The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), and the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) announced yesterday that horses have been added to the Kentucky Proud program. As new members of Kentucky Proud, horse farms in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be eligible to receive financial grants from the state Department of Agriculture, will be eligible to participate in a cost-share program, and will be able to use the Kentucky Proud logo in advertising their equine products. The Kentucky Proud program was created to promote Kentucky-agricultural products. Over the years, the program has grown significantly and now includes businesses that support and sell Kentucky products as well as those that promote the concept of buying agricultural products from Kentucky.
"Both KEEP and KHC have worked for years to promote Kentucky's equine industry," said Patrick Neely, KEEP Executive Director. "The addition of horses to the Kentucky Proud program will allow Kentucky horse farms to apply for grants and to grow their businesses by joining the well-known Kentucky Proud advertising and marketing initiatives. We appreciate that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has taken this important step to assist our signature industry and the thousands of jobs it creates."
Anna Zinkhon, President of the Kentucky Horse Council Board, added: "The Kentucky Horse Council is glad to partner with KEEP on this important new program. Two years ago my predecessor, Madelyn Millard, initiated the idea by approaching KDA regarding a Kentucky Proud for Horses. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's interest in adding horses to this highly successful agricultural program enhances our farms' abilities to market their horses nationally and internationally."
Individually, farms should contact KEEP or the Kentucky Horse Council for applications and more information on the Kentucky Proud program. Forms may also be found on the Kentucky Horse Council website, here. Once approved, farms will have access to all the services and support that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture gives to members of that program, including marketing assistance and product promotion, as well as participation in a cost-share program. "In working with KEEP and KHC to add horses to the program, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is expanding its support for Kentucky farmers," commented Richie Farmer, Commissioner of Agriculture. "Kentucky is known for its equine industry. We are excited to have these producers add their horses to our list of Kentucky Proudproducts."
Formed in 1972, The Kentucky Horse Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated, through education and leadership, to the protection and development of the Kentucky equine community. For more information on KHC, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org, email email@example.com, or call (859) 367-0509. KEEP was formed in May 2004 to promote and protect Kentucky's horse industry. For more information on KEEP, visit www.horseswork.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (859) 259-0007. To learn more about being a part of Kentucky Proud program, contact Cara Stewart with KEEP email@example.com) or Ginny Grulke with KHC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For Kentucky Proud Equine forms, you may visit the Kentucky Horse Council site at www.kentuckyhorse.org/kentuckyproud/.
Kentucky Proud is the official farm marketing program of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Kentucky Proud generated more than $200 million in retail sales of Kentucky farm products just through member retailers in 2010. More than 2,800 farmers, processors, retailers, restaurants, school districts, farmers' markets, Kentucky state parks, and Kentucky Farm Bureau roadside markets are members of Kentucky Proud. For more information about Kentucky Proud, contact Bill Clary, Kentucky Proud program manager, at (502) 564-1137 or email@example.com.