Keith Rogers, center, chief of staff for Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles, right, receives an award for his service to farmers and ranchers from National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) President Doug Miyamoto. (Photo submitted)
KDA Chief of Staff receives award for outstanding service
Keith Rogers awarded James A. Graham Award from national agriculture association
FRANKFORT (Sept. 19, 2023) - Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s (KDA) Chief of Staff Keith Rogers received the James A. Graham Award for Outstanding Service at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s (NASDA) annual conference in Cheyenne, Wo. The award is given by the NASDA in recognition of remarkable work in providing service to farmers and ranchers.
“I’m extremely proud of Keith for receiving this prestigious award,” Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles said. “Ever since I stepped into the role of agriculture commissioner nearly eight years ago, Keith has been by my side. He has guided me and the whole KDA staff through fulfilling our roles to Kentucky’s agriculture community. Keith’s extensive agriculture experience and steady leadership have been key to the success of the department for the past seven and a half years. It’s been an honor to serve beside him and I can’t think of anyone more deserving to receive this award.”
As Chief of Staff, Rogers leads more than 200 KDA employees and serves as the Department’s point of contact for farmers, ranchers, and agricultural organizations in Kentucky. His role also involves implementing department initiatives, including strategic planning, legislative priorities, agricultural promotion programs, regulatory operations and more.
“Keith embodies an unwavering commitment to farmers and public service, and he goes above and beyond to ensure Kentucky agriculture is at the table for national agricultural policy conversations,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. “We are proud to honor Keith with this award as his engagement with NASDA enriches the benefits we’re able to provide our members.”
Even before joining the KDA, service to agriculture was central to Rogers’ life. He grew up on a farm in rural Hardin County and was active in 4-H and FFA. In 1979, after attending the University of Kentucky, Rogers returned to his farm full-time, continuing production projects he began while he was in high school. His farm operation included row crops, poultry, beef cattle, and tobacco.
His dedication to youth agricultural programs continued into his adult life. Rogers served as Executive Director of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation for nearly eight years.A longtime supporter of 4-H, Keith served as State 4-H President in 1977-78, an adult advisory to the State 4-H Teen Council in the late 1980’s, and President of the State 4-H Leaders Council in 1990. His family was inducted into the Kentucky 4-H Hall this year for their dedicated service to the organization throughout the years.
His serve to the agricultural community continued with his role as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy and CEO of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation and Kentucky Tobacco Settlement Trust Corporation.
Rogers has also served as district director for U.S. Congressman Ron Lewis and as senior legislative assistant for Agriculture and Natural Resources on his Lewis’ Washington staff. During the consideration of the 1996 Farm Bill, Rogers was one of only two active farmers serving on the staffs of House Members on Capitol Hill.His role in agriculture has found him serving on various boards including as president of the Hardin County Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Poultry Federation. He also served as a member of the State Board of Agriculture, the State Egg Marketing Board, the Kentucky Agricultural Resources Development Authority, and as Chairman of the Kentucky Agricultural Council in 2009.