Ag Report: Aug. 24, 2012

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By The Staff

Many have signed up for woodlands course

Participants are coming out of the trees to attend the short course for woodland owners being held in Shelby County this weekend. The workshop is overbooked, and registrations are closed.

Organizers with the UK Forestry service say more than 90 people have registered to spend the day at Cedarmore camp and take a field visit to Maurice Cook’s tree farm.

Those who attend will learn about conservation and how better to care for trees and their property.

If you want more details about what you are missing, you can visit www.ukforestry.org

Comer moving to expand markets
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Jamie Comer will be the keynote speaker at Connecting Farm$ to Local Market$ on Sept. 14. The goal of the conference, presented by the Louisville Farm to Table Program, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, is to get more Kentucky Proud foods in Kentucky stores, restaurants and schools.

“We’ve made tremendous strides in opening markets for Kentucky Proud foods in recent years, but there’s still plenty of room to grow,” Comer said in a news release. “This event will help make that possible by giving retail and institutional buyers an opportunity to talk directly to producers about what they want and how they can do business together.”

The conference is from 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green.
State wholesale distributors, school food service purchasing representatives, retail restaurant owners, state resort parks and others will talk about the demand for local food, purchasing procedures and contract opportunities. There also will be networking and discussion of possible regional product collection “hubs.”

USDA taking value-added grant aps

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a notice inviting farmers to apply for Value-Added Producer Grants, a competitive program that awards grants to producers to help them develop farm-related businesses that add value to basic agricultural products through branding, processing, product differentiation, labeling and certification, and marketing. VAPG includes projects that market inherently value-added production, such as organic crops, grass-fed livestock, and locally produced and marketed food products. 

VAPG also funds regional food supply networks that benefit the small and mid-sized farms by incorporating the producer into the larger farm-to-plate value chains. Grants may be used to develop business plans and feasibility studies (including marketing plans) needed to establish viable marketing opportunities for value-added products or for working capital to operate a value-added business venture or alliance. 

Applications are due by Oct. 15. To find out more, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG_Grants.html.


Deer seminars

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources staff will have a hands-on course designed to provide basic instructions on providing a free-ranging sustainable food source within 40 miles of their home. The workshop will be held over the course of three sessions and will cover a variety of topics including deer biology and behavior, effects of deer on the local economy and ecosystem, the history of whitetail deer in Kentucky, hunting techniques and basic processing methods.

Sessions will be 7-9 p.m. Sept. 27 and Oct. 4 at the Louisville Nature Center and 9 a.m. -4 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area.

All workshops are recommended for ages 16 and up and will be limited to 30 participants. Participants are also encouraged to attend all three sessions. Please send RSVP to Jason Nally 502-477-9288 or jason.nally@ky.gov.


KDA to help drought-plagued farmers

Comer reminds Kentucky livestock producers that the KDA can help them find badly needed forages for their animals as many Kentucky pastures and hay fields have dried up in this year's drought. "Kentucky farmers feel frustrated and helpless because of this summer's hot, dry weather," he said in a release. "Many of our livestock producers are having to feed hay and other forages that normally would be set aside for winter. The department's forage sales directory and hay hotline can help them find the forages their animals need."

The forage sales directory enables livestock producers to search for forages by county. Entries contain information on the nutritional and energy levels of the forages offered for sale. To search the directory, go to www.kyagr.com/buyky/corral/haylistingpara.aspx.


KFB official addresses livestock standards

Addressing the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission during a public forum in Frankfort, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney spoke on behalf of the organization’s membership in support of the commission’s efforts to establish minimum standards in livestock and poultry care.

“We strongly believe that the intent of the legislation that established the commission was to create minimum guidelines based on proven science and research,” Haney said. “Production standards need to be based on facts not emotions. Over-burdensome regulations would only increase the cost of production and ultimately increase the cost of food without any proven benefit to livestock or poultry. 

“Proper care and welfare of livestock and poultry are essential to the efficient and profitable production of food and fiber. No segment of society has more concern for the well being of poultry and livestock than the producer. This is best exemplified by the high levels of production and low mortality rates achieved in modern livestock and poultry operations.”


 Bulletin board

  • The 108th Kentucky State Fair will continue through Sunday, and the 109th World’s Championship Horse show will wrap up be Saturday at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. Gates will open at 7 a.m. and exhibit buildings at 9 a.m. Midway tickets range from $4 for children and seniors to $8 for adults for advance tickets. Gate admission will be $6 and $10. Advance fair admission and ride tickets are available at all Kentucky and Southern Indiana Kroger locations and at www.kystatefair.org.
  • The third annual Limestone Ladies Night Out will be at 6-9 p.m. today at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Floral Hall, sponsored by Limestone Farm, Lawn & Worksite. The guest speaker will be Debbie Apple, a full-time farmer of River Cottage Farm. A catered meal will be provided. There will be door prizes, free tote bags and around 20 Kentucky Proud vendors for some shopping.
  • The Kentucky Milk Quality Conference will take place Tuesday through Thursday at the Lake Barkley State Resort in Cadiz. Registration for the conference is $100. For more information regarding the conference contact Jeffrey Bewley at 859-257-7543 or jbewley@uky.edu or Lewis Ramsey at 502-564-3340 or Lewis.Ramsey@ky.gov.
  • The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture will host the Kentucky Grazing School on Sept. 11-12 at the Woodford County extension office in Versailles. The program begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m. EDT each day. Preregistration is necessary, because the school is limited to the first 45 registrants. Applications are available at http://www2.ca.uky.edu/grazer or through the local office of the UK Cooperative Extension Service. Registration costs $50. For more information, contact Lyndsay Jones, UK Master Grazer Program coordinator, at 859-257-7512 or email lyndsay.jones4@uky.edu.
  • The Shelby County Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, 8 a.m. until noon, through Oct. 27 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Vendors from Shelby and surrounding areas offer several varieties of season produce, plus eggs, jams, jellies, flowers, perennials, shrubs and trees. In addition there is handmade soap, jewelry, pottery, yarn goods and other crafts.


The Kentucky Ag Report is compiled weekly from news releases distributed by Keeton Communications, the Kentucky Press News Service.