Kentucky speakers, foods take center stage at American Farmland Trust Conference
For Immediate Release
Monday, October 20, 2014
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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Several Kentucky farmers and Kentucky Department of Agriculture officials will lead the American Farmland Trust National Conference today through Wednesday at the Hilton Lexington Downtown.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is scheduled to appear at a Kentucky Proud reception tonight from 7-9 p.m. The reception will include local artisan cheeses, pasture-raised poultry and meats, seasonal vegetables and fruits, pastries, and desserts from Kentucky Proud farmers and food producers.
“Having this conference here acknowledges that Kentucky is a national leader in establishing a local food economy and preserving our farmland for generations to come,” Commissioner Comer said. “This conference is an unprecedented gathering of diverse interests to take on some of the leading agricultural challenges of the 21st century, and we are thrilled that it is taking place in Kentucky.”
Ben Shaffar, the KDA’s director of business development, will serve on a panel that will discuss the KDA’s Homegrown By Heroes program on Tuesday from 4-5:30 p.m. Homegrown By Heroes is a brand that identifies farm products produced by military veterans. Launched in January 2013, the program went national the following November, and the national program is administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Davis, California.
Whitney Turner, coordinator of the KDA’s Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements (PACE) Program, is scheduled to appear on a panel to discuss state agricultural easement programs on Tuesday from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Under the PACE program, agricultural conservation easements are purchased or donated to ensure that the land is kept in agricultural use.
The Farm Fresh Banquet on Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. will offer guests fresh local foods with local bourbon and craft beers. The 2014 Leopold Conservation Awards will be presented following dinner.
The American Farmland Trust is the nation’s leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land.
For more information, go to www.farmland.org.