Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association

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Kentucky Small Grain Growers invest $785,000 in UK Grain and Forage Center for Excellence and related research

The Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association Board and Promotion Council voted this month to invest $250,000 in new graduate housing for the University of Kentucky Grain and Forage Center for Excellence and an additional $290,000 in UK grain-related research projects.

KySGGA’s contribution to the Center since fundraising began in November 2015 totals $785,000. This amount will be added to the Center’s goal of raising $15 million to be matched by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund.

“KySGGA is proud to be able to reinvest checkoff dollars that will benefit Kentucky farmers for generations to come,” said Pat Clements, KySGGA president and Washington County farmer. “Our organization has been involved in this project from the very beginning, and the opportunity to leverage Kentucky Small Grain funds with matching dollars was a great step forward for this project.” 

Kentucky average wheat yield over the past 50 years. Increases in average wheat yield have exceeded that of corn for the past 25 years. 

Kentucky average wheat yield over the past 50 years. Increases in average wheat yield have exceeded that of corn for the past 25 years. 

More than $3 million in wheat and small grain check off contributions have been dedicated to Kentucky research over the past 25 years.

“There has been a unique partnership between the land grant university and farmers,” said Don Halcomb, Kentucky Small Grain Promotion Council chairman and Logan County farmer. “One of the turning points in extension research was when UK field crops specialist Shirley Phillips worked with Harry Young to test the first plot of no-till corn more than 50 years ago. Research of this type has been very beneficial to the Kentucky farmer, and it is our responsibility to see that continue and move it forward, in the spirit of Young and Phillips.”

In 2012, KySGGA also established a research endowment fund at the University of Kentucky to ensure the advancement of production research that is crucial to Kentucky’s grain farmers.

Individual growers and businesses may donate to the fund, and KySGGA will match the sum of donations up to $50,000. In addition to cash, growers and businesses may make an above-the-line deductible donation of grain. KySGGA and growers have contributed more than $78,000 in gifts of cash, grain and matching funds to date.

“After 25 years of dedicating checkoff funds to production research, Kentucky wheat production has increased 87 percent,” said Halcomb. “This tremendous growth is primarily due to the collaboration between farmers, UK’s research and extension team, crop consultants and end-users.”

Center director Chad Lee said he is honored to harvest the benefits of farmer investments.

“These partnerships keep Kentucky agriculture strong,” Lee remarked.

Farmers interested in making a “Gift of Grain” donation to KySGGA’s research endowment fund, should visit http://www.kysmallgrains.org or contact Marci Hicks at UK at 859-257-7200.

Listen to the Across Kentucky interview with Pat Clements about this investment. 

ResearchJennifer Elwell