FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2018) — Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles invites Kentucky Proud members to apply to participate in the Kentucky Proud Farm to Fork and Promotional Grant programs for 2018.
“Kentucky Proud is a national model for promoting local agricultural products,” Commissioner Quarles said. “The Farm to Fork Program and the Promotional Grant Program help publicize the many outstanding Kentucky Proud products that are produced by our farmers and agribusinesses. We look forward to reviewing applications for these excellent programs.”
Both programs are administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). Funding is made possible through a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.
The Kentucky Proud Farm to Fork Program provides funding to qualifying applicants for dinners that showcase local food products. The program also promotes local agritourism businesses and provides educational background on locally produced food and products.
Farm to Fork reimburses up to $750 of the approved event’s eligible Kentucky-grown food products and associated promotional expenditures up to 50 percent of the event’s approved invoices. Reimbursement for promotional and branding expenditures is limited to $250. Only meal ingredients with 100 percent direct Kentucky farm impact will be eligible for consideration, and food products grown or provided by the host organization are not eligible for reimbursement. KDA staff will help the host organization and chef to identify foods with 100 percent direct Kentucky farm impact for events.
Each host organization must complete and submit an application, an affidavit, and an IRS Form W-9 no less than 30 days before the event. Applicants must designate a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization as the beneficiary of the dinner. Events must take place before Nov. 15. The KDA will approve no more than three events in a single county. A minimum of 50 people must attend for the dinner to be eligible for reimbursement. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and is available only until funding is exhausted.
Expenditures occurring before the date the application is approved will not be eligible for consideration.
In 2017, 28 Farm to Fork dinners were held in 24 counties with total attendance of more than 4,000.
To download an application and guidelines, go to www.kyagr.com/marketing/farm-to-fork.html.
The Kentucky Proud Promotional Grant Program reimburses 50 percent of eligible advertising and marketing expenses that incorporate the Kentucky Proud logo to promote agricultural products that have direct Kentucky farm impact. Applicants must be members of the Kentucky Proud Program. Successful applicants may be awarded up to $8,000 in a year with their maximum award capped at no more than 10 percent of their direct Kentucky farm impact. Beginning this year, minimum size guidelines for marketing pieces must be met in order for the expense to be eligible for reimbursement.
“We source a significant amount of Kentucky Proud products,” said Susannah Sizemore of Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen in Lexington. “The marketing grant enabled us to better communicate with customers and potential customers about the origins of the food we serve. Buying local is important to many in our community, and our marketing campaigns helped more people find our restaurant.”
Expenses that occur before an application is approved are not eligible for reimbursement from the Promotional Grant Program.
The KDA’s application review committee meets on the second Wednesday of every month and reviews applications submitted by mail to the KDA by the end of the previous month. Applications submitted by email or fax will not be considered.