FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board approved $1,467,261 in 32 agricultural diversification and rural development projects across the Commonwealth at its monthly board meeting.
“The greatest investment of all is in our youth,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “The next generation in agriculture is supported and encouraged through funding projects such as the equine education clinic in Daviess County, the 4-H ham project in Metcalfe County, as well as, the Youth Agricultural Incentive Programs approved by the KADB this month.”
Kentucky Commercial Rye Cover Crop Initiative
American Farmland Trust (AFT) was approved for up to $275,000 in State funds for the Kentucky Commercial Rye Cover Crop Initiative. The expansion of the bourbon industry has triggered an interest in rye as a potential crop of substance for Kentucky farmers. AFT, in partnership with the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association and local farmers, will evaluate the agronomic traits of rye in hopes to improve soil health, environmental quality and farmers’ profitability. Partnerships have also been formed with Woodford Reserve, DendriFund and Brown-Forman to evaluate distilling potential of varieties and other factors involved in the end products of rye.
Bee Health Research
University of Kentucky Research Foundation was approved for up to $94,928 in State funds over a two year period to develop infrastructure to assess patterns of viral infections among Kentucky honey bee hives. This project will test how nutritional stress impacts viral presence and abundance in bees, particularly for viruses with unusually high infection rates in Kentucky. By establishing the research infrastructure, this project plans to provide viral screening services to improve hive maintenance and hive health for Kentucky beekeepers.
Dairy Processing Equipment
On Tapp Dairy, LLC was approved for up to $27,500 in State funds and $27,500 in multiple County funds for the purchase of equipment to process and bottle milk. Small dairy farms have struggled significantly over the past several years. With the purchase of equipment to pasteurize and bottle milk, On Tapp Dairy, located in Washington County, will now have the ability to sell its farm fresh, certified organic milk at farmers markets, retail stores, restaurants and private schools.
On-Farm Energy Efficiency Incentives
The On-Farm Energy Efficiency Program provides incentives for Kentucky farm families to increase energy efficiency of existing equipment or facilities. Ten On-Farm Energy Efficiency grants were approved totaling $92,714 for recipients in Barren ($7,350), Daviess ($10,150), Grayson ($10,150), Metcalfe (2, $14,512), Muhlenberg ($10,150), Russell ($10,118), Taylor ($10,050), Warren ($10,084) and Webster ($10,150) counties.
Equine Education Program
Daviess County 4-H Council, Inc. was approved for up to $2,488 in Daviess County funds to offer an equestrian safety clinic. Landsafe Equestrian Safety Clinic will teach riders the best fall prevention methods and response to help avoid injury from a fall. Instructors will use gymnastic training and falling simulators to help participants build confidence and muscle memory.
4-H Country Ham Project
Metcalfe County 4-H Council, Inc. was approved for up to $1,446 in Metcalfe County funds to purchase 18 hams for Metcalfe County 4-H. Metcalfe County 4-H members that participate in the country ham project learn about the history behind curing hams, curing process, food safety, meat production and food preservation.
The County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP) offers 11 investment areas that give Kentucky agricultural producers the ability to increase net farm income, add value to their products and diversify their operations. This cost-share program incentivizes farmers to build infrastructure, improve genetics, forages, farm management, technology and more. CAIP benefits and enhances agriculture across the state by stimulating markets for Kentucky agricultural products. Five CAIPs were approved by the board totaling $731,944 in Bath ($242,820), Breckinridge ($250,000), Knott ($20,000), Logan ($65,124) and Washington ($154,000) counties.
In addition to these new approvals, an additional $9,083 was approved to enhance an existing CAIP in Logan County.
The Deceased Farm Animal Removal Program serves as a measure to facilitate the coordination of environmentally sound and cost effective disposal of deceased livestock for Kentucky producers. Three Deceased Farm Animal Removal Programs totaling $20,004 were approved for LaRue ($2,500), Montgomery ($6,900) and Washington ($10,604) counties.
Next Generation Farmer Program
The Next Generation Farmer Program was developed to facilitate the growing need for a specialized program that would benefit producers ages 18 to 40 that have been engaged in an agricultural operation for a minimum of three years. One Next Generation Farmer Program was approved by the board totaling $38,500 for recipients in Washington County.
Shared-Use Equipment Program
The Shared-Use Equipment Program assists broad-based community organizations with the purchase of farm equipment. The equipment purchased is made available for producer use in a specific county on a leased basis. Three Shared-Use Equipment Programs were approved totaling $38,304. Logan County purchased a no-till drill ($23,606) and Pulaski County purchased a no-till drill ($10,000) and a pasture weed sprayer ($4,698).
Youth Agricultural Incentives Program
The Youth Agricultural Incentives Program (Youth) was developed to encourage youth to engage in and explore agricultural opportunities. Four Youth Programs were approved by the board totaling $107,850 for Bath ($30,000), Fayette ($7,500), Logan ($60,000) and Washington ($10,350) counties.