Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, right, addresses students, faculty, and staff at a ceremony welcoming Transylvania University as the ninth member of the Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus Program on Wednesday. At left are Transylvania senior Rachel Sanders and John-Mark Hack, owner of Marksbury Farm Market in Garrard County and a Transylvania graduate. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Comer welcomes Transylvania University to Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus Program
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner James Comer applauded Transylvania University leaders for their commitment to their students, faculty, and staff as well as local farmers as Transylvania joined the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to Campus Program in a ceremony Wednesday on the university campus.
Standing in front of dozens of locally grown pumpkins on the steps of the Old Morrison Administration Building, Commissioner Comer said the Farm to Campus Program helps farmers and participating universities develop a business relationship.
“The Farm to Campus initiative encourages universities to buy as much local food as they possibly can and to sign contracts with multiple growers,” Commissioner Comer said. “Transylvania’s been doing that for a long time. I want to thank Transylvania University for your commitment to Kentucky farmers.”
“Becoming a Kentucky Proud campus is a wonderful demonstration of Transylvania's commitment to sustainability,” said Angela Poe, the university’s sustainability director. “Buying local food reduces the miles traveled between farm and fork, supports our local economy, and helps provide income to our neighbors who produce this food, often small-scale farmers.”
“It is an honor and privilege to participate in the Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus Program,” said Cal Thetford, regional vice president of Sodexo Campus Services, Transylvania’s dining service provider. “Transylvania University is the third Sodexo-served campus dining program in the state to partner in this sustainability initiative. I look forward to additional partnership opportunities between Sodexo and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. Together, we can make a significant difference in the quality of life of Kentucky college students and residents.”
Following the ceremony, Commissioner Comer joined Transylvania University President Seamus Carey for a Kentucky Proud farm-to-table lunch in the university’s main dining hall.
As part of its dedication to working with local farmers, Transylvania bought 300 pumpkins from Overman’s Bluegrass Fruits and Vegetables in Lancaster for this year’s PumpkinMania on the Old Morrison steps. The pumpkins were carved and lit to decorate the campus for fall. Other university activities included trips to a farmers’ market during the August term, cooking classes that incorporate local food, and a Local Food Fair.
Farm to Campus is the official state program for connecting Kentucky farmers and food producers with Kentucky higher education institutions. Under the Farm to Campus program, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture helps participating institutions locate and purchase fresh Kentucky Proud products to serve in their food service systems and shelf-stable Kentucky Proud products to sell in their campus bookstores.
Transylvania joins Asbury University, Campbellsville University, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, the University of Louisville, Morehead State University, Murray State University, and the University of Pikeville in the Farm to Campus Program.