FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board approved $894,522 for 15 agricultural diversification and rural development projects across the commonwealth at its monthly board meeting.
“As we work through this difficult time, Kentucky agriculture has never been more important than it is right now and for our future,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Team Kentucky is working hard during this pandemic, and the KADB’s approvals today include a processing facility, agricultural education and market development. These projects will help our rural communities, and I am proud of the KADB for this funding.”
Facility Expansion and Upgrades
Marksbury Farm Foods LLC was approved for up to $392,700 in the form of a participation loan to purchase equipment and upgrade its processing facility for capacity, yield optimization and quality demanded by larger customers. Located in Garrard County, Marksbury Farm Foods LLC is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certified processing facility. For more information on this project, contact Preston Correll at 859-548-2333 or [email protected].
Kentucky FFA Leadership Training Center was approved for up to $30,000 in multiple county funds to purchase a 20kW solar panel unit. The solar panel will be incorporated into the curriculum of the Emerging Ag Technology class at FFA camp during the summer. It also will offset energy costs at the training center. For more information on this project, contact Josh Mitcham at 270-756-2301 or [email protected].
Southeast Kentucky Sheep Producers Association Inc. was approved for up to $6,295 in Laurel County and $6,295 in Pulaski County funds to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of aggregating and selling lambs into regional market channels. The goal of this project is to benefit Kentucky sheep producers and provide another market to sell their product. For more information on this project, contact Patrick Angel at 606-312-5264 or [email protected].
Rockcastle County Board of Education was approved for up to $2,000 in Rockcastle County funds to renovate the greenhouse at Rockcastle County High School. Funds will be used to purchase storm doors, a heater, lumber, table inserts and a cash register. For more information on this project, contact Matthew Whitaker at 606-256-4816 or [email protected].
Greenhouse and Aquaponics System Upgrades
Grayson County Board of Education was approved for up to $1,500 in Grayson County funds for upgrades to the greenhouse and aquaponics system at the Grayson County High School. As part of the Agricultural Education program, the Grayson County High School aquaponics system produces aquatic species as well as hydroponic foods. Students have hands-on learning and will also work in partnership with the local Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) to raise mums as a fundraiser. Funds will be used to purchase heaters, temperature controls, pump, PVC pipe and fittings, landscape fabric, irrigation tubing, fertilizer injector, water timer, production pots and growing media. For more information on this project, contact Emily Taylor at 270-259-4078 or [email protected].
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. Three CAIPs were approved by the board totaling $294,396 in Owsley ($140,000), Perry ($30,739) and Wolfe ($123,630) counties.
In addition to these new approvals, an additional $65,282 was approved to enhance existing CAIPs in Bracken ($58,282) and Boone ($7,000) counties. An additional $4,000 was approved to enhance an existing NextGen in Bracken 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 $63,180 in Breckinridge ($16,000), Monroe ($37,500) and Pulaski ($9,680) counties.
Youth Agricultural Incentives Program
The Youth Agricultural Incentives Program was developed to encourage youth to engage in and explore agricultural opportunities. One Youth Program was approved by the board totaling $28,931 in Mason County.