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Farmers’ markets on the move

Guest Opinion: Finding agreement on energy

Singing about electricity

A big fish story

Shopping everywhere

A capital Lincoln

Efficiency on the farm

Co-op Postcard: Electric cycles


Farmers’ markets on the move
The number of farmers’ markets has grown by 20 percent since 2004, according to the 2008 Kentucky Farmers Market Report, posted by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The report was summarized by Tim Woods and Sara Williamson, writing in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service’s Economic and Policy Update.

With 120 markets and more than 1,900 vendors statewide in 2008, most Kentucky counties now have a farmers’ market at least one day a week during peak produce growing season. These numbers don’t include roadside stands or additional direct marketing outlets.

The report suggests that market vendors are diversifying from “just produce,” as shoppers are making fewer stops to account for fuel prices. Due to recent legislation, farmers’ market vendors may now offer samples of their products for customers to try.

The gross sales estimate for farmers’ markets in 2007 was $8 million in a season that included a late freeze and a drought.

Data collected via the Kentucky Food Consumers Panel indicated that farmers’ market shoppers demonstrate significantly different demographics and behaviors. The average age was almost 10 years younger than panelists who did not shop at a market, and the market shoppers were more likely to preserve food, use a freezer for extra storage, or belong to an environmental/ consumer group. This consumer data offers the observation that farmers’ markets continue to serve as a niche for food shoppers.

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Guest Opinion: Finding agreement on energy
by Gov. Jon M. Huntsman Jr.
First of two parts

In Utah we created an advisory council on climate change.

We decided that unless we all sit down where every voice was respected and heard, whether it was the Sierra Club or the manufacturers association, we weren’t going to make any progress.

So we did something that had not been done before. We opened our doors in the executive branch to all comers, every stakeholder involved in the climate change and energy-efficiency debate. They all participated and they all enjoyed participating. And they sat day after day and we found the differences are more rhetorical when we’re outside the room, and more aligned when we’re inside the room around the table.

Through this blue ribbon council, we came up with 70 major policy options, which are now being implemented. Absolutely unthinkable a few short years ago.

On renewable energy we supported, as you probably have, state and federal renewable energy tax credits critical to the long-term viability of this particular area. We also enacted an unprecedented renewable portfolio standard. The industry folks told me in confidence that there’s no way a coal state economy would ever pull this off.

We asked the question of really where we are in this country. And we got real about the important role that renewables are going to play in coming up with a diversity of energy from different sources. The industry people were the first to get excited about the idea that 20 percent of our electricity would be generated from renewable sources of energy by the year 2025.

Everyone said it couldn’t be done at the beginning of the exercise, and we all sat around that table and got serious about the vision of our state and our nation as it relates to energy. We walked away with an understanding that 20 percent by 2025 would in fact be a good thing for our state.

We’ve created a western renewable energy zone initiative, because you can’t get renewable energy into any of our rural areas unless you have basic transmission corridors. Support for this came by getting everybody together again around the table: landowners, ranchers, farmers, private property owners, local government officials, state officials, all talking about how you can create these new transmission corridors for renewable energy.

You can talk about it until you’re blue in the face, but you can’t have renewables until you have transmission capability that makes it all happen.

Next month: Creating our energy future

Jon M. Huntsman is the Republican governor of Utah. This essay was adapted from remarks at the Energizing Kentucky conference held in Louisville in September.

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Singing about electricity
Rachel Benjamin worried about playing her song for her grandfather. She wanted to correctly convey the story he told her about electricity coming to Fleming County during the Great Depression. So she felt huge relief when Peter McNeil responded, “That’s right.”

McNeil held a variety of jobs in a career of bringing electricity to rural areas, including director of member services at what is now Fleming-Mason Energy Co-op in Flemingsburg, and manager of Blue Grass Energy in Nicholasville.

Benjamin grew up in Flemingsburg and learned music from her grandmother. She moved to New York where she joined with three other women to form The Havens, a bluegrass string band.

This year, Benjamin turned her grandfather’s story into the song Electricity, part of The Havens’ new album, Devil Days.

Electricity describes people moving to Fleming County from Chicago who didn’t want to live without lights, so they formed the Fleming-Mason Co-op. The Havens sing, “They couldn’t leave that bright night glow, That’s when they made their own.”

You can read the complete lyrics by going to www.KentuckyLiving.com, typing “Havens” in the Keyword Search box, and clicking “Go.”

Better yet, listen to the song, buy the album, and learn more about The Havens on their MySpace page at www.myspace.com/thehavensbrooklyn.

The Havens will be playing the Clack Mountain Festival in Morehead this June.
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A big fish story
How important is a figure eight while muskie fishing? Very. Just ask 14-year-old Mt. Sterling, Kentucky’s Sarah Terry. Sarah was fishing the Claylick area of Cave Run Lake outside Morehead on November 2, when she had the monster follow her Double Cow Girl lure to the boat. The quick-thinking high school freshman remembered to keep her bait moving in a figure eight fashion until the river wolf grabbed the bait. The result was a new state record that was certified by Fish & Wildlife officials at 47 pounds. The fish measured 53-1/2 inches with a 26-inch girth. Sarah is the daughter of Scott and Mary K. Salchli of Montgomery County.

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Shopping everywhere
Furniture, shoes, candy, pretzels, pottery, and even army fatigues are among the products you can locate in Shopping Your Way Across Kentucky—101 Must Places to Shop, by Kentucky Living contributing writer Gary P. West. This adds a third book to his previously published Eating Your Way Across Kentucky—101 Must Places to Eat and Eating Your Way Across Kentucky—The Recipes. Shopping is published by Acclaim Press, Morley, Missouri, which can provide ordering and other information at (877) 427-2665 or www.acclaimpress.com.
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A capital Lincoln
The UK Symphony Orchestra, UK Opera Theatre, and The Lexington Singers will present Our Lincoln at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on February 2. The program premiered last February at the UK Singletary Center for the Arts. The performance at the Kennedy Center will include much from the Lexington event while adding new talent and music, including Metropolitan Opera star Angela Brown and nationally known recording and performing violinist Mark O’Connor. For more info, contact Gretchen Bower at (800) 269-2586 or by e-mail at GretchenBower@uky.edu.

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Efficiency on the farm
The Massey Ferguson large-square hay baler shown here is a part of agriculture equipment industry efforts to respond to higher farm costs for fuel, transportation, and other production inputs. The new baler has been designed to be more fuel efficient, require less maintenance, and to fit more hay onto each truckload—features that are being heavily promoted as hay prices increase.

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Co-op Postcard: Electric cycles

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