Agriculture

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.

KY Department of Agriculture

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will visit Warren, Butler, and Daviess Counties today, promoting a ten dollar voluntary donation for farm license plate renewals. Commissioner Comer says the ten dollars will be split evenly between the 4-H, The Future Farmers of America, and the Kentucky Proud Program. Comer believes the funds can help to encourage some young people to attend college and then return to the farm. He says more young people are needed in production agriculture in Kentucky and across the nation. Dan Modlin talks with him.

WKU Public Radio

A group of about two hundred Kentucky Farm Bureau volunteers are in Washington D.C. to talk with lawmakers about key issues that relate to agriculture. Jeff Harper, the Director of Public Affairs for Kentucky Farm Bureau, says the group is talking with Congressional leaders about several areas of concern, including recent EPA  proposals to regulate dust on the farm and a Department of Labor proposal regarding children working around the farm. Dan Modlin has this report.

A Warren County farmer has discovered a way to farm, and make profits, year round.

Kentucky lawmakers are protesting a current trade agreement that they say would hurt tobacco.

The U.S. is currently negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which includes countries like New Zealand, Peru and Vietnam. But the lawmakers say the proposal excludes tobacco protections.

At a news conference in Frankfort today, Democratic and Republican lawmakers urged President Barack Obama to add provisions for tobacco to the agreement.

Republican Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says including the crop will help Kentucky farmers.

The US Meat Export Federation says US pork exports to Japan could top the two billion dollar mark for 2011. The Executive Director of the Kentucky Pork Producers Association says that's good news for some farmers in the Bluegrass State. Bonnie Jolly of Elizabethtown says the export market is boosting the prices farmers receive for their hogs. 

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