Agriculture http://wkyufm.org en To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them http://wkyufm.org/post/save-these-pigs-ky-farmer-says-we-have-eat-them Robertson County has the smallest population of any county in the state of Kentucky, and it's the only one, word has it, without a stoplight.<p>So it's an unlikely place to find a campaign to keep the food system more genetically diverse. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:52:00 +0000 Leslie Guttman 51373 at http://wkyufm.org To Save These Pigs, Ky. Farmer Says We Have To Eat Them In Bowling Green, Coalition of Eclectic Groups Speaks Out for Immigration Reform http://wkyufm.org/post/bowling-green-coalition-eclectic-groups-speaks-out-immigration-reform <p></p><p>A coalition of business, political, and refugee-rights groups in south-central Kentucky is calling on Congress to pass immigration reform. &nbsp;</p><p>As part of a so-called national “Day of Action”, representatives from various backgrounds spoke Wednesday in Bowling Green about the need for Congressional &nbsp;leaders and the Obama Administration to get reform passed this year.</p><p>Barren County dairy farmer H.H. Barlow, a presidential appointee to the U.S. Board for International Food and Agriculture Development, said many Americans don’t understand the impact immigrant labor has on sectors such as the agriculture industry.</p><p>“I hate the word ‘criminals’, or ‘illegal aliens’—I don’t like that term. They’re workers. They’re performing an essential service to our country,” Barlow said.</p><p>The Barren County farmer said he speaks to his elected representatives about the need for immigration reform each time he sees them. Barlow believes that reform will not only benefit immigrants, but also the U.S. economy. Wed, 09 Jul 2014 21:46:34 +0000 Kevin Willis 50809 at http://wkyufm.org In Bowling Green, Coalition of Eclectic Groups Speaks Out for Immigration Reform Farmland in Kentucky Shrinking http://wkyufm.org/post/farmland-kentucky-shrinking <p></p><p>The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farms and land devoted to farming in Kentucky has drastically decreased in recent years. The census of agriculture says between 2007 and 2012, Kentucky had the greatest percentage decrease in farmland of and state in the country.</p><p>Farmland declined in the state over that time by 943,000 acres, or 6.7%. The number of farms in Kentucky also declined, from 85,260 in 2007 to 77,064 in 2012. Daniel Smaldone, a spokesman for Kentucky Farm Bureau, says the state probably saw a decline because some land was unproductive and some was intentionally rotated out of production.</p><p>Other states with the largest percentage declines in farmland were Alaska 5.4%, Georgia 5.2%, Mississippi 4.6% and Wisconsin 4.1%. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 10:38:45 +0000 Associated Press 50641 at http://wkyufm.org Farmland in Kentucky Shrinking Kentucky Hemp Development Could Get Boost from County Loan Program http://wkyufm.org/post/kentucky-hemp-development-could-get-boost-county-loan-program <p></p><p>Kentucky’s burgeoning hemp industry may receive a shot in the arm later this year if the state changes a loan program for agricultural processors.</p><p>Roger Thomas is the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. He says a loan program designed to cover the costs of processing other agricultural products could apply to hemp processing once state universities have determined which hemp products are best suited for Kentucky.</p><p>“If the research proves that it’s a viable crop for Kentucky farmers, then perhaps later this year the Ag Development Board might look at tweaking some guidelines to allow the County Agricultural Investment Program, the county funds, to be accessed for that purpose.”</p><p>State agriculture experts predict that the cost of creating infrastructure for a new hemp industry will affect how successful it can become. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 18:42:24 +0000 Jonathan Meador 49056 at http://wkyufm.org Kentucky Hemp Development Could Get Boost from County Loan Program Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce http://wkyufm.org/post/industrial-hemp-could-take-root-if-legal-seeds-werent-so-scarce The most recent farm bill is allowing a handful of farmers across the country to put hemp, the nonpsychoactive cousin of marijuana, in the ground.<p>The bill allows small-scale experimentation with the plant. But despite the new law, many farmers say they're getting mixed messages from the federal government.<p>Jim Denny is one of more than 100 growers given the nod by the Colorado Department of Agriculture to start planting hemp seeds. On his farm in Brighton, Colo., just outside Denver, Denny is prepping for planting season. Wed, 28 May 2014 07:33:00 +0000 Luke Runyon 48695 at http://wkyufm.org Industrial Hemp Could Take Root, If Legal Seeds Weren't So Scarce In A Coal Town Where Jobs Are Few, Wild Ramps Are Plenty http://wkyufm.org/post/coal-town-where-jobs-are-few-wild-ramps-are-plenty The air in Richwood, W.Va., is saturated with the smell of <a href="https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu02/v5-449.html">ramps</a> — a pungent, garlicky, peppery smell so strong that it eclipses almost everything else in the room. Under this smell there's the faint aroma of bacon grease, in which the ramps have been fried. Thu, 22 May 2014 07:29:00 +0000 editor 48424 at http://wkyufm.org In A Coal Town Where Jobs Are Few, Wild Ramps Are Plenty Comer is Confident Heading Into Friday Hearing Over Hemp Lawsuit http://wkyufm.org/post/comer-confident-heading-friday-hearing-over-hemp-lawsuit <p></p><p>Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner says he’s looking forward to a court hearing Friday over his department’s lawsuit against the federal government.</p><p>James Comer this week sued three government agencies—the U.S. Justice Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection--as well as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, over a 250 pound shipment of hemp seeds that is being held by federal customs officials in Louisville.</p><p>Language in the latest federal Farm Bill allows certain states that have adopted a regulatory framework to plant hemp for the first time in decades, and Kentucky passed a law allowing pilot hemp planting projects run by state-funded universities.</p><p>But Comer says federal agents in Louisville have continued to come up with reasons why the latest hemp shipment must be held. The Commissioner says a hearing is set for 1 p.m. eastern time Friday before a federal judge in Louisville.</p><p>“We believe that it’s a good sign, that we’re going to be in front of a federal judge this soon after filing a motion," the Monroe County native told WKU Public Radio. "So, hopefully we can get the seeds, because these seeds are going to the University of Kentucky. It’s not like these seeds are going to some shady, upstart business somewhere.” Thu, 15 May 2014 22:06:28 +0000 Kevin Willis 48112 at http://wkyufm.org Comer is Confident Heading Into Friday Hearing Over Hemp Lawsuit Comer Postpones Hemp Seed Planting Following Standoff with Federal Officials http://wkyufm.org/post/comer-postpones-hemp-seed-planting-following-standoff-federal-officials <p>Kentucky's first legal planting of hemp seeds in decades is being postponed.</p><p>Officials from the Kentucky Agriculture Department, Kentucky State University, and pro-hemp groups were scheduled to plant hemp seeds Friday in Rockcastle County as part of a pilot project following the recent relaxing of state and federal rules regarding the crop.</p><p>But Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced Thursday that the event has been postponed following a standoff between his department and federal officials over a detained shipment containing 250 pounds of hemp seeds.</p><p>The Agriculture Department filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the federal government, in an effort to get the shipment released by customs officials in Louisville.</p><p>Kentucky lawmakers passed a law allowing hemp to be planted as part of university-based research projects. Hemp advocates say the crop's fiber and oilseed can be used to make rope, paper, bio-fuels, cosmetics, and healthy foods.</p><p>In 1970, the federal government placed hemp on the list of Schedule One drugs, making it illegal to grow. Thu, 15 May 2014 17:02:17 +0000 Kevin Willis & Associated Press 48078 at http://wkyufm.org Comer Postpones Hemp Seed Planting Following Standoff with Federal Officials Hemp Seeds Facing One Final Hurdle Before Making It Into Kentucky Soil http://wkyufm.org/post/hemp-seeds-facing-one-final-hurdle-making-it-kentucky-soil <p></p><p>A shipment of hemp seeds from Italy has made it to Kentucky, but there’s a problem.</p><p>Customs officials in Louisville have so far refused to release the 250 pound shipment to the state Agriculture Department.</p><p>While Kentucky law was recently changed to allow the growing of hemp for university-run research projects, federal customs officials are still leery of signing off on the seed shipments. State officials say the confusion is holding up hemp seeds from getting to project locations in the commonwealth.</p><p>“I spoke with a customs official in Chicago, and once I advised her of what the law is, and what we’re doing at the Department of Agriculture, customs in Chicago released the seeds to Louisville, and now it’s just a question of getting everyone on the same page,” said Holly Harris VonLuehrte, chief of staff at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.</p><p>VonLuehrte told WKU Public Radio Thursday afternoon that she thinks customs officials will sign off on the hemp seeds within “the next 24 hours.” Thu, 08 May 2014 19:34:23 +0000 Kevin Willis 47749 at http://wkyufm.org Hemp Seeds Facing One Final Hurdle Before Making It Into Kentucky Soil Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future http://wkyufm.org/post/less-nutritious-grains-may-be-our-future In the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include a whole lot more carbon dioxide. And many have been puzzling over what that may mean for the future of food crops. Thu, 08 May 2014 09:15:00 +0000 Daniel Charles 47726 at http://wkyufm.org Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future