James Comer

Agriculture
1:47 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Comer: Industrial Hemp Bill to be Introduced in Frankfort Soon

The U.S. stands out as an industrialized nation that has banned hemp.

Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner is continuing a push to legalize industrial hemp. James Comer says a hemp bill will be introduced next week by Shelby County Republican Senator Paul Hornback.

Comer has spent the past several months trying to convince law enforcement groups that industrial hemp won’t lead to an increase in marijuana growth, but he says the decision ultimately rests with the General Assembly.

“Whether they support it or not, the legislators are the lawmakers. They’re the ones that make the laws and the state police will abide by the law,” said Comer, who is a Monroe County farmer. “So I wish everybody was on board, but at the end of the day my job as Ag Commissioner is to help farmers and to create jobs in rural communities. And this bill will do that and hopefully we can get it passed.”

Comer says the bill will detail how the state agriculture department would regulate the growing of hemp. An economic impact study conducted by the University of Kentucky on the crop’s market potential is expected to be released in early February.

If the measure passes the state legislature, Comer says he will then focus on trying to get hemp reclassified at the federal level. Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Bowling Green has appeared several times with Comer in recent months to support the legalization of industrial hemp. Sen. Paul says he'll champion federal efforts to reclassify hemp.

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Agriculture
2:30 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Comer: Kentucky Fuel Lab Hemmorraging Money

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.

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Agriculture
2:18 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Comer: Kentucky Farmers, Consumers Feeling the Pinch of Fuel Prices

While the high cost of gas hurts most consumers, Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says farmers are especially hard-hit. James Comer says fuel costs impact every part of food production, leaving farmers with little recourse when gas prices spike.

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Agriculture
8:57 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Comer: Kentucky Can Double Current Agriculture Sales

Kentucky broke a record in 2011, with $4.92 billion in total agriculture receipts.

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.

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Business/Agriculture
2:23 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Kentucky Proud Products to Be Featured in Kentucky Walmart Stores

A program dedicated to showcasing Kentucky food could be headed to a Walmart near you. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says the world's largest retailer has agreed to stock Kentucky Proud shelves in some of its Bluegrass State stores, which would contain food and other products made in the commonwealth.

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Agriculture
3:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

In Debate Over Hemp, a Question about State vs. Federal Drug Laws

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.

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Agriculture
7:55 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Kentucky Program Aims to Help Children Grow Gardens

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture usually deals with bigger farmers but has joined with the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy to work with some younger potential growers. First lady Jane Beshear and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer have launched a program to show young people how they can plant their own gardens and grow food, even on a patio.

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Agriculture
12:09 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Long Dormant Kentucky Hemp Commission Will Be Revived

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he is restarting the long-dormant Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission. The General Assembly created the commission ten years ago to look into hemp's potential in the commonwealth, but it has never met.

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Agriculture
12:59 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Sen. Paul, Agriculture Commissioner Want Industrial Hemp Legalized

Two of Kentucky’s highest profile Republicans are teaming up to rally for industrial hemp. U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer will hold a news conference on Thursday to double down on their support for the crop, which can be used for textiles or oil.

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Politics
2:00 am
Tue August 14, 2012

Comer: Fancy Farm a Tradition That Should Continue

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson's assertion that the Fancy Farm picnic is no longer a relevant political event has inspired a growing backlash.

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