Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy
Evaluation Confirms Tobacco Settlement Investments Create Positive Impacts on Kentucky’s Agricultural Economy
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. –An evaluation of more than $209 million in Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF) investments approved from 2001-2007 was presented today to the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB) at their annual planning session held in Bowling Green, Ky.
The evaluation confirmed that the one-of-a-kind programs made possible through the KADF create positive impacts on Kentucky’s agricultural economy.
“I commend the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy for commissioning the evaluation to assess the goals and objectives of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund,” said Governor Beshear. “I am pleased with the results of the evaluation and am committed to ensuring that 50 percent of the Master Settlement Agreement Funds be invested each year into agriculture for diversification efforts and the creation of new opportunities for our agriculture industry.”
The projects funded by the KADB are designed to increase net farm income and affect tobacco farmers, tobacco-impacted communities and agriculture across the state. The KADB oversees the investments of tobacco settlement dollars for the benefit of agriculture across the state and is administered through the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP).
Highlights of the evaluation include:
- Investments in non-model projects have involved about 50,000 tobacco farmers.
- The KADF’s investments in non-model projects have had a significant positive impact on agriculture and agribusiness. From 2001 to 2007, the $86 million in-vested has resulted in an estimated $161 million in additional farm income, through market expansion creation of new markets.
- On average, every dollar invested from the KADF in non-model projects resulted in $1.87 of additional farm income. Additional income was highest for marketing and promotion ($3.19) and livestock ($3.15). Project participants leveraged $96 million in additional funding.
- Model programs designed to improve on-farm efficiency and provide up to 50 percent of the cost of the project to participants, accounted for nearly $100 million invested with over 72,000 participants.
- Within the Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation (KAFC) the Beginning Farmer Loan Program stood out in the evaluation because it directly addresses the issues of barrier to entry for new farmers and intergenerational transfer of farm ownership, making it a key loan product. KAFC completed 36 Beginning Farmers Loans as of May 2008.
For the complete evaluation and executive summary please visit GOAP’s Web site at http://agpolicy.ky.gov.