Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner cultivates support for area farmers

Commissioner of Agriculture speaks at the meeting of "Kentucky Association of Conservative Districts"
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:58 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Dr. Ryan Quarles, Kentucky’s Agriculture Commissioner was at the Sloan Convention Center Tuesday to speak at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts. KACD is a private, voluntary, nongovernmental association comprised of 121 conservation districts in Kentucky.

The annual meeting is a three day event that is packed with guest speakers, training, workshops and networking opportunities.

Commissioner Quarles, a guest speaker at the event, spoke to the audience about the state of Kentucky agriculture and hope for the future. Under Quarles’ leadership, the KDA created programs and initiatives to combat hunger and foster broader economic mobility for farmers.

Addressing some of the hardships facing our farmers, Quarles cited record inflation, high fuel prices and disruptions in supply chains.

“Commodity prices may be up but that doesn’t mean that we are profitable because we’re having to pay more at the pump and inflation and supply chain issues are really hurting us across the nation,” he said.

Another issue that has taken the spotlight in our country is the legalization of marijuana.

Kentucky is still behind most in the nation when it comes to legalization, but Quarles is hopeful about what that possibility could mean to the Commonwealth and how our farmers could benefit from it.

“Hemp is a cannabis plant and we’ve been wanting to bring it back as a historical crop and so for the past two terms we’ve been focused immensely on hemp but if legalization of marijuana does occur or medical marijuana does pass the general assembly, we want to make sure our farmers have the ability to grow it.”

In June, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order that created an advisory committee to study patient access options for medical marijuana.

In April, Commissioner Quarles announced he hopes to win the Republican nomination for Governor to run against Beshear next year. There are nine candidates that have filed to run for that nomination.

Speaking about his campaign, he said, “I’m running an old-fashioned grassroots campaign across all 120 counties. We have over 100 endorsements from local officials. We’re leading the pack on fundraising. We’re gonna visit every Dollar General in Kentucky. We’re gonna shake hands. We’re gonna get out and have a positive message to earn the Republican nomination and, if fortunate, to take on Governor Beshear in the fall.”

The primary election will be in May 2023.

Copyright 2022 WBKO. All rights reserved.