Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy
Agricultural Development Funds Awarded
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2009) -The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB), chaired by Gov. Steve Beshear, approved $629,430 in 12 agricultural diversification projects across the Commonwealth during their December board meeting.
The following investments were made with Kentucky Agricultural Development Funds:
$16,000 Breckinridge County Farmer Welding Program
The Breckinridge County Board of Education was approved for $16,000 in Breckinridge County funds to provide basic and advanced metal inert gas (MIG) welding courses for area producers to reduce hiring outside help to repair equipment, thus increasing net farm income.
$20,000 Custom Processing Facility Expansion
J & Sons Meats and Processing LLC was approved for $10,000 in Lincoln and $10,000 in Garrard County funds to expand processing capacity of a custom meat processing facility and develop the wholesale and retail operation to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements.
$15,000 Jessamine County Farmer Welding Program
The Jessamine County FFA Alumni Association Inc. was approved for $15,000 in Jessamine County funds to provide arc/stick and MIG welding courses to local farmers to decrease outsourcing of repairs and increase net farm income.
$10,000 Farmers’ Market Demo Kitchen
The Laurel County Agricultural Extension Foundation was approved for $10,000 in Laurel County funds for completion of a demonstration kitchen at the London-Laurel County Farmers’ Market.
$29,500 Goat & Sheep Processing Facility Expansion
Bluegrass Lamb & Goat LLC was approved for $29,500 in county funds from Clark, Fayette, Hart, Jessamine, LaRue, Mercer, Taylor and Woodford counties. Funds will be used to update equipment to increase efficiency and capacity of the facility, reaching more producers over a larger area.
$94,470 Greenhouse Nursery Operation Expansion
Owens Garden Center LLC was approved for $86,470 in state funds as a zero-interest loan and $4,000 in state and $4,000 in Pulaski County funds as a grant. The funds will be used to expand the greenhouse operation and allow the Garden Center to purchase landscape nursery products from other Kentucky producers.
$5,460 Marshall County Farmer Welding Program
The Marshall County Conservation District was approved for $5,460 in Marshall County funds to provide basic MIG welding courses for area farmers to increase net farm income by reducing outsourcing of on-farm equipment repairs.
$75,000 Meat Processing Facility Development
Marksbury Farm Foods LLC was approved for up to $75,000 in state funds to develop a USDA-inspected processing facility and retail distribution center, specializing in natural foods, including organic, grass-fed, pastured and antibiotic, steroid, hormone (ASH)-free products.
$1,000 Regional Ag Leadership Program
Mammoth Cave RC&D was approved for $1,000 in Allen County funds for a regional leadership program titled “Motivating and Educating Agricultural Leaders” (MEAL). MEAL will focus on leadership, interpersonal and communication skills, as well as how farmers can represent agricultural interest on issues affecting both rural and urban communities.
The County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP) is designed to provide farmers with incentives to allow them to improve and diversify their current production practices. CAIP covers a wide variety of agricultural enterprises in its 11 investment areas.
CAIPs approved by the board totaled $363,000 and included:
$100,000 Grayson County Cattlemens Association Inc.
$163,000 County Agriculture Investment Program Council Inc.
$100,000 Trigg County Conservation District
As part of their annual planning process, the KADB also reviewed final recommendations on policy and program revisions for 2010. Approved revisions focused mainly on changes to the CAIP guidelines and investment areas.
The board revised several program policies including cost-share on labor, maximum annual cost-share limits, cost-share on fertilizer and other eligible cost-share items within each investment area. Other policies revised included universal producer application changes, regional workshop requirements and application deadlines.
A complete list of the program and policy revisions is available online at agpolicy.ky.gov. Updated guidelines will be posted by the end of the year.
Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky General Assembly continue to make great strides toward lessening Kentucky’s dependence on tobacco production while revitalizing the farm economy by investing 50 percent of Kentucky's Master Settlement Agreement into the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.
To date, Kentucky has invested more than $296.5 million to an array of county, regional and state projects designed to increase net farm income and create sustainable new farm-based business enterprises. These funding approvals represent just a few of more than 3,608 projects that have been funded through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, since the inception of the program in January 2001.