Governor Announces Initiative at Franklin County Farmers’ Market
Frankfort, KY: Governor Ernie Fletcher today, along with Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner and the Department of Parks Commissioner, announced today that farmers in Kentucky now have a new market to sell their produce. For the first time ever, Kentucky state parks will buy fresh produce from farmers right here in Kentucky.
“Our park dining rooms will now be a showcase for our outstanding Kentucky produce,” said Governor Fletcher. “Farmers in all parts of the Commonwealth will be able to easily sell their fresh fruits and vegetables to our parks. Furthermore, the wholesale price they will get for their products is higher than the typical price paid to a farmer by a wholesale distributor or farm co-op.”
Details of the new arrangement were unveiled during a press conference at the Franklin County Farmers’ Market. Farmers can sell directly to any of the 17 state resort parks during the growing season by registering at the park and working with the park chef. Payment will be established by a weekly survey of wholesale prices. Until now, the Department of Parks bought its produce exclusively from wholesalers.
Governor Fletcher continued, “The financial side of this program makes sense for all concerned. Farmers get good prices for their produce, while the Department of Parks will not pay more than their normal wholesale distributor price and we have the added benefit of marketing Kentucky agricultural products.”
Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer said, “This new venture represents tremendous opportunity for farmers in all parts of Kentucky. State parks are a substantial market for our local farmers. Some larger parks use 75 cases of lettuce in a month. They also serve a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.”
Parks Commissioner George Ward said, “Other changes are in store for parks dining rooms. Serving local farm grown produce is part of an effort for parks dining rooms to become more individualized. Chefs will develop menus that reflect local dishes, rather than one cookie-cutter menu. Kentucky artists will be featured in background music played in dining rooms. Also, Kentucky arts and crafts will be displayed.”
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