Ag Report: June 1, 2012

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By The Staff

Thomas named state’s most

influential agriculture figure

An informal poll of more than 100 individuals from across the state by Keeton Communications has determined that Roger Thomas of Smith’s Grove is the state’s most influential person in agriculture.

Those surveyed ranged from farmers to leaders of commodity groups, and for the past four weeks plus, the Ag Report has counted down the top 10.

Thomas was raised on a dairy farm in Smith's Grove, and he always was active in agriculture. His agriculture leadership experiences inspired the full-time farmer to run for the Kentucky Legislature in 1996 during a special election, and that began a 9-year stint as a state representative.

In 2005, after leaving the legislature, he helped establish the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, and served as its executive director until he was asked in 2007 by Gov. Steve Beshear to take over the helm of the GOAP in December 2007.

After four years of working on the other side implementing the programs and continually educating legislators to the importance of the ag development funds, Thomas said he believes the his current challenge is his most significant.

"While I am honored and humbled that the farmers and leaders in Kentucky agriculture would view me as one of the most influential people in agriculture today, the success we are seeing in Kentucky agriculture has only been possible with everyone working together," Thomas said. "It takes influence is at all levels, from the farm to the state offices, to make a difference and I hope everyone in Kentucky agriculture realizes that fact."


First call for state fair entries

Last year, bakers, quilt makers and farmers contributed more than 50,000 entries to the Kentucky State Fair, and now it’s time to enter those contests again.

The general entry deadline for all categories is July 2, but all entries can be made online now by visiting www.kystatefair.org and filling out our online entry form. Forms are also available as a PDF and can be mailed once completed.

General entries include more than 30 departments of almost anything that can be baked, made, grown and sewn. Late general entries will also be accepted, with a fee, until July 10. The entry deadlines for Open and 4-H/FFA Youth Livestock as well as Pigeon and Poultry are due July 10. Rabbit applications are due July 18.

Late entries for open livestock, with a fee, are due July 25. Extra late open livestock, with a fee, are due August 6.

The 108th Kentucky State Fair is Aug. 16-26 at the Kentucky Exposition Center. For more information and continued updates, visit www.kystatefair.org.


Mobile app for pest control

Winston Dunwell, a University of Kentucky horticulture professor at the College of Agriculture’s Research and Education Center in Princeton, worked with professionals from the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Clemson, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, University of Maryland and Virginia Polytechnic Institute to develop the first integrated pest management mobile app for nursery growers, landscapers, arborists, extension agents and students that includes the major horticultural practices and disease and insect recommendations.

IPMPro will streamline pest management decision-making and employee training and will make complying with state pesticide recordkeeping regulations easy, according to its developers. The mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android.


Bulletin board

  • A horse show and dance will be held Saturday in memory of Mark Trumbo. The horse show will begin at 2 p.m. at the Mount Eden Ruritan Club, and the cost is $3. The dance will follow, $7 per person, will begin at 8 p.m. Silver Wings Band will perform, and there will be food and an auction. All proceeds will go to the Mark Trumbo Memorial fund. For more information, call P.J. Jackson at 502-220-0860.
  • The 150th Shelby County Fair will be June 14-23 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville.
  • The second annual Farm to Table Dinner will be hosted by Yew Dell Botanical Gardens and Slow Food Bluegrass at 6:30 p.m. June 24 at Yew Dell, which is located at 6220 Old LaGrange Road in Crestwood. For information about tickets, please call 241-4788 or visit www.yewdellgardens.org.  Tickets are $85 or $96, and seating is limited.
  • The Kentucky Cutting Horse Association will have its next show June 30-July 31 at the Rocky Fork Feeders Arena on Dover Road. The organization’s Web site is in the process of being updated.
  • 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.