Agriculture Policy & Business
Agriculture is more than just farming. There are many government agencies, organizations, and businesses that work together to provide help to farmers and grow the agriculture economy.
It’s been a long road, but the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the 2018 farm bill this past week.
Around 80 percent of the $867 billion bill funds nutrition programs, but it also provides funds for key farm programs for the next 10 years.
Farmers across Kentucky have been waiting for a moment in history that took place last week as Congress passed a farm bill that legalizes industrial hemp. Industrial hemp production will continue to be regulated but will expand beyond the past small-scale production for limited purposes.
What is the primary role of GOAP?
We are actually in the application-taking business; administration and compliance for the tobacco settlement fund. As such, we don’t decide who gets the money but we prepare people to go before committees and at the state level to present projects.
From ice cream and summer sausage to jams, jellies, popcorn, and more, an increasing array of local, Kentucky-produced foods are making their way into mainstream retailers, thanks to the support of the Kentucky Proud marketing program.
Grow Kentucky is cultivating seeds for success. An economic gardening program, it is a partnership between the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center.
The new Breathitt Veterinary Center uses state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to provide vital services for Kentucky’s livestock and poultry producers, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said Thursday in a dedication ceremony and open house for the new laboratory.
As discussions about the 2018 Farm Bill begin around the country and on Capitol Hill, Title VII, specifically known as the Research, Extension, and Related Matters Title, will not likely get much attention outside of the agriculture arena.
New KDA program rewards businesses for offering more Kentucky farm-sourced menu items
Kentucky Proud has unveiled Buy Local, a new program intended to encourage restaurants and other food service businesses to purchase locally produced food products, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced.
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles today celebrated the passage in the Kentucky House of Representatives of landmark legislation that aligns Kentucky’s industrial hemp research pilot program with the federal Farm Bill and adds important law enforcement provisions. Senate Bill 218 now goes to Governor Matt Bevin for his signature.
SB-139 will next move to consideration by the full Senate.
The Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee today unanimously passed a bill that would designate equines as livestock, an action that if approved will provide tremendous benefit the entire horse industry. Securing livestock classification of horses and equine has been among the top policy priorities of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), since being founded in 2004.
Bill would eliminate requirement to remove dual wheels from large farm implements
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles today applauded the Kentucky House of Representatives for passing House Bill 265, which will help Kentucky farmers transport farm implements on Kentucky roadways.
Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) volunteer leaders continue the organization’s grassroots policy development process this month as they head to Washington, D.C., with their list of 2017 national priority issues and a willingness to serve as “The Voice of Kentucky Agriculture.” The group, consisting of nearly 300 KFB members from more than 60 different counties, has scheduled a series of strategic discussions with Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation during the last week of February to examine issues facing agriculture and rural communities in the Commonwealth.
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles gave an update of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA’s) Hunger Initiative and urged all Kentuckians to help fight hunger in a rally to raise awareness of Kentucky’s hunger problem today in the Capitol Rotunda.
“The Kentucky Hunger Initiative got off to a great start in 2016, and we are continuing our efforts to develop a strategy to reduce hunger in Kentucky,” Commissioner Quarles said at the annual Rally to Solve Hunger.
Legislation would extend weight tolerance for vehicles carrying farm products, feed
Kentucky Department of Agriculture
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles endorsed legislation that would help Kentucky farmers transport their goods more efficiently and make Kentucky agriculture more competitive with other states.
Agriculture exports are critical to growing ag-related and rural economies. A substantial amount of Kentucky’s agricultural sales comes from exports, and while the majority of our farms in the Commonwealth are smaller, family-owned operations, each one has a role to play in providing these goods that are in demand around the world.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that serves all farmers, ranchers and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans. The agency provides America’s farmers with a strong safety net through the administration of farm commodity and disaster programs.
Proposals would double tax credit for donated food, strengthen liability protections
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has come forward with legislation to help businesses and individuals who wish to donate food to organizations that serve hungry Kentuckians.
In a year that went from wetter-than-normal conditions for most of the spring and summer to a very dry period in the fall, state farmers got a lesson in meteorology in 2016 seeing how quickly the weather can change.
Amid concern over antibiotic resistance and in an effort to improve efficiency while protecting human and animal health, the Food and Drug Administration is making changes in its Veterinary Feed Directive program. They are amending regulations regarding drugs added to livestock feeds; the new rules go into effect Jan. 1.
U.S. Agricultural Economy
The U.S. agricultural economy continued to struggle in 2016 as prices and incomes fell for the third straight year following an unprecedented sustained period of growth during the 2007-2013 period. The USDA is projecting 2016 net farm income to total $67 billion, down 17% from 2015 and 46% off the record high established in 2013. Given yields trending up, lower production expenses, and higher government payments, the downturn in the ag economy is due solely to significantly lower prices as the markets react to mounting global supplies and depressed/stagnant demand.
Kentucky net farm income is expected to dip to less than $1.5 billion in 2016, down from $1.7 billion in 2015 and potentially its lowest level since 2010. A significant decline in cash receipts the past couple of years, plus the end of tobacco buyout payments in 2014, have been the major reasons behind the rapid fall in Kentucky’s net farm income since peaking at nearly $3 billion in 2013.
Agricultural exports will increase by 30 percent over the next decade, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections. This is due in part to global population growth and a rise in demand for food and fiber. That’s why the Kentucky Department of Agriculture(KDA), the World Trade Center Kentucky, and the University of Kentucky are working diligently to help the state’s producers and agribusinesses capitalize on that demand.
Securing working capital is often one of the largest hurdles agricultural programs must jump in order to achieve success. The Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy, which was established in 1998 to provide a link between the governor’s office and the ag industry, awards grants, low- interest loans, and other financial incentives through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund to help the industry evolve and grow.
The Farm Bills of today contain multiple components and include mountains of information and regulations related to a variety of sectors including nutrition, the environment and rural development to name a few.
KFB Candid Conversations presents a discussion about the topical issues facing the agricultural industry in a question and answer format with a member of Kentucky’s agricultural community.
After a slight increase in food prices was experienced during the second quarter of 2016, third quarter results returned to declines, according to the latest Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey.
Over the past three decades, Kentucky has experienced at least five significant droughts resulting in immeasurable crop and livestock losses and often pitted urban and rural users against each other. Last year Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) initiated a Water Management Working Group (WMWG) comprised of a diverse group of experts from the agriculture, natural resources and governmental agency sectors to devise plans to combat water issues proactively as opposed to reacting to a situation once it has occurred.
More Kentucky-grown fruits, vegetables, and agricultural products will feed hungry Kentucky families this year, which in turn will help support the state’s farming communities.
For the first time in over a year, food prices in the Commonwealth have increased, according to the latest Kentucky Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey, albeit a very slight increase for the second quarter of the year.