Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Jackson County Regional Food Center to Receive Funding
Appalachian Alternative Agriculture of Jackson County Approved for $21,000
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, chaired by Gov. Steve Beshear, recently approved $21,000 in Jackson County Agricultural Development Funds to use as operating capital and marketing expenses for the Jackson County Regional Food Center.
This project came in response to the Shaping Our Appalachian Region, (SOAR) executive committee meeting this past September. Reports were submitted by committee members that included specific items of focus, and the Jackson County Regional Food Center was included. This is due to the demand for increased local food production and the possibility of year-round produce production in Jackson County. The Jackson County facility will add value to this production and support the future growth of small farm production in eastern Kentucky.
Gov. Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who together launched the SOAR initiative in 2013, worked to support the Jackson County Agricultural Development Council’s recommendation to prioritize county funds to bridge the gap for future growth of the facility. A portion of the funds will be used to implement a marketing plan that the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD) will coordinate. KCARD plans to assess the needs and initiate an outreach program to microprocessors, Kentucky Proud producers and high tunnel greenhouse producers.
The SOAR initiative was launched by Gov. Beshear and Rep. Rogers late last year, after a stunning downturn in the coal market exacerbated historic challenges in eastern Kentucky related to unemployment and poverty. More than 1,700 Kentuckians attended a one-day SOAR summit in Pikeville in December 2013. SOAR is intended to help the region develop and put into action new locally-oriented strategies to attack those persistent challenges.