The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, chaired by Governor Ernie Fletcher, approved $1,787,030 in agricultural diversification projects across the Commonwealth at the monthly Board Meeting on August 20 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville.
Agricultural Development Fund Projects approved for funding at the August meeting include:
$600 Buffalo Trace Area Development District
The Buffalo Trace Area Development District on behalf of the Fleming County Farmers’ Market Association was approved for $600 in Fleming County funds for the advertising and promotion of the new farmers' market in Fleming County.
$12,643 Meade County Grain Growers, Inc.
The Meade County Grain Growers, Inc. was approved for $12,643 in Meade County funds to continue to offer a cost-share program for crop consultation to grain producers in Meade County.
$3,000 Southern Kentucky Aquaculture Cooperative, Inc.
Southern Kentucky Aquaculture Cooperative, Inc. (SKAC) was approved for $1,500 in Grayson and $1,500 in Edmonson County funds to purchase additional harvest equipment for members of the cooperative to use for harvesting freshwater prawn.
$45,364 Owen County 4-H Council
The Owen County 4-H Council was approved for $45,364 in Owen County funds to establish a cost-share program for 4-H students interested in agriculture. Participants in the program will be required to participate in an intensive educational program, and will be required to have an adult mentor.
$79,950 Owen County High School Agriculture Department
The Owen County High School Agriculture Department was approved for $79,950 in Owen County funds to equip the High School agri-science lab with instructional modules, materials and related supplies.
County model programs are designed to provide farmers with cost-share funding to allow them to improve and diversify their current production practices.
The Agricultural Diversification program is designed to assist in the transition into eleven new areas of agriculture including dairy, aquaculture, and horticulture. County Agricultural Diversification Programs approved by the Board totaled $195,700 and included:
$105,000 Spencer County $44,500 Warren County
$31,200 Washington County $15,000 Wayne County
The Fencing Improvement program improves net farm income through improved pasture quantity, quality and efficient use of fencing for livestock producers. County Fencing Improvement Programs approved by the Board totaled $275,000 and included:
$63,000 Morgan County $150,000 Shelby County
$42,000 Spencer County $20,000 Wayne County
The Forage Improvement program improves pastures to allow for improved grazing by animals, reducing producer costs for feed, and improving feed quality. County Forage Improvement Programs approved by the Board totaled $190,590 and included:
$26,250 Breathitt County $26,250 Marion County
$7,828 McCreary County $50,000 Shelby County
$52,500 Todd County $17,762 Washington County
$10,000 Wayne County
The Genetic Improvement program improves high quality herd genetics through the purchase of bulls, bull semen or bull leases. County Cattle Genetics Improvement Programs approved by the Board totaled $135,075 and included:
$2,575 McCreary County $26,500 Metcalfe County
$75,000 Pulaski County $16,000 Rowan County
$15,000 Wayne County
The Goat Diversification program works to assist producers to venture into meat goat and dairy goat production. County Goat Diversification Programs approved by the Board totaled $50,500 and included:
$30,000 Johnson County $5,500 McCracken County
$15,000 Pulaski County
The Cattle Handling Facilities program assists with the implementation of best management and health practices that augment efficient production and marketing opportunities for beef and dairy producers. County Cattle Handling Programs approved by the Board totaled $200,000 and included:
$100,000 Pulaski County $40,000 Shelby County
$60,000 Warren County
The Hay, Straw, & Commodity Storage program allows producers to increase the quality and marketability of products to improve the overall farm income. County Hay, Straw and Commodity Storage Programs approved by the Board totaled $517,608 and included:
$100,000 Elliott County $120,000 Magoffin County
$56,068 McCracken County $18,540 Pulaski County
$100,000 Shelby County $63,000 Spencer County
$60,000 Wayne County
The On-Farm Water Enhancement program allows producers to adopt a proactive and systematic approach to expanding existing water supplies or to develop alternative water sources. County On-Farm Water Enhancement Programs approved by the Board totaled $81,000 and included:
$81,000 Morgan County
The Kentucky Legislature continues to make great strides towards lessening Kentucky’s dependence on tobacco production while revitalizing the farm economy by investing 50% of Kentucky's Master Settlement Agreement into the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. Of this 50% allocation, 65% of the Fund is set aside for regional and statewide agricultural projects, while 35% is earmarked for individual counties on the basis of their tobacco dependence. Since the inception of the program in January 2001, the Agricultural Development Board has approved over 1800 proposals committing over $164 million to an array of county, regional, and state projects designed to increase net farm income and create sustainable new farm-based business enterprises.