Applications are open for Kentucky Proud Farm to Fork Dinners
Program aims to raise awareness of locally sourced food
FRANKFORT (Feb. 1, 2024) - Agriculture Commissioner Jonathan Shell invites Kentucky Proud members to apply to participate in the Kentucky Proud® Farm to Fork program for 2024.
“Kentucky Proud® is a national model for promoting local agricultural products,” Commissioner Shell said. “The Farm to Fork Program helps publicize the many outstanding products produced by our farmers and agribusinesses. It’s the perfect way to share a little bit of Kentucky on your table.”
The Kentucky Proud® Farm to Fork Program, administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), works to increase awareness of the local food movement by teaming up with host groups to benefit a charity in their community. These groups can host an event that will highlight local farms, farmers, producers and Kentucky Proud® products. Funding is made possible through a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.
The Farm to Fork cost-share grant provides funding to qualifying applicants for those dinners that showcase 100 percent local food products. Farm to Fork reimburses up to $750 of the approved event’s eligible Kentucky-grown food products and associated promotional expenditures.
Leslie Lester, of Windy Hill Meats, helped host Wayne County’s first Farm to Fork dinner in 2022.
“More than 200 people were in attendance, and it was a night of great food that was all Kentucky Proud, farm-raised items, which led to a lot of conversation about where our food comes from and the hard road past farmers have gone down to create a strong farming community,” Lester said. “ To be honest, our event was the talk of the town for quite some time.”
Lauren Mink, a Clark County Farm Bureau agent, who helped organize a Farm to Fork dinner in Clark County last year, agrees the attention the dinners bring to local farmers and producers is immeasurable.
“This program allows us to bring Kentucky Proud products directly to our community and shines a spotlight on our own county’s farmer,” Mink said. “We work directly with our local farmers to showcase what they have to offer and in return, hundreds of new people get to experience a product, sometimes for the first time. With the money we get back from the Farm to Fork Program, we donate that directly back into the Farmers’ Market. Over the years, the Farm to Fork Program played a huge role in securing a permanent structure for our Farmers’ Market, which now serves as our shelter for our Farm to Table dinner.”
The Clark County Farm to Fork dinner was just one of 32 held across the state in 2023. More than $174,000 was donated to charity throughout Kentucky from the 2023 Farm to Fork dinners.
Applications for 2024 Farm to Fork events are due 30 days before the event. Events must take place before Nov. 17. For more information about the Farm to Fork program or to download an application and guidelines, go to www.kyagr.com/marketing/farm-to-fork.html.
For more information about Farm to Fork cost-share grants, contact Alisha Morris, at 502-782-4119 or by email at email@example.com.