Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles

Stu Johnson

The hemp plant has caught the attention of Kentucky’s agriculture community.  When the 2018 farm bill emerged from Congress and included a provision legalizing hemp, that generated even more interest in a crop with a long history in Kentucky. 

An annual hemp event in Lexington Wednesday also served to provide some cautionary advice when it comes to the crop.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says the number of hemp products sold last year were more than three and a half time shigher than in 2017. The amount farmers were paid more than doubled.

Quarles offered the industrial hemp economic report Monday at the University of Kentucky.  With the federal action to remove hemp from the controlled substances act, Quarles says other states will move more heavily into hemp, but he feels Kentucky can remain the leader.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for farmers wishing to participate in the industrial hemp research pilot program. State Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles anticipates this growing season will feature record acreage.

Kentucky Ag Inspectors on the Lookout for Skimming

Jul 16, 2018

Inspectors with Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture are again on the lookout for credit card skimmers.  Inspectors have been monitoring gas pumps for skimmers for three years now.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles will emcee the annual Fancy Farm Picnic this year. The fundraiser for Saint Jerome’s Catholic Church is one of the best known political events in the state. Organizer Mark Wilson says Quarles is the first millennial to emcee the picnic.

Wilson suggested the relatively young emcee is a sign the picnic, in its 138th year, is  “embracing the changing times.”

Stu Johnson

A pilot program in the Bluegrass is working to get a Kentucky dietary staples in the hands of those who need it most.  It’s happening with the help of a $30,000 grant from the Dairy Alliance.

Plastic jugs of milk were unloaded off a truck at a Winchester food bank.

Food banks in Lexington and Elizabethtown will receive some surplus food from the federal government. God’s Pantry and Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland are expected to receive more than 314,000 meal kits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles helped spread the word today with a stop in Winchester. “And these kit were originally going to families who more than likely suffered disaster or disaster relief, so each box contains a variety of food that would make up several meals with a lot of variety in it,” said Quarles.

The Food and Drug Administration’s first proposed regulation related to smokeless tobacco is getting attention from agriculture and health officials in Kentucky. 

A comment period on the federal proposal ends next Monday.

Alyssa Faith Ericson is co-founder of both Kentucky Hempsters and United Hemp Industries.  She talked with Tom Martin about the move to revive hemp farming and hemp production in Kentucky.

Kentucky Ag Department Forms New Commission on Hunger

Jan 7, 2016
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is establishing a new Commission on Hunger. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles made the announcement Thursday at the state capitol during a rally against hunger.  Quarles says the commission’s initial goal is to develop an inventory of agencies working to help hungry Kentuckians.  Quarles says the commission will consists of “A coalition of folks who are currently solving the problem, folks who are best abled positioned to solve the problem and folks who may not even know that they have the capacity to address this issue.”