBT FoodTech, a company headquartered in New York. David resides in Mercer Co. and covers a region spanning from Tennessee to Michigan and east to Virginia.

David’s primary role is to work with customers to develop and utilize meat processing and cooking equipment. These tools are used for processes such as marinating, portioning, cooking, and freezing.

October 5, 2016

Consider a Career in Food or Meat Science at the University of Kentucky

Food Science is a rapidly evolving discipline that applies basic science and engineering to study the quality, nutritional value, and safety of foods.

The Food Science program at the University of Kentucky is the only such program in the commonwealth that offers a B.S. degree in Food Science. In fact, UK is one of only 43 colleges and universities in the United States with a food science program approved and accredited by the Institute of Food Technologists, a professional organization of over 30,000 members.

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.