Agriculture

Clinton Lewis/WKU

The recent opening of a new greenhouse/headhouse facility at the Western Kentucky University farm is expected to strengthen the research partnership between the University and the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. ARS  Mid-South Director, Dr. Ed King, says much of the work at the new facility will focus on ways to improve the management of livestock waste. 

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

An audit of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's administration has revealed multiple abuses of state resources. The report says the former University of Kentucky basketball star illegally hired friends and family, used department resources for Christmas gifts and made state employees mow his yard and build a basketball court at his home on state time.

An audit of Richie Farmer's two terms as Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner has revealed a toxic culture of entitlement and an extravagant misuse of taxpayers dollars, state employees and time.Current Agriculture Commissioner James Comer requested the audit earlier this year. State Auditor Adam Edelen released his final report today, showing more than a dozen infractions by Farmer and a consistent abuse of state law.

Clinton Lewis/WKU

Officials at Western Kentucky University say the opening of a new greenhouse/headhouse facility on the WKU farm will add to a strong partnership between the University and the Agricultural Research Service. The new facility will conduct research on several topics, including ways to reduce odors from livestock production.

Some farmers and political leaders in our region are speaking out against new US Labor Department rules regarding child workers on farms. Many in the agriculture industry say the proposed changes would change longstanding traditions, but the government says the rules don’t apply to children working on farms owned by their parents.

WKU Public Radio/Dan Modlin

Tobacco companies will be required to report the levels of dangerous chemicals found in chew, cigarettes, and other products under the latest rules designed to tighten regulation of the tobacco industry.  The Associated Press reports that preliminary guidance issued by the Food and Drug Administration marks the first time tobacco firms will be required to report quantities of 20 chemicals associated with lung disease, cancer, and other health problems. 

Four executives of Eastern Livestock have entered guilty pleas in court and will be ordered to pay restitution to 170 beef producers they de-frauded. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says the pleas were entered in Barren-Metcalfe Circuit Court Tuesday morning.

It’s another warm, early spring day on the farm of Joe O’Daniel, whose 116 acre property sits off of Cemetery Road, heading out of Bowling Green. He says signs of this year’s short winter and early, warm spring are all around him. While it’s not that uncommon to have a few 80 degree days in late winter or early spring, this year’s numerous warm days and have challenged O'Daniel to find ways to unload a larger-than-usual bounty of early spring crops.

Many farmers in our region are seeing unusually large numbers of crops springing up earlier than usual. Edmonson County farmer Paul Wiediger told WKU Public Radio things are running about three to four weeks ahead of schedule at his farm.

Senate Minority Leader  Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has joined with several of his colleagues to introduce legislation to block the Department of Labor from enacting proposed regulations regarding youngsters working on farms. The  issue has drawn widespread concern among farm families and farm organizations across the country.

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