And ... They're Off! Commissioner Quarles Wishes All a Kentucky Proud Derby
Kentucky's Signature Race Showcases the Commonwealth's Family Farmers and Food Producers
FRANKFORT (April 30, 2018) — It’s Derby week, and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles is highlighting how the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Proud go hand in hand.
“While the eyes of the world turn to Kentucky for the most exciting two minutes in sports, it’s important to understand the economic relationship between the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Proud,” Commissioner Quarles said. “Whether you attend the They’re Off! Luncheon or the Pegasus Parade, the Kentucky Derby puts the Kentucky Proud brand and our more than 7,000 members in the winner’s circle.”
The Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Proud have enjoyed a strong working relationship for more than a decade. Hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Kentucky Proud foods and beverages have been served to guests from across the country and around the world at the Derby and related events.
Here are a few ways the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Proud are celebrating the Kentucky Derby:
• The Kentucky Derby Festival launched on April 20 with the annual They’re Off! Luncheon, where guests were treated to a few words from Commissioner Quarles, Miss Kentucky Molly Matney, and keynote speaker Mike Tirico. Attendees feasted on a wide range of Kentucky Proud foods including honey from Crigger Farmers, pecans from Kight’s Pecans, peppered goat cheese from Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, and sausage from Marksbury Farm.
• The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) will bring the farm to the city with a float in Thursday’s Republic Bank Pegasus Parade on the theme “Kentucky Agriculture: Growing for Our World, Honoring Our Heritage.” The KDA float will depict the history of Kentucky agriculture from frontier times through the dawn of the bourbon industry, the height of tobacco cultivation, the era of mechanization (where Commissioner Quarles will be seated on an International Harvester Cub tractor), to the present day with 4-H and FFA students and a variety of Kentucky Proud products. A Case-IH Magnum 340 tractor provided by H&R Agri-Power will pull a 35-foot trailer provided by Gatormade Trailers of Somerset. Several other Kentucky agribusinesses provided items for the display.
• The 2018 Kentucky Proud WineFest will take place on May 1 and 2 at the Belvedere at Waterfont Park in Louisville. Tickets are $45 and include a complimentary wine glass, event pin, and wine tastings from 17 Kentucky Proud wineries, including title sponsor Old 502 Winery. This year’s WineFest offers a VIP area where attendees can sample Kentucky Proud menu items from local restaurants. Attendees can sample winning wines from the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup Wine Competition, the annual event hosted by the KDA and the Kentucky Grape and Wine Council.
• And then there are the horses. Every racehorse born in Kentucky is marked with the Kentucky Proud logo in the racing program at Kentucky thoroughbred racetracks. Of the previous 143 Kentucky Derby winners, 76 percent were born in Kentucky.