Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles will lead seven forums across the Commonwealth to help Kentucky farmers and businesses find ways to strengthen ties between agriculture and manufacturing to increase income and create jobs.

The third annual series of LAND (Linking Agriculture for Networking & Development) forums will open June 18 and continue through September. The forums are sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, and funded by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board.

"In Kentucky, agriculture and manufacturing go hand in glove," Commissioner Quarles said. "Manufacturers take raw farm commodities and create a vast array of value-added products. The LAND forums will enable agricultural and manufacturing interests to grow existing relationships and build new ones to press Kentucky's natural advantages in soil, climate, location, logistics, and infrastructure."

"Kentucky's two most recognizable economic drivers, agriculture and manufacturing, share a great deal in common," said Lee Lingo, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers. "Both sectors have hard deadlines and essential supply chains, and both depend on a determined, hard-working labor force adept at innovative thinking, critical problem solving, and consistency. All of which create many of the world's most recognizable goods and products. The LAND forums have provided a wonderful opportunity for both industries to collaborate, share challenges and successes, and find ways to cross over and create joint opportunities."

The dates and locations of the 2019 LAND forums are:

• June 18 - Kentucky River Area Development District, 917 Perry Park Drive, Hazard

• June 20 - Taylor County Cooperative Extension Service, 1143 South Columbia Avenue, Campbellsville

• July 16 - Gallatin County Cooperative Extension Service, 395 U.S. Highway 42 West, Warsaw

• Aug. 1 - Muhlenberg County Cooperative Extension Service, 3690 State Route 1380, Central City

• Aug. 2 - Marshall County Cooperative Extension Service, 1933 Mayfield Highway, Benton

• Sept. 17 - Morehead State University, Derrickson Agricultural Complex, 25 MSU Farm Drive, Morehead

• Sept. 25 - Bulleit Frontier Distillery, 3900 Benson Pike, Shelbyville

All forums will begin at 10:30 a.m. local time. A Kentucky Proud lunch will be provided. For more information about the LAND forums, or to register, go to kam.us.com/land-forums.

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