Sales receipts for Kentucky farmers reached record levels in 2013. The statistics were made available this week by the National Agriculture Statistics Service and showed the commonwealth's farmers raking in more than $5.6 billion dollars last year.
It marked a 16 percent uptick from 2012. Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer credits an excellent growing season, strong prices for crops, cattle and horses.
Kentucky’s top agriculture commodity: poultry and eggs, which accounted for $ 1.2 billion of the sales receipts. One sector of the agriculture industry that fell, however, was Kentucky tobacco crops which saw a one-percent decline.
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has reached settlements with two brothers who worked in the state Agriculture Department under former Commissioner Richie Farmer.
The Courier-Journal reports Bill Ed Mobley admitted claiming pay for times he didn't carry out his job duties. He also admitted violating the ethics code by claiming mileage reimbursement for trips he didn't take. He was reprimanded and fined him $3,000.
The commission found that Steve Mobley violated the ethics code for processing his brother's time sheets and mileage reimbursement claims and for failing to report a gift. He was reprimanded and fined $2,500.
The commission already reached settlements with Farmer and four other employees, and one case is still pending.
Farmer also pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and is serving 27 months in prison.
Campbellsville University has become the sixth college in Kentucky to join the commonwealth’s “Farm to Campus” program. That means the university will work with the state’s Department of Agriculture to put more Kentucky Proud-branded products on the shelves of the Campbellsville University bookstore and more locally-grown food in the university’s dining halls.
Agriculture commissioner James Comer joined Campbellsville trustees Tuesday at an announcement ceremony.
Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Louisville, Morehead State University, and the University of Pikeville are also classified as "Farm to Campus" universities.
Among the litany of conscious-consumer labels like “certified organic” and “fair trade,” you might already be familiar with the Kentucky-specific “Homegrown by Heroes.” That logo tells you, for example, that the jar of Eastern Kentucky sorghum was produced by farmers who served in America’s armed forces.
Monday, the national Farmer Veteran Coalition adopted this marketing strategy, logo and all, from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture so that shoppers across the country can support veterans who work the land.
Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and college basketball star Richie Farmer is scheduled to appear in court to finalize a plea deal that could send him to prison for about two years.
Farmer, who served two terms as state agriculture commissioner, is expected to enter guilty pleas in federal and state court on government corruption charges on Friday.
Farmer, whose jersey hangs as a monument in the rafters of Rupp Area, was accused of using Department of Agriculture employees to work on his Frankfort home, including building a basketball court in his backyard.
Officials said Farmer also hired friends, including his girlfriend, as special assistants who did little or no work for the agency. And, they accused Farmer of using government employees to do personal errands, including babysitting his children.