FRANKFORT – Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles will lead eight forums across the Commonwealth to strengthen ties between agriculture and manufacturing. The first two forums will occur online in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The fourth annual series of LAND (Linking Agriculture for Networking and Development) forums will open June 18 and continue through Sept. 21. The forums are sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM), and financed in part by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.

“LAND forums are intended to bolster the existing collaboration between Kentucky’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors,” Commissioner Quarles said. “The goal of these forums is to make sure our manufacturers are aware of the plentiful raw agricultural resources available in their own backyard before they consider importing foreign goods. I wish to thank Lee Lingo and the entire KAM team for working with KDA as we consider how to hold these forums during the pandemic.”

“We’re excited to continue our relationship with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Dr. Ryan Quarles with our LAND Forums,” said Lee Lingo, president of KAM. “These events are crucial to connecting the dots between agriculture and manufacturing and displaying the overlap within our industries. Even in a virtual setting these forums will offer excellent insight into the local manufacturing and agricultural economies, and we look forward to kicking off these events online.”

Partners will assess the feasibility of in-person forums closer to the date of each session using the latest public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Both organizations reserve the right to convert the on-site forums to virtual ones due to congregating and social distancing guidelines.

The dates and locations of the 2020 LAND forums are:

• June 18 – Cumberland Region Virtual Forum;

•  June 23 – Lincoln Trail Virtual Forum;

• July 7 – Ashland Community & Technical College, Technology Drive Campus, 902 Technology Drive in Grayson;

• July 30 – Butler County Extension Office, 102 Parkway Lane in Morgantown;

• July 31 – Purchase Area Development District, 1002 Medical Drive in Mayfield;

• Aug. 18 – Kenton County Extension Office, 10990 Marshall Road in Covington;

• Sept. 10 – Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability, 176 Robinson Road in Jackson

• Sept. 21 – Gallrein Farms, 1029 Vigo Road in Shelbyville

Both virtual forums will feature speakers from the region with presentations from 9:30-11:30 a.m. EDT. The on-site forums, should they occur, will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time and include a Kentucky Proud lunch for those pre-registered.

For more information about the LAND forums, or to register, go to https://kam.us.com/land-forums.  

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