Economic development forums bring together Ky. agricultural, manufacturing interests

In Farm, News, State by OC Monitor Staff Comments

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles addresses a capacity crowd for the second of three LAND meetings at Jeptha Creed Distillery in Shelby County on Wednesday. (Kentucky Department of Agriculture photo)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Three economic development forums held across Kentucky this week aimed to expand the stream of agricultural products into Kentucky’s manufacturing sector, state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

The Linking Agriculture for Networking & Development (LAND) forums were held Tuesday in Owingsville, Wednesday in Shelbyville, and Thursday in Princeton. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) facilitated the forums with the financial support of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and other regional sponsors.

“These forums brought together various agricultural and manufacturing interests to talk about how they can work together,” Commissioner Quarles said. “We will continue this discussion going forward as we seek to expand agriculture’s role as an economic development tool that will generate income and jobs in all parts of Kentucky.”

“We are proud to be a part of this initiative,” said Greg Higdon, president and CEO, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers. “Using raw agricultural products to develop value-added products downstream can produce new economic opportunities to help support and grow both individuals and communities in Kentucky’s rural areas.”

Each forum featured presentations from Commissioner Quarles, Higdon, regional agricultural leaders, and industry management discussing successful collaborations and referencing resources to foster additional development. Each program included a Kentucky Proud lunch with locally sourced farm ingredients.

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