By Chad Hobbs
The Kentucky Agriculture Development Board approved nearly $4 million for agriculture diversification and rural development projects at its July meeting. This money will be going to projects across the commonwealth with several projects providing assistance related to the increased consumer demands during the pandemic, and Meade County will be receiving almost $64,000 of that figure.
“Agriculturalists across the commonwealth are looking for ways to provide consumers with what they need to get through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Although we are living in a time of great uncertainty, we can have confidence that farmers and agribusinesses across the state are working hard to keep food on our plates.”
The Meade County Cattlemen Association was approved for up to $63,873 in funds to administer CAIP, County Agricultural Investment Programs, with the maximum producer limit of $1,500 for the 2020 program year. For more information, contact Glen Redmon at 270-422-4958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other projects across the state included up to $250,000 to Marksbury Farm Foods to upgrade its slaughter and packaging capacity and cold storage at its Garrard County Facility. Hampton Meat Processing was approved for up to $37,500 to upgrade refrigeration space and boning areas at its USDA processing facility in Christian County. Garrison Meat Processing was also approved for this same amount for walk-in coolers and holding pens at its custom processing facility in Lewis County. Wise Meat Packing was approved for up to $24,375 to purchase a patty attachment at its Taylor County facility.
This makes several consecutive months that ag funds have been awarded to meat processing facilities across the state. As the coronavirus pandemic put serious strains on many supply chains across the country, one of the more obvious ones was the meat packing industry. Grocery stores struggled at times to keep meat on their shelves, especially early on. This led to a huge trend of consumers turning away from the large, nationally consolidated slaughter and processing facilities which supply retail stores, opting to custom slaughter and process livestock at smaller local facilities still in operation throughout Kentucky. Demand quickly overwhelmed the supply capabilities of these facilities, leading to the recent trend of them expanding their output abilities.
The majority of the remaining funds awarded to counties went to CAIP, which helps provide farmers with incentives to allow them to improve and diversify their current production practices. These funds can be used in 11 different investment areas, including bees and honey, equine, forage, beef and dairy cattle, goats and sheep, horticulture, poultry, swine, timber and technology, farm infrastructure and water enhancement, marketing and value-added production.