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Kentucky Ag News

Mobile science activity center one of 11 projects approved for agricultural incentives

 

Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board on March 20 approved a grant of $71,384 in state agricultural development funds to Kentucky Agriculture & Environment in the Classroom Inc. to purchase a new mobile science activity center for use in eastern Kentucky.

This will be the third mobile activity center. These units travel through the state disseminating information about agriculture and food production to elementary schools and other community events. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture operates and provides the personnel and management of the mobile activity centers.

 

The board approved a total of $1,210,006 for 11 agricultural diversification and rural development programs across the Commonwealth during its March board meeting.

Other statewide and regional investments approved included:

Local Food Coordinator
Lexington Fayette Urban County Government was approved for up to $50,000 in state funds, and up to $55,000 in county funds, over a two-year period to sustain a Local Food Coordinator position for the Bluegrass Farm To Table Program. This program helps support projects that lead to increased markets for local farm products and provides education on health benefits related to the availability of fresh, local foods. For more information about this project, contact Ashton Wright at (859) 258-3131 or awright@lexingtonky.gov.

Water Monitoring Project
U.S. Geological Survey, Indiana-Kentucky Water Science Center was approved for $490,860 in state funds for a three-year monitoring study at a site on the Green River and an upper Ohio River site. This monitoring will show quantities of nutrients coming from watersheds and will assist in evaluating the benefits of implemented nutrient management plans by Kentucky farmers. For more information about this project, contact Angie Crain at (502) 493-1943 or ascrain@usgs.gov.

Revolving Micro-Loan Fund
Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation was approved for $200,000 in state funds to establish a permanent revolving loan fund for small farmers. Kentucky Highlands will primarily work with Grow Appalachia in Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) counties of eastern Kentucky to assist small farmers in commercializing their products. For more information about this project, contact Jerry Rickett at (606) 864-5175 or jrickett@khic.org.

Mesonet Station
WKU Research Foundation was approved for $12,000 in Butler County funds for the Kentucky Climate Center to establish and administer a Mesonet site in Butler County. The automated weather monitoring system gathers real-time weather information useful to agriculture for assisting in making crop damage reports, insurance adjustment, planting decision making, storm tracking and farm records. For more information about this project, contact Stuart Foster at (270) 745-5983 or stuart.foster@wku.edu.

County investments approved included:

On-Farm Investments

Morgan, Ohio and Wayne counties were approved for County Agricultural Investment Program (CAIP) funds totaling $276,203. CAIP is designed to provide farmers with incentives to allow them to improve and diversify their current production practices in an effort to increase net farm income. CAIP covers a wide variety of on-farm agricultural enterprises in its 10 investment areas, including production, marketing and value-added processing.

In addition to these new approvals, an additional $47,059 was approved to enhance existing CAIPs in Barren and Lewis counties.

Environmental Stewardship

Bourbon County was approved for the Deceased Farm Animal Removal Program (DAR) totaling $7,500. DAR serves as a measure to facilitate the coordination of environmentally sound and cost-effective disposal of deceased livestock for Kentucky producers.