FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2012) — A new website for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture makes good on Commissioner James Comer’s promise of complete transparency.
After Comer took office in January, he asked for an audit of the department, which found misuse of funds by former commissioner Richie Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball standout and candidate for lieutenant governor in 2011.
The audit found that Farmer had showered himself with gifts, rewarded friends with jobs and used state employees to take him hunting and shopping, mow his yard, build a basketball court in his yard and chauffeur his dog, according to a report from State Auditor Adam Edelen.
In addition to transparency, the new website, kyagr.com enables users to easily find information about Kentucky agriculture, the department’s consumer protection services, its social media channels and the latest headlines.
“I said we were going to operate in the sunshine at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and this website accomplishes that goal,” Comer said. “I hope all Kentuckians will access this site to see our achievements in agriculture, consumer protection, and how we are efficiently utilizing taxpayer dollars.”
The top screen provides pull-down menus to pages about ag department programs, rolling photos with headlines about major topics, and the most recent department news releases. The “Licensing and Laws” menu gives users quick access to laws and regulations on specific programs, licensing fees, and other important information. The “Online Services” menu enables users to go to agricultural websites, directories, the ag department staff directory and other services.
Below the headlines are links to Comer’s commentary, a video message from the commissioner, hot topics, most viewed pages and a schedule of public meetings. The “affiliate bar” is a series of icons with links to ag department-related sites, the Kentucky state government home page, and opendoor.ky.gov, the state’s transparency portal. The site map at the bottom gives users another way to look for department programs and services. A new site search function powered by Google and improved search engine optimization make it easier for users to search the site.
Every page contains links to the department’s e-newsletters – Kentucky Agricultural News and Kentucky Proud Connection, which is targeted to Kentucky Proud members – and to social media channels for the department and Kentucky Proud.
To browse the new Kentucky Department of Agriculture website, visit www.kyagr.com.