June 2, 2017

The 'Singing Goat Lady'

From The Farmer's Pride
By Don White

Life's journey leads to Ky. Proud goat milk products

Had someone told Nancy Hayes that at age 59 she would be known as "The Singing Goat Lady," she would have told them they had to be kidding.

"That's how I'm referred to by the upper management people at Kroger, but I can't sing a lick," says the owner/operator of Singing Hills Goat Farm LLC.

Siting smack-dab next to the Daniel Boone National Forest and less than two miles from where her 23-foot pontoon boat is docked on Laurel Lake, the two acres she calls her "slice of paradise" were supposed to be where the Lexington native would spend her retirement years.

Clay County couple sell 'local online'

From The Farmer's Pride
By Edmund Shelby

Learn lessons through KALP

Will and Maggie Bowling are the future of Kentucky Agriculture. They are also the present.

The two biology graduates are using their educations, hands-on experience, and participation in the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program (KALP) to bring locally-grown and produced food to Clay and surrounding counties.

Will's great-great-grandfather, Squire Hensley, moved his family to a Clay County homestead in the mid-1800s. There, he and his wife raised all the food they needed and seven daughters.

He left the property in separate farms to his daughters, and reportedly told them to, "Take care of the old homeplace."

Cambellsville Famer Turns Waste into Wattage

From Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board

As if owning and operating eight chicken barns wasn't enough, Campbellsville farmer John McLean is turning waste into wattage–literally. McLean owns two very different anaerobic digesters. Anaerobic digestion is a series if biological processes in which microorganisms break down biomass in the absence of oxygen. One of the end products is biogas, which is combusted to generate electricity and heat, or can be processed into renewable natural gas and transportation fuels.

McLean's secondary digester can hold 2.5 million gallons of material, while his more sophisticated primary digester holds 270,000 gallons. Surprisingly, he doesn't have any trouble keeping the digesters "fed."

"In addition to any excess chicken litter that we may have, we have a permit to take non-human waste including feedstocks from corporations with food waste," McLean explained. "We don't accept scraps, because we don't currently have a separator to remove plastics, which are non-biodegradable."

June 1, 2017

Homegrown and Heavenly

From Kentucky Living

Crank and Boom flavorsOriginally published September 2016
From ice cream and summer sausage to jams, jellies, popcorn, and more, an increasing array of local, Kentucky-produced foods are making their way into mainstream retailers, thanks to the support of the Kentucky Proud marketing program. The six Kentucky Proud companies profiled here have found success in using homegrown, Kentucky ingredients from local Kentucky farmers whenever possible. Their stories prove it’s deliciously easy to enjoy Kentucky-made foods, whatever you’re craving.
Read more about the Kentucky Proud companies here

Tracking the Elusive Martial Eagle

From The 2017 mAGazine
By Carol Lea Spence

Solitary, silent, a fleck among the clouds, the age rules the air currents above the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Two miles below, UK graduate student Stratton Hatfield bounces along rough trails in a Land Rover; more visible to the eagle than the eagle is to him. For 10 to 12 hours at a time, he searches along with his two Kenyan Bird of Prey Trust mentors, Simon Thomsett and Shiv Kapila, training their necks to catch a glimpse of an elusive predator; the martial eagle.

The martial is the fifth largest eagle in the world, with a wingspan of 6 to 9 feet. The females can kill prey weighing up to 30 pounds; the smaller males, less. Martial are on the decline, and Hatfield is determined to learn as much as he can about the top avian predator in the African savannah ecosystem. His current research project, using transmitters and camera traps to track and study the birds within the reserve and surrounding communities and conservancies is part of his master's degree work in wildlife conservation in the UK Department of Forestry.