KDA announces grant funding opportunities for farmers, restaurants

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has announced that there are several grant funding opportunities available.  

Every year the KDA offers these opportunities, but the support is more important than ever as the farm community continues to rebuild after the coronavirus pandemic. 

Carl Chaney, owner of Chaney’s Dairy Barn said they were hit hard by it. 

“I know last year our revenue was down about 40%. So it’ll be a great help for us. And I know there’s a lot of restaurants that had to close completely. We’re fortunate in the respect that we have a lot of outside room. Of course that’s not helping us in the winter time much but during the summer time our business was pretty good. But still to be down 40% is a big hit in a year,” said Chaney. 

Some of the grant programs included in this announcement are the Farm to Fork and Promotional Grants.

Another grant is Buy Local which gives businesses a partial refund if they buy Kentucky Proud food. Local farm food is higher quality, but can be more expensive. This is an incentive to keep supporting local. 

“It’s been rough during the pandemic because people are trying to make ends meet. They’re not going for the absolute best farm product because they have to see a return on their investment,” said Chaney. 

These opportunities encourage restaurants and businesses to serve food from local farmers and keep the economy in the community strong. Rian Barefoot, owner of Rian’s Fatted Calf carries many local products in his shop to try to support other businesses in the area. 

“I tell you I’m approached a lot with that, and I try to help as much as I can with that and supporting and keeping the money in Kentucky is the most important thing. I think it’s good for everyone to join in together and try to help each other out and keep our Kentucky economy flowing with local products. I think it’s a good thing that’s going there,” said Barefoot. 

Preliminary proposals must be submitted by email to ryan.burnette@ky.gov no later than 4:30 p.m. Jan. 19.