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Thoroughbreds get ‘Proud’ designation
Kentucky Thoroughbred contenders racing on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days will bear the "Kentucky Proud" designation, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced this week the branding initiative, “Kentucky Proud for Kentuckybreds."
“This is a mutually beneficial partnership because it places the spotlight on Kentucky’s world-class farms, breeders, and racing while placing the Kentucky Proud brand on a world stage,” Commissioner Comer told a packed house at the They’re Off! Luncheon at The Galt House. “With this initiative, we finally unite the entire Kentucky agriculture community.”
The Kentucky Proud logo will appear next to the names of all horses bred in Kentucky in the official Churchill Downs racing programs for Oaks and Derby days.
“One of the major goals of my administration is to fully integrate the equine industry, Kentucky’s signature industry, into our Kentucky Proud program, the most successful marketing initiative in the history of the Commonwealth,” Commissioner Comer said. “We began that process last year by ensuring that members of the horse industry would be eligible for Kentucky Proud funding, and today, we take a huge leap forward toward our ultimate goal.”
Kentucky Proud is the official state farm marketing program. Products marked with the green, red, and blue Kentucky Proud logo have been raised, grown, and/or processed in Kentucky by Kentuckians.
FFA convention in Louisville this year
In recognition of its rapid growth in size, attendance and exhibit space, the National FFA Convention & Expo has been named one of the top-growing expo events in the country by Expo Magazine. The 4-day event is one of the largest student gatherings in the nation and has been an annual event since 1928, the year the organization was founded. The event moves to Louisville this year through 2015, with 56,000 FFA members, alumni, teachers, school administrators and agriculture industry representatives from throughout the country.
More than 400 companies exhibit at the annual National FFA Convention & Expo. At the 3-day Expo, FFA members are able to meet company representatives, learn about their operations and get answers to their questions about companies and their roles in the agriculture industry.
From 2011-12, the Expo's square footage of exhibitor space grew by 14 percent as did overall revenue from the sale of exhibit space. Attendance grew also, rising from 53,000 attendees in 2011 to more than 56,300 last year.
"Exhibitors at the National FFA Convention & Expo are an important part of the process that transforms FFA members into productive, goal-oriented and industry-dedicated individuals," FFA Organization CEO Dwight Armstrong said in a release. "Today's FFA members are the future of agriculture. Our Expo exhibitors help FFA members learn more about the industry as a whole through their presence and engagement."
This year's Expo will span more than 290,000 square feet of space inside Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.
Arabian event returning
The Arabian Horse Celebration & Shopping Expo, which welcomed more than 300 horses and 20,000 visitors in 2012, will be back at the Kentucky Exposition Center on Sept. 18-21 for a 4-day extravaganza of horsemanship. A highlight of Arabian breed activities, it is open to the public and admission is free.
In addition to its competition, the event also offers an array of seminars and demonstrations, geared to furthering the education of horse enthusiasts as well as introducing newcomers to the management, care and enjoyment of horses. Scheduled for Thursday and Friday mornings, when no show classes are held, these events take place in both Freedom Hall and the North Wing.
Also a crowd favorite is the show's Stallion Row, which featured 18 of the Arabian breed's top sires in 2012 and is expected to be even larger this year. Presented each day to breeders and spectators, the stallions are accompanied by representatives who offer information and consultation for each horse.
The Kentucky Ag Report is compiled weekly from news releases distributed by Keeton Communications, the Kentucky Press News Service.