Kentucky Ag News
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer speaks at the launch of the Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus Program April 15 at the Eastern Kentucky University bookstore. (Photo by Chris Aldridge)
Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus program builds on universities'
By CHRIS ALDRIDGE, Kentucky Agricultural News
Eastern Kentucky University
After the ribbon cutting for the new Kentucky Proud kiosk in EKU’s bookstore, Commissioner Comer toured a student convenience store, where Kentucky Proud products are prominently displayed on the end cap of a shelf, and the Fresh Food Company restaurant on the top floor of the student center.
Aramark, Eastern’s food service partner, used cream from Borden Dairy in London and grits from Weisenberger Mill in its creamed ham over cheese grits lunch dish the day the Commissioner visited.
“Aramark is committed to increasing the number and volume of Kentucky Proud products that we serve in our food service operation,” EKU President Doug Whitlock said. “This is the right thing to do for the Kentucky agricultural community, and it’s the right thing to do for our students.”
EKU executive chef Todd Pagan said he is working to source more raw commodities, such as meats and produce, from Kentucky Proud producers. Eastern’s dairy products are from Borden Dairy.
Kentucky Proud businesses supported by EKU include: Borden Dairy, Ale-8-One in Winchester, JITA Snacks, Klosterman Baking Co., Maker’s Mark in Loretto, Mingua Beef Jerky in Paris, Moonlite Bar-B-Q Sauce from Owensboro, Screamin’ Mimi’s in Lexington, True Kentucky in Bardstown, and Weisenberger Mill.
Northern Kentucky University
NKU Dining uses Kentucky Proud products in its retail and residential dining locations. Marketing Manager Celeste Manning is working with Ben Shaffar, director of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Division of Business Development, to increase NKU’s participation in the program by selling Kentucky Proud products in its bookstore.
“This is one of the things we are going to try and encompass in the fall semester,” Manning said. “We currently buy a lot of local product within 150 miles from Kentucky and Ohio.”
NKU Dining spent more than $6,000 on local products last year as part of its sustainability programs and initiatives. NKU supports four Kentucky Proud businesses – Dean Milk, Hillview Farm & Orchard in Pleasureville, Kentucky Bison Co. in Louisville, and Klosterman Bakery. Because of its close proximity to Ohio, NKU also supports several Ohio Proud businesses.
Western Kentucky University
Chris Bloomfield , general manager of Hilltopper IMG Sports Marketing, said WKU’s athletic facilities serve Kentucky Proud products. Concession stands at men’s and women’s basketball, football, baseball and softball games sell Dippin' Dots ice cream from Paducah and other dairy products from Prairie Farms.