Kentucky Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Jerry Wagner says his group hasn't decided on supporting or opposing legalizing industrial hemp. Wagner and other members of the KSA board met with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer Thursday in Frankfort for more information on the subject.
Republican advocates of industrial hemp in Kentucky are getting some across the aisle help. Rep. John Yarmuth, a Louisville Democrat, supports efforts to legalize the plant in Kentucky, his spokesman said. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer are the two leading advocates for the move.
U.S. Rep.-elect Thomas Massie is co-sponsoring legislation that would require the federal government to honor state laws allowing production of industrial hemp. The proposed Industrial Hemp Farming Act would exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. A similar bill is being co-sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Kentucky Republican Rand Paul.
Farmers growing burley tobacco in Kentucky and Tennessee are receiving some of the best crop prices they've seen since 2004. That's the last year the crop was sold under production and price controls established by the federal government.
Kentucky Agriculture Secretary James Comer said recent measures in Washington and Colorado to legalize marijuana use will only strengthen efforts to allow industrial hemp in the commonwealth. Marijuana and hemp are considered cousins. Hemp is grown for its fiber and oil and it can’t be used as a drug like marijuana can.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he will seek to legalize industrial hemp in 2013, and to kick off the effort he convened a Wednesday meeting of a hemp commission that hasn't met in years. Comer told members of Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission that passing hemp legislation will be his top priority in next year's General Assembly.
A University of Kentucky professor has received a $1.4 million grant to conduct a multiyear study of health and safety practices of the Thoroughbred industry. Jennifer Swanberg, a professor of social work and executive director of the Institute for Workplace Innovation at the university, received the funding for the Thoroughbred Worker Health and Safety Study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says the state's four-year-old fuel and pesticide testing lab has not lived up to its initial billing. James Comer told members of the state's interim joint committee on agriculture that his predecessor, Richie Farmer, sold the fuel lab as a great investment and moneymaker for the commonwealth.
Many people who raise fruits and vegetables in Kentucky are finding good marketing opportunities for their produce. As consumers look for fresh produce and healthy diets, road side stands and creative approaches are leading to an important source of income for some small farmers, and some who raise more produce than they can sell themselves. As more Kentucky school systems look for fresh produce for their cafeteria programs, the opportunities are expected to increase.