First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Hosts Farmers Market at Capitol

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, June 25, 2008  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass

Angela Blank
502- 564-4627

Governor Beshear to sign House Bill 626

FRANKFORT, KY – Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear today hosted a farmers market on the Capitol grounds to support locally owned farms, the Commonwealth’s rural economy and the Kentucky Proud brand.  The Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture joined Mrs. Beshear in promoting the event.

“Increasing gas prices and depleting natural resources are having a negative impact on farmers,” said Mrs. Beshear. “Most produce travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to plate. By buying fruits and vegetables grown in Kentucky, we not only support the farms that grow them but we also support our regional economy.”

Twenty-two vendors from Franklin County and surrounding areas took part in the farmers market and offered a variety of vegetables, fruits, meats, baked goods, flowers, honey, and many other specialty Kentucky products. Area markets now produce approximately $7.5 million in revenue for more than 2,000 farmers across the state.

During the farmers market, Governor Beshear held a ceremonial signing of House Bill 626 with Commissioner of Agriculture, Richie Farmer. House Bill 626 establishes the Kentucky Proud brand as the permanent marketing program for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Also in attendance were primary bill sponsor Rep. Mike Denham (D-Maysville) and co-sponsors Rep. Tom McKee (D-Cynthiana) and Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo (D-Lexington.) Other legislators instrumental in the passage of this legislation are Rep. Charlie Hoffman (D-Georgetown) and Sen. Joey Pendleton (D-Hopkinsville.)

“House Bill 626 will ensure that Kentucky producers, consumers, and the rural economy will benefit from the Kentucky Proud Program well into the future,” said Gov. Beshear. “It will give our citizens the assurance that purchasing food with the Kentucky Proud label means it’s a fresh, locally grown product.”

“This bill will bring significant opportunities to Kentucky famers and allow the Department of Agriculture to market the Kentucky Proud brand with the expectation that its products will become widely accepted and nationally recognized,” said Rep. Mike Denham.