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Shelby’s County Agricultural Investment Program again is open for applications for cost-share grants to reimburse agricultural development projects for producers.
The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board announced that it had awarded $282,000 to the Shelby County Agricultural Development Foundation Inc. to be distributed, which is down from an adjusted total of $500,000 in 2012..
CAIP is designed to provide farmers with incentives to allow them to improve and diversify their current production practices. CAIP combines what were previously known as county model cost-share programs into one, where each model program becomes an investment area.
The program covers a wide variety of agricultural enterprises in its 10 investment areas, including commercial production of aquaculture; bees and honey; equine; forage; beef and dairy cattle; goats and sheep; horticulture; poultry; swine; and timber, as well as energy efficiency and production; farm infrastructure and water enhancement; marketing; and value-added production.
Judy White, who administers the program in Shelby County, said applicants must complete a project before they’re reimbursed 50 percent cost-share, up to $2,500.
“The board voted to go with a twenty-five-hundred-dollar cost-share this year in order to fund more applicants, as compared to five thousand dollars in 2012,” she said.
“To remain viable, our farmers must continue adapting to an evolving world and the technological advances it is producing,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a release announcing the distribution. “I am committed to giving our farmers the tools and resources they need to remain competitive and continue Kentucky’s strong farming tradition.”
State Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville), a Shelby County farmer and chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, praised the program as vital for on-farm investments.
“These funds are a great benefit to our farm families in Shelby County, as they diversify or expand their farm operations,” he said in the release.
Producer applications will be available starting Thursday and continuing through Oct. at the Shelby County Extension Office, 1117 Frankfort Road in Shelbyville.
Producers also have the opportunity to attend one of two informational meetings, at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. next Friday.
For more information about the sign-up period and the complete guidelines for this program in Shelby County, contact White at 502-633-4593, 502-321-8757 or firstname.lastname@example.org.