Brooke Eckmann of Shelby County, Russell Poore of Logan County, and Jacob Sharpe of Scott County were named Kentucky's 2014 Local Food Heroes Aug. 14 at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville. Joining Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, far left, in the awards presentation were, from left: Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, State Fair Board president; Caroline Heine of Seed Capital Kentucky; Ashley Barth, Poore's granddaughter, who accepted the award on his behalf; Sharpe; Eckmann; Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer; and Bill Johnson of Farm Credit Mid America. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)
Eckmann, Poore, Sharpe honored as 2014 Kentucky Local Food Heroes
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Farmers from Shelby, Logan, and Scott counties were introduced as the 2014 Kentucky Local Food Heroes in a ceremony today at the Kentucky Exposition Center on opening day of the Kentucky State Fair.
Brooke Eckmann of Ambrosia Farm in Finchville; Russell Poore of Poore’s Nursery in Russellville; and Jacob Sharpe of Sharpe Farms in Georgetown were named Local Food Heroes following statewide voting in July. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, and Kentucky State Fair Board President Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe made the announcement in the new Kentucky Proud Experience Tent on the West Lawn of the KEC. Locally produced foods were served at the event.
“What better way to kick off the Kentucky State Fair than by showcasing our farmers and eating some great Kentucky Proud food?” Commissioner Comer said. “I’m excited to invite everyone out to the state fair this year because we have a lot of new things going on and a lot to be proud of.”
"Our Local Food Heroes help meet an increasing demand for local food in Louisville and across Kentucky," Mayor Fischer said. “Locally grown food connects and strengthens rural and urban economies, benefits our bodies, and ultimately builds a stronger community."
“This initiative and these honorees underscore the agricultural foundation of the Kentucky State Fair, and we appreciate this opportunity to welcome these food heroes,” Rippetoe said.
The Local Food Hero Awards are in their second year. The awards are a partnership of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Seed Capital Kentucky, and Louisville Metro, and are sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America.
“This year, we had a 20 percent increase in the number of votes and lots of enthusiastic support for all of our farmers,” said Caroline Heine of Seed Capital Kentucky. “These farmers are loved and appreciated, and this contest is a way to publicly thank them for their efforts.”
The 2013 Kentucky Local Food Heroes were Ramsi Kamar of Louisville, Michael Lewis of Berea, and Clay Turner of Russellville. They will be honored in a Farm to Table Dinner Aug. 18 at Ramsi’s Café on the World in Louisville.