Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says he sees no reason why the state can't double its agriculture sales in the coming years. James Comer tells WKU Public Radio high commodity prices helped Kentucky set a record of $4.9 billion in agriculture receipts in 2011. He says by helping Kentucky farmers increase production and gain access to new markets overseas, sales could skyrocket.
Direct marketing to consumers has become an increasingly important part of many farm operations in Kentucky. Roadside stands, local farmer's markets, and the development of value-added products have helped to boost farm income. On Friday September 14th, a workshop will be held at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green to discuss opportunities for expanding such marketing activity along Interstate 65.
Recent calls by high-ranking Kentucky officeholders to legalize industrial hemp have put the spotlight on the crop and what it might mean for Bluegrass State farmers. Both U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer say they want to see federal and state law changed to allow farmers to grow hemp legally.