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Friday, September 9, 2016

Budget Likely to Overshadow Ag Issues as Congress Returns

(Casey Wooten, Bloomberg BNA) The House is expected to be back on the road again in October for general election campaigns.

Rural Economy
Indeed, there have been steep drops in the prices of some farm commodities over the past few years, and that has had an impact on the rural economy.

Zack Clark, government relations representative at the National Farmers Union, said lawmakers know it.

Still, there's little that Congress can do legislatively in the short period it has left, but Clark says groups like his will continue to push lawmakers to provide more assistance to farmers over the next few months and into the upcoming lame-duck session at the end of the year.

Funding, TPP
Congress must pass a bill to fund the government by the end of September.

Many agriculture industry groups said that though it isn't likely Congress would take up the broad Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in September, the groups would continue to push for a vote in the lame duck.

"For those members of Congress that are concerned about agriculture, the single thing that they can do to help agriculture is to take up the Trans-Pacific Partnership," Jon Doggett, executive vice president of the National Corn Growers Association, said.


Ohio County Youth Ag Days Celebrates 20 years


The Ohio County Cooperative Extension Service hosted their annual youth ag days this Wednesday and Thursday at Luttrell Farms. This year was a little more special than others, because this was the 20th year of the Youth Ag Days. 

This year, there was approximately 300 fourth grade students that participated from six different schools. The students attended 12 different sessions with demonstrations including topics of corn, GPS, Soil Erosion, Soybeans, Electrical Safety, Bees, etc. 

To celebrate 20 years of the youth ag days, on the first break of the day, the Luttrell family was presented with a plaque for there time and dedication to the program and the students were served cupcakes, which were a crowd favorite. 

"This week went extremely well. It was a hot one, but a good one," said Darren Luttrell, owner of Luttrell farms and host of Ohio County Youth Ag Days. "This year, we experienced our first group of second generation kids. We had teachers who had attended the ad day as a fourth graders, and are now bringing their students."

Luttrell said over 20 years, we have wondered if you are making an impact. He said he and his wife got confirmation after reading a young lady's Facebook post last night saying she attended the Ohio County Youth Ag Day when she was in the fourth grade, became an FFA member in high school and volunteered at the program and is now in college studying agriculture. "It has been worth it," said Luttrell. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Class 4 Announced: December 2016 - March 2018

CORE stands for Crop Observation and Research Education.  The CORE Farmer Program began in January 2010.  Since it was incepted, more than 60 young farmers have completed the program.  New classes are enrolled every three years.  Classes are comprised of 7 learning sessions, lasting 3 days each. Most seminars will be held in winter months, when on-farm activities are slowed. 

A selection committee appointed from the KyCorn Growers leadership chooses the participants of each class. Class 4 members:

Andy Alford, Alford Farms, Warren County

Alana Baker, River Bend Farms, Trigg County

Megan Bell, Bell Farms, Graves County

Lucas Bollinger, Bollinger Family Farms, Christian County

Daniel Carpenter, UK Extension, Larue County

Brad Hines, Hines Farms, Larue County

Justin Jeffries, Worth and Dee Ellis Farms, Shelby County

Willis Jepson, Jepson Family Farm Partnership, Simpson County

Mindy Jones, Hopson Farms, Henderson County

Bryan Kuegel, Flat Lick Farms, Daviess County

William Pearson, Pearson Farms, Logan County

Quint Pottinger, Affinity Farms, Nelson County

Robert Rouse, Sanger Farms, Fulton County

Eric Schwenke, Schwenke Bros. Farms, Boone County

Spencer Sims, Sims Family Farms, Anderson County

Zach Sheldon, Horn Farms, Daviess County

Chad Lee Named Director of UK Grains Center of Excellence

Chad Lee, UK grain crops extension specialist was named director of the UK Grains Center of Excellence. He began his new role on August 1. 

"We are thrilled to have such a familiar face to grain producers across the state serving as director of this turnkey project for Kentucky grain research," said Laura Knoth. "KyCorn is looking forward to the development of the center and the opportunities it will bring for Kentucky grain farmers."

The center's faculty and staff will be primarily located at UK's Research and Education Center in Princeton, and will focus their studies on water quality and sustainable methods for intensive agriculture production of grains. As director, Lee will coordinate the center's research and outreach efforts as well as develop and expand partnerships.

"The biggest enjoyment I get from my job is when a farmer tells me that I've helped him improve his or her operation," Lee said. "The center is just one more way we can continue to serve Kentucky grains and forages producers."

Lee has been a member of UK's faculty since 2002, where he has conducted a variety of applied research and outreach programs for grain growers. He has also served on a number of agriculture boards.