Collective minds address supply side of local food
LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 9, 2015) - What will it take to grow a thriving local food system? What role can institutions play in supporting local food production, and where will the supply come from? More than 40 farmers, processors, distributors, lenders and market leaders recently convened on the University of Kentucky campus for the Bluegrass Barn Raising to discuss strategies for expanding the supply of local foods. Read more
Food Connection at UK introduces producers, processors to new UK Dining
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Feb. 4, 2015) - When a market opens or expands, farmers take notice. That was the case recently when The Food Connection at UK hosted a one-day workshop to connect Kentucky food producers with the new Aramark-managed UK Dining.
On a recent morning, the meeting room at the Fayette County Extension office swiftly filled to capacity with about 80 farmers and food processors, reinforcing with organizers the interest among local food purveyors in being able to provide the University of Kentucky with fresh food for campus dining rooms.
Leopold Conservation Award Program seeks nominees in Kentucky
FRANKFORT, Ky., (Feb. 3, 2015) - Sand County Foundation, the Kentucky Agricultural Council and the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts are accepting applications for the Leopold Conservation Award Program in Kentucky. The $10,000 award honors Kentucky farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who voluntarily demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources.
"The Kentucky Agricultural Council is proud to be part of the Leopold Conservation Award Program,” said Nancy Cox, Kentucky Agricultural Council chairman and dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
Tom Eblen: Taste-testing the way to truly local Kentucky-made bread
Why have the French always eaten baguettes, while Kentuckians preferred biscuits? The answer may have more to do with climate than culture.
Kentucky's wet winters are more conducive to growing the low-protein "soft" wheat used for soft breads, biscuits and cookies than high-protein "hard" wheat, which works best for crusty breads.
Lafayette Seminar focuses on local food questions
The subject of food has garnered much of the public’s attention in recent years, whether through discussion of health and nutrition, environmental sustainability or social justice. The Lafayette Seminar in Public Issues will address three aspects of the food issue over the course of three weeks in September and October.
A Living Lab
The UK campus has storm water challenges, so the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment led a cross-campus collaboration to develop sustainable infrastructure to address these issues. As a result, they installed a rain garden, the first of its kind, on campus.
Five years in, fight continues against emerald ash borer
The fight continues, but the invader has the upper hand. Kentucky’s ash trees, important as timber producers and landscape trees, have faced the onslaught of the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect pest from Asia, since 2009.
Despite local quarantines, expansion of its range continues. In response, the entire state was placed under quarantine in April. The decision is designed to regulate the interstate movement of ash nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, chips and firewood and effectively lifts the county quarantines.
Farms Feed Kentucky: Tackling the food issue from the inside
In a county where 83 percent of the land is used for agriculture, but nearly 30 percent of the adult population is considered obese and 13 percent has diabetes, the question might be asked, why aren’t people eating better?
In county after county in Kentucky, studies show that more access to better food is sorely needed. To find solutions to that problem, UK Cooperative Extension has developed Farms Feed Kentucky. Teams from Barren, Clark, Fayette, Franklin, Madison, Pendleton and Whitley counties are part of the pilot project, teams working to find viable, locally based solutions to building a strong community food system from the inside out. Read more
Check out this Lexington Herald-Leader story by Tom Eblen about one of our sustainable agriculture alums.
Tom Eblen: Shaker Village's new gardener brings love of land, faith-based stewardship
HARRODSBURG, Ky. -- When Zachary Davis was hired in November to grow vegetables at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, he took stock of what he had to work with: an antique hoe and a 200-year-old garden plot.
Actually, he had a lot more than that. Davis, 22, had a degree in sustainable agriculture and a good understanding of faith-based land stewardship. He also had bosses who saw his garden as a way to make the Shakers' legacy relevant today. Read more
Photo by Tom Eblen
Franklin County farm celebrates bicentennial, plans for future
It was 200 years ago when Charles and Jane Moore Julian purchased 300 acres in Franklin County and became the first in a long line of Julians to continuously farm the property. To celebrate the bicentennial, the latest generation, sister and brother Jane and Bill Julian, recently entertained nearly 800 people on their farm for Franklin County Cooperative Extension’s 55th Annual Farm-City Field Day. In the process, they shared with guests some of the methods they are using to preserve the farmland for future generations.
Judy Clabes: The Kentuckians who care about our food supply at least deserve appreciation
The First Friday breakfast forum and networking event hosted by the University of Kentucky Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Working Group – academic-speak for folks who care a lot about our food supply – is an educational experience at its best. And the food isn’t bad either.
Kentucky’s produce sector's growing
LEXINGTON, Ky.,-- The state’s produce industry continues to expand in terms of producers, volume, marketing outlets and sales, which are likely to exceed a record-breaking $33 million in 2012. That is what a new study from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has found.
Heal the land, heal the nation
Marshall County poultry farmers find new use for chicken litter
BENTON, Ky., (March 12, 2012) – Chickens produce a lot of poop. In fact, poultry farmers struggle to find ways to dispose of or reuse chicken litter in a way that’s friendly to the environment. In Marshall County, two poultry farmers are using the litter in an innovative way that not only is environmentally sensitive but is making them a little money on the side.
What a great crowd we had to welcome us back from our January hiatus. More than 80 people came to indulge themselves in Chef Bob Perry's mushroom and kale omelets. Deborah Hill, forestry professor, discussed myriad ways to put your woodlands to good use and maybe add to the family trove at the same time. From mushrooms to maple syrup and much, much more, Deborah's presentation was the bees knees (oh yes, she talked about honey production, too).
First Friday: December 2011 recap
First Friday: November 2011 recap
For a podcast of the presentation click here
UK Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media)UK Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
New Report: Local foods are working for the nation
The market for local food is growing. Large, small and midsized farms are all tapping into it. Even better, new data suggest that these producers are employing more workers than they would be if they weren’t selling into local and regional markets.
Those are just a few of the take-home messages from a new report out last week by USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
New Web page links Kentuckians to local foods
LOUISVILLE, Ky., (Oct 13, 2011) In an effort to provide more opportunities for consumers to access local foods, Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear and University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith unveiled the Kentucky and Local Food Resources Web page today at the American School Health Association meeting in Louisville.
Use Cover Crops, Manure for Best Soil Quality
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Aug. 11, 2011) – Producers looking to build soil structure, and ultimately, soil quality through the use of organic amendment inputs may find success with cover crops or manure, according to the results of a University of Kentucky study.
Sustainable agriculture education growing with input
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Aug. 10, 2011) Approximately 200 educators and students from as far away as Hawaii and Norway gathered in Lexington recently to exchange ideas and methods on sustainable agriculture academic programs in universities and colleges. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences co-hosted the fourth Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference.
A recipe for success: UK Ag, KDA team up behind local foods
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Aug. 10, 2011) Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or winter, Kentuckians can “Plate It Up” with delicious recipes containing local products. That’s the message UK Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Department of Agriculture hope to spread to consumers with “Plate It Up, Kentucky Proud” through ever evolving, tasty recipes. Read More
Become a FoodCorps Service Member!
FoodCorps, a new national service program designed to reverse childhood obesity while cultivating a new generation of farmers and public health leaders, is now accepting applications from potential Service Members.
FoodCorps Service Members will spend a year of paid public service building and tending school gardens, developing Farm to School programs and conducting hands-on nutrition education in communities of need.
Click here to learn more and apply to be a FoodCorps Service Member.
A glimpse at sustainable ag. in Kentucky
Each year, Kentucky actively participates in the So. Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's annual conference. During that conference the Kentucky Sustainable Agriculture networking meeting gave a glimpse into some of the sustainable agriculture activities going on in the state. We encourage you to read over the summary of the meeting to learn more about activities in Kentucky.