Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Commends Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 03, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Angela Blank

Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Named Among Top 50 Government Innovations

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today commended the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund on being named among the 2007 Top 50 Government Innovations named by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund is administered through the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy and overseen by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board.

“I applaud the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund for this distinct honor. This Fund, developed through the collaborative efforts of Kentucky’s agricultural leaders and legislators, is the foundation that is transforming our agricultural economy from one based on tobacco to one that is economically diverse,” Governor Fletcher said. “This fund has allowed the Kentucky agriculture community to be innovative by taking the commodities of today and turning them into the opportunities of tomorrow.”

The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund provides capital for innovative projects that help diversify Kentucky’s tobacco-dependent economy. These investments include local and state projects, designed to increase farm income and create sustainable farm enterprises.

Since the spring of 2001 when the Agricultural Development Board approved the first funding, investments from the Fund have placed more than $233 million into nearly 3,000 state, regional and county projects designed to diversify Kentucky agriculture, increase net farm income, and create sustainable new farm-based business enterprises.  Most of these investments were matched dollar for dollar creating over $450 million into Kentucky agriculture in less than six years.

The 2007 Top 50 Government Innovations are now semifinalists for the Innovations in American Government Award and are eligible to win one of seven $100,000 grants. The Top 50 programs represent government agencies at the federal, state, county and city levels were selected for their novelty and creativity, effectiveness at addressing significant issues and their potential to be replicated by other jurisdictions. Chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants, they represent government’s best efforts across a variety of policy areas, ranging from education to the environment, criminal justice to health care, and management to community development. To download the full list of Top 50 programs, visit