Ag Commissioner Richie Farmer impressed with Casey Ag Expo Center

April 27, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - State Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer says living in a small community gives a person an advantage in business as well as sports.

Farmer, a former basketball player for the University of Kentucky, who helped take his Clay County High School basketball team to the state tournament five times, spoke Monday at the Liberty/Casey County Chamber of Commerce awards banquet.

Farmer, who was elected to his first political post last year, talked about Small Town Success, the banquet theme.

"I grew up in a rural county, and I'm proud of it. Rural is when you have to go to town to hunt," he said. He compared Casey and Clay counties, saying both are rural and the people are great.

Talking about the new Ag Expo Center that is being developed in Casey, Farmer was impressed with the more than $700,000 that people have donated in time, effort and materials. "I want to do what I can to help it work," he said.


He said the Ag Expo Center is the most impressive thing he has seen. It shows how much can be accomplished by working together, he said.

Farmer also talked about the influence his family has had in his life, and how practicing basketball at a young age paid off later. "Everything I dreamed about in high school came true," he said. However, college was a bit harder than he anticipated. His first year was hard, but when Rick Pitino came to UK as coach, basketball improved.

After getting a degree in ag economics and agribusiness management, Farmer went back to Clay County to work.

Getting into politics was never his dream, but his father encouraged him to get into something positive.

The ag department inspects such things as chemicals, meat and carnival rides. "So many things that effect you falls under the Department of Agriculture," he said. "I decided if I was going to get involved, I wanted to do something that effected everyone."

He talked about the ag department's promotion of farm products and industries. He said the Kentucky Derby will feature Kentucky pork and cheese products this year, and his goal is to get all food served at the 2005 derby to be Kentucky-produced.

Farmer also is working on an animal identification project that will track all animals that come through Kentucky by 2006.

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