LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 28, 2017) — In continuing its long-standing support of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Research and Education Center at Princeton, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation’s (KFBF) Board of Directors voted, during its last meeting, to donate a total of $1 million to initiatives at the facility’s new Grain and Forage Center of Excellence.
The money will go toward two specific projects at the center; $500,000 will be provided over a five-year period for the naming rights of the main entrance once the new facility has been completed and an additional $500,000, paid over a five-year period, will support a statewide water resources initiative targeted at enhancing water management as part of the ongoing research efforts at the center.
KFBF President Mark Haney said making this investment will not only help with the many research endeavors at the facility, but will benefit Kentucky’s agriculture industry as a whole.
“Since the Princeton research program was established in 1924, Kentucky Farm Bureau has been supportive of its efforts in research and development projects and programs that have helped our agriculture industry in this state become the nearly $6 billion business it is and a national leader in agricultural initiatives,” he said. “While the center’s name includes grains and forages, there is likely not a single agriculture sector in Kentucky that has not benefited from the work conducted there, and the new facility will undoubtedly become a model in ag research efforts.”
Haney also noted that as KFBF has stepped to the plate in its support of the facility, he looks forward to and encourages other Kentucky ag partners to be supportive, as well.
UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Dean Nancy Cox said it takes partnerships to make the idea of a facility like the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence to become a reality.
“Our research succeeds when it has valuable partners such as Kentucky Farm Bureau. Together we have the goal of improving the Kentucky economy by promoting advanced technologies and useful practices through research and extension efforts,” she said. “Both of our organizations likewise depend on partnerships with commodity organizations and producers to guide us to the right solutions. The network of ag-related partners we have in this great state is second to none and have helped UK become a world leader in agriculture research.”
KFBF Executive Vice-President David S. Beck said an investment in this project really becomes an investment in economic development for the farming communities across the state.
“The difference a facility like the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence can make in the sustainability of all family farms becomes a factor in the overall economic well-being of our rural communities,” he said. “When the farming community is successful so is the business community, and that is something that is beneficial to all Kentuckians. The economic impact agriculture creates in the Commonwealth is more than $45 billion, and this investment approved by our board demonstrates our commitment to improve net farm income and improve our state’s overall economy.”
Chad Lee, UK grain crops specialist and center director, said Kentucky’s grain and forage industries have grown tremendously over the past two decades, and the investments made in the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence will move those ag sectors forward as Kentucky’s agriculture industry continues to diversify.
“We have seen such big changes in our industry in the last 20 years and that diversification effort continues — especially with our grain and forage producers,” he said. “The research being conducted at Princeton and across Kentucky has been a huge contributor to those advances, and we know this new center will continue that legacy. We can’t thank partners like Kentucky Farm Bureau enough for their investments and their continued support of this facility.”
The KFBF board’s vote was unanimous with Dean Cox abstaining. More information about the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence can be found at https://gfce.ca.uky.edu.
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