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Quarles commends restaurants for reaching Kentucky Proud milestone

Businesses hit lifetime cap for state reimbursements from KDA’s ‘Buy Local’ program
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, second from left, presents Buy Local awards to, from left, Elizabeth Maggi of Ramsey Enterprises Commissary, Ouita Michel of Windy Corner Market, and William Hawkins of Bluebird Cafe.

LEXINGTON (May 16, 2018) — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles on Tuesday congratulated three Kentucky Proud restaurants for reaching the lifetime cap on state reimbursements for local food purchases through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s “Buy Local” program. Bluebird Café of Stanford, Ramsey Enterprises Commissary of Lexington, and Windy Corner Market of Lexington were honored for reaching the $36,000 limit.

“These Kentucky businesses are committed to offering their customers the freshest, most nutritious foods while at the same time supporting the local agricultural economy and keeping their food dollars close to home,” Commissioner Quarles said. “They have built relationships with local producers that will last for years to come.”

Under the Buy Local program, a restaurant or other food service may be reimbursed 15 percent of the cost of eligible Kentucky Proud products up to $12,000 per year, with a lifetime cap of $36,000. The cap creates an incentive for food services and producers to develop mutually beneficial partnerships that will continue beyond the life of the reimbursement and enables the program to spread limited resources among more Kentucky Proud food services.

Buy Local was launched in early 2017 to encourage food services to purchase Kentucky Proud foods with direct Kentucky farm impact and raise consumer awareness of the economic importance of supporting family farms and small businesses.  The lifetime purchasing level factors in the restaurant’s support for local products back to their enrollment in Buy Local or 2014, when the lifetime reimbursement levels were established for the previous Restaurant Rewards program.

To find out more about Buy Local, go to kyagr.com/marketing/buy-local.html.