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Ag Report: May 25, 2012

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By The Staff

KFB seeks to honor

best ag educators

Kentucky Farm Bureau is searching for 2012 Excellence in Ag Literacy Award nominees. The award, bestowed annually by KFB during its annual meeting, was established to recognize and reward teachers who excel in their efforts to incorporate agricultural concepts throughout their core academic studies.

“The real-life application of agriculture in the classroom can significantly aid teachers as they seek ways to engage and maintain student interest in core subject matter,” said Scott Christmas, KFB’s director of women and agricultural education. “We want to honor teachers who do this well and do this often.”

All certified pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers who are engaged in integrating agricultural concepts into non-agricultural curriculum are eligible. Self-nominations, as well as nominations from school faculty, community leaders or parents, are encouraged.

Nomination forms with guidelines and evaluation criteria for the Excellence in Ag Literacy Award can be downloaded at kyfb.com/federation. All applications must be received at the KFB state office by Nov. 1.

 

Agricultural influences 5-2

Keeton Communications conducted an informal poll of more than 100 individuals across the state, from farmers to leaders of commodity groups, to determine the most influential people in Kentucky agriculture today. In the next four weeks, the Ag Report will count down that top 10. Today, 5 through 2:

§       No. 5 Wayne Hunt: A true entrepreneur and businessman, he founded Agri-Chem, which provides ag-supply products and services to area farmers and has locations in Christian County and beyond. He founded Agri-Power Inc. in 1990 when he took over the Case company store in his hometown of Hopkinsville. In 1993, H&R Agri-Power was formed by the merger of H&R Implement Co., Inc. and Agri-Power Inc, and today the company has seven stores overall in three states. Hunt has an extensive grain farm based in Christian County; he is a manager for Commonwealth Agri-Energy, and serves on boards throughout the state including the Kentucky Ag Development Board and the Kentucky Ag Finance Board. Know as the "godfather" of agriculture in Western Kentucky, his influence reaches far beyond the row crops of western Kentucky and far beyond the field of agriculture.

§       No. 4 James Comer: Touted as a rising star in the Republican party, this newly elected commissioner says he is more excited these days about his chance to serve Kentucky's agriculture community. He said he admits he has always had a love for farming and politics and tried to balance the two while serving as state representative. As commissioner, Comer said he knows he will not have the opportunity to be out in his farm field like he is used to, but instead he is going to be out in the field working with farmers across the state on initiatives to improve Kentucky agriculture.

§       No. 3 Mark Haney:A long-time Kentucky Farm Bureau leader, Haney was elected in December 2008 to serve his first term as KFB’s president. Haney has served as president of Kentucky's largest agriculture organization, half a million members strong in 2011, for three years. During his presidency he has focused on strengthening the partnerships in agriculture, while making agriculture education for the farmer and consumer a priority. He is a fourth-generation farmer who says he believes in the importance of family farm and the farm family to Kentucky's future. He and his brother Don are partners in a cattle operation, but their claim to fame in agriculture circles is their 134-year-old family orchard, Haney's Appledale Farm, one of the oldest agritourism venues in the state.

§       No. 2 Scott Smith: He has served Kentucky agriculture since 1978, when he began his career at UK as an agronomy researcher. In January 2001, Smith became dean of the UK College of Agriculture, a position that holds integrated administrative responsibilities for research, instruction and extension at the college. Smith also leads the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station, the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and represents the college on various agricultural boards. When Smith took the helm at UK, it was only months after the Kentucky Ag Development Fund was established. As a member of the Ag Development Board and dean, he worked with the Extension Service and the Governor's Office of Ag Policy to define the role that extension would play in helping to implement the County Ag Development Councils and programs across the state.

 

 Bulletin board

§       A perennial plant swap will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Metzger’s Country Store in Simpsonville. If you have perennials taking over your yard, bring some to swap with others for free. If you don’t have perennials and would like to start a perennial garden, there will be plenty for you as well!  For more information, call 502-722-8850.

§       The Kentucky Cutting Horse Association will have its next show Saturday and Sunday 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.