Ag report: Feb. 7, 2014

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By The Staff

National farming conference

set for Lexington this fall

Experts from throughout the nation will meet in Lexington in October for the first nationwide conference focused on farming, land use, and food policy. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer joined former Gov. and First Lady Brereton and Libby Jones, officials of American Farmland Trust, and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to announce this national event.

The Farmland, Food and Livable Community Conference is scheduled for Oct. 20-22 at the Hilton Lexington Downtown.

“We are thrilled that American Farmland Trust has chosen Kentucky as the site of this national conference,” Comer said in a release. “The leaders and experts at this conference will take on some of the defining issues of the 21st century – food production, food safety, hunger and balancing the need to protect the environment with the need to provide a safe, abundant, and affordable food supply to a growing global population. As a state with a rich agricultural heritage and a diverse agriculture industry, Kentucky will lead the way in meeting these challenges.”

The conference programs will address four principal themes:

  • Ensuring high quality farmland is available and affordable for agriculture.
  • Supporting agricultural viability and a fair and just food system.
  • Creating opportunities for the next generation of farmers.
  • Addressing emerging issues for women in agriculture.

Participants will tour area farms, have mobile workshops and dine at a farmer-chef connection banquet.

For more information on the conference, visit: www.farmland.org.


Burley scholarship applications

The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association announced it is exception applications for its 2014 scholarship program. The group will award six $1000 scholarships to students for the 2014-2015 school years.

The scholarship is awarded on the basis of the student's overall grade-point average, writing ability and leadership potential. All applicants must have a minimum overall grade-point average of 2.5 from their current educational institution. The BTGCA will show preference to those applicants who have a tobacco farming background.

The BTGCA scholarship is awarded for one academic year, in two equal amounts for the fall and spring semesters. Students may re-apply each year. The scholarships are available to individuals from the states of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and West Virginia.

The application and more information are available at www.burleytobacco.comor by calling 859-252-3561. Applications must be postmarked by April 1 and mailed to the BTGCA office.


GAP training, practices program

GAP Connections, a nonprofit aiming to create awareness and cultivate positive environmental and social impact through good agricultural practices in the tobacco industry, has announced the launch of a new Web site and online Grower ID system to provide a resource for tobacco farmers and other interested parties to learn about the organization’s initiatives, as well as a way for farmers to sign up for the Grower ID System.

GAP Connections offers a streamlined approach to free farmers from overlapping their efforts through the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program, supplying them with simple procedures that are coordinated with industry buyers and manufacturers.

The Grower ID System provides a secure way for tobacco farmers to document and share their agricultural practices training associated with the U.S. Tobacco GAP Program. Growers will be assigned a unique Grower ID number that will be used to track GAP training attendance and generate an electronic record of that attendance that can be shared with companies that purchase their tobacco and need to verify that the crop was grown using good agricultural practices.

Registered farmers can also use their Grower ID numbers to log into www.gapconnections.comto view and print their training records at any time.

If you have questions or would like help in securing your Grower ID, you can contact Corinne Belton at the Shelby County Extension Office at 633-4593.



  • The2014 National Farm Machinery Show is 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Feb. 15 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville.
  • The Shelby County Extension Office will host two events to help train leaders and spokespersons to deliver the message of the agriculture industry, at 6-8 p.m. Thursday and Feb. 20 at the office at 1117 Frankfort Road. They are free. For more information or to reserve a space, call 633-4593. Light refreshments will be served.
  • Kentucky Round-Up, an annual event sponsored by the Kentucky Horse Council that celebrates horses with live demonstrations, hands-on activities and educational exhibits, will be Feb. 15-16 at the Alltech Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park.
  • Classes on food gardening will again be offered this year at the Shelby County Extension office, 1117 Frankfort Road. You’ll learn to grow everything from potatoes to strawberries, cantaloupes to cucumbers. Classes start from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 19, and run once a week through April 23. Classes are free but space is limited. For more information or to sign up, call 633-4593.
  • The Shelby County Extension office will offer a series of Green Thumb Gardening once a month starting in February at 1117 Frankfort Road. Topics include: fruit tree pruning on Feb. 22; lawn mower care and maintenance, March 20; herbs, April 17; growing cucumbers, cantaloupes, squash, etc., May 15; botanical garden shrub and tree tour, June 19; saving heirloom seeds, July 24; establishing an emerald green lawn, Aug. 21; propagating plants through cuttings, Sept. 18; and putting the garden to bed/spring bulbs, Oct. 16. The cost for the series of classes is $15. Classes will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. except for the fruit tree pruning class, which will be from 9 to 11 a.m. For one class, the cost is $5. Reserve a space by calling 633-4593.
  • Shelby County Cooperative Extension Service is offering a series of four classes on the basics of backyard poultry production. The classes are from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, March 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 1117 Frankfort Road. Classes will cover selecting appropriate breeds, housing, feeding, disease prevention, marketing and more. Classes will be taught by Tony Pescatore and Jacqui Jacob, extension poultry specialists from the University of Kentucky and Walt Reichert, Shelby County Extension horticulture technician. Classes are free, but space is limited. Reserve a spot by calling 633-4593.
  • The Shelby County Extension Office will be part of a series of equine seminars to assist horse owners with management of their animals and facilities. The five sessions, which begin March 6 with a program on pasture management at the Henry County Extension office in New Castle, are at 6-8:30 p.m. and cost $10 each, including dinner. Other sessions are on equine dental care (March 20 in Shelbyville), survey results and impact (April 3 in La Grange), fly control (April 17 in Taylorsville) and grazing management and laminitis (May 1 in Bedford). For more information or to reserve your seating, call 502-222-9453 or send an E-mail to traci-missun@uky.edu.


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