LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 10, 2017) — Tonight, Monday, April 10, a forum, sponsored by University of Kentucky Student Government Association and featuring the band Sundy Best, former UK basketball player Ramel Bradley and more, will offer the story of what a group of UK graduates is doing to create the next generation of farming in Eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian areas.
"The Forum," which is free and open to the public, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at Memorial Hall on the UK Campus. Sundy Best will perform among speakers discussing the economic promise of a sustainable farming project by AppHarvest, a company that includes multiple UK graduates including its CEO Jonathan Webb. Bradley is also the director of outreach for the company, which plans to build a $50 million greenhouse in Pike County, the largest sustainable project ever constructed on a reclaimed coal mine site.
The greenhouse would produce grape and cherry tomatoes. AppHarvest hopes this is the beginning of a new industry of greenhouse vegetable production on reclaimed mine sites throughout Appalachia, resulting in an economic boost for the area in the wake of the declining coal industry.
Other speakers expected at The Forum include Jomo Thompson, current coach of the UK cheerleaders who recently won their unprecedented 22nd national championship.
"The purpose of The Forum is to engage the brightest minds in the state to discuss a path forward on how to make Kentucky the agricultural hub for the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest of the U.S.," Webb said. "Kentuckians are some of the proudest people in the country, we love our state. I've spoken with Ramel at length, and he wants to take the passion he saw during his playing days on the basketball court in Rupp Arena and direct that energy toward making Kentucky the high-tech greenhouse capital of the U.S."
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue