Copyright © Kentucky Association of County Agricultural Agents. All rights reserved.
KACAA Annual Meeting 2018
Tour 1: Franklin County
West 6th Brewery Farm
The West Sixth Farm is 120 rolling acres in Franklin County located just 8 minutes from downtown Frankfort. The farm is used to grow ingredients for their beers, host events, create estate ales, and invite people to experience the farm extension of their urban brewery. The owners of West 6th Brewery hope to not only use the farm to grow some of those ingredients, but also introduce the public to what a hop plant is, and the sorts of fruit and spices that can make amazing beers.
Inside Out Design, LLC is a landscape and hardscape design-build firm which offers clients a high quality, unique perspective on their outdoor spaces. Started in 2007, with a lifetime of horticulture experience, Michael and Andrea Mueller had a vision of raising the bar for landscaping and outdoor spaces. The company is dedicated to bettering the lives of their clients, engaging fully in their community, and protecting the environment by creating sustainable, individualized outdoor spaces. They set themselves apart from other landscape companies by offering design and quality driven services and products.
Founded by Charles Wilson in 1979 as a landscaping contracting firm and retail garden center, Wilson’s Nursery is a year-round nursery that includes more than four acres of greenhouses where they grow their own plants. Being their own grower allows them to control the process from start to finish, offering only the highest-quality locally grown plants. In 2001, they debuted their current retail nursery & garden center and more recently, they opened their on-site restaurant in Frankfort, Sage Garden Cafe, & opened the doors of a new Lexington nursery to the public.
Located in western Franklin County, Zinner Farms is owned and operated by JR Zinner. The Western Hills High School Agriculture Teacher by day, JR, also raises club lambs for youth throughout Kentucky. He also provides pasture and stall space for students that do not live on a farm to house their hogs, goats and sheep.
Tour 2: Scott County
Bridge View Angus
Bridge View Angus is owned by the Sparrow family near Frankfort, KY. Roger and 3 of his sons, Cory, Kip, and Kyle are all integral and take great pride in selecting the best A.I. sires in the Angus breed, mate them to functional efficient females using technology and grow them on quality forage. Bridge View Angus focuses on genetics that are maternal, efficient, good udders and structurally sound. They have also begun to operate their own yearly production sale on the farm as a means to better brand their product.
Triple J Farm
Originally a tobacco and cattle operation, Triple J Farm is 370 rolling acres located within Scott County with a tradition of farming going back four generations. Over the last 15 years, the farm has begun to diversify by raising small fruits and vegetables, farm direct beef, farm fresh eggs, compost; adding value added products through their Farmhouse Kitchen, while still continuing to raise grain crops (corn, wheat, & soybeans), plus cattle feed such as hay and silage. Now, the farm’s focus is to provide healthy and fresh products to our customers within our community.
Bi-Water Farm & Greenhouse
Owned and operated by brothers, Stephen, Chris, and Len Fister, Bi-Water Farm and Greenhouse started in 1959 where they raised produce, tobacco, hogs, and corn. Comprising 184 acres, hogs and tobacco were eventually phased out and more emphasis placed on produce. In 1995, they built their own farm store where they sell fresh produce and flowers to the general public. Prior to that, all produce and flowers were sold wholesale. With the farm store, they also started a fall festival called AutumnFest. This festival has grown over the years and is now one of the largest fall farm festivals in Kentucky. With 20 acres of pumpkins, there are fun activities for the entire family.
Bluegrass Stockyards & Regional Marketplace
An iconic piece of Central Kentucky, Bluegrass Stockyards served the Lexington and surrounding areas on Lisle Industrial Avenue in Lexington for many decades. With a goal to provide livestock marketing solutions for producers around the state, Bluegrass Stockyards expanded to now include 7 sale barns and internet sales. Unfortunately, on January 30, 2016, the Lexington facility was lost to fire. With the rebuilding phase, came a foresight by many of the owners to include more than just a sale barn, but to include a true hub for producers around Kentucky. Home to a restaurant, farm supply store, marketing firms, and more, the Bluegrass Regional Marketplace provides more than just a place to sell livestock.
Tour 3: Woodford County
Castle & Key Distillery
In 1887, legendary distiller Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr. bought this plot of land nestled in idyllic Millville, Kentucky. With a vision for a new kind of distilling experience, he built a destination – characterized by unique architecture, European gardens, and a one-of-a-kind springhouse overlooking the peaceful Glenns Creek and the steeply wooded hillside that feeds it. In combination with his bourbon production, the Old Taylor Distillery was groundbreaking. Bourbon tourism was born here.
By 1972, the distillery had been abandoned. It sat in this declining condition for over 40 years. In 2014, Kentucky native Will Arvin went against cautious advice and left his law practice to pursue his dream of owning a bourbon distillery. He fell in love with this site immediately, and partnered with Wes Murry to acquire the land. They recruited Marianne Barnes from a local spirits giant, where she was on-track to become Master Distiller. She is now Kentucky’s first female bourbon Master Distiller since Prohibition.
Inspired by Colonel Taylor’s vision and the property he built, the Castle & Key team is driven to restore the property to the unique bourbon destination it once was and produce a suite of spirits that are as uncompromising in quality as Colonel Taylor’s.
Versailles Brewing Company
Local farmer Curtis Congleton and partner Gary Jones decided to open a restaurant and microbrewery, with the goal of providing a comfortable place for people to get a quality craft beer, while at the same time enjoying the wonderful local foods that Central Kentucky has to offer. Looking to connect the consumer with the farm, the kitchen sources as much of their menu as possible through local farmers.
Salad Days Farm
Salad Days Farm is a certified organic small scale farm located in Woodford County, KY. Owned by native, Maggie Dungan, they grow a wide array of organic vegetables with many market outlets. They sell a variety of produce to local restaurants, through the farmer’s market, the Ohio Valley Food Connection, and through their own Farmer’s Basket program which operates like a modified CSA.
Thompson Family Farms
Owned and operated by Rusty & Martha Thompson, as well as their son Travis, the Thompsons raise 1,400 acres of grain, hay, and cattle. Trying to diversify away from tobacco, the Thompsons looked to raising grain crops and more intensively raise and market their hay and cattle.
Tour 4: Anderson County
Don Sayre/Jody Hughes Beef IRM Program
Don Sayre and Jody Hughes have been business partners for 30 years. They each have their own herds but share equipment such as tub mixers, roll balers, cattle handling facilities, etc. All cattle are worked and managed the same. Each farmer owns approximately 400 acres each. All herd work is done at one location and all vaccinations, weighing of cattle, breeding of cattle is done as one herd. They are managed as one herd and rotate throughout each farm. Ear tags identifies which cow belongs to which owner. They also share feeding responsibilities. Don is an Industrial Electrician (works swing shift) and Jody just recently retired from State Government. At breeding season they separate the cows by age. Currently they have 5 breeding groups that comprise a total of 200 head. This fall will be the 9th year artificial insemination has been done to the entire herd. Ultrasound is also used to confirm pregnancy. The herd was an original pilot program by Dr. Les Anderson. The goal when implementing this program was to determine the profitability of heat synchronization and artificial insemination in typical commercial cow calf operations. This data indicates estrus synchronization and artificial insemination are profitable. Don and Jody have developed a reputation for developing and selling replacement females and having farmers travel a good distance to purchase them. Through the IRM program they have totally changed the genetic makeup of their herd.
Seaview Farms LLC
Brothers Joseph Sea and Chris Sea have been feeding distillers wet cake for 8 years to their own beef herd. They also have a contract to haul wet cake away from Four Roses Distillery. The distillery can call them around the clock to load wet cake. Without them the distilling process shuts down. They broker and distribute wet cake to farmers throughout the region, and throughout the state selling wet cake in 25 ton load lots.
The Seas are also in the Beef IRM Program. Due to its high fat content they feed wet cake free choice to cows 30 days prior to breeding and 30 days after breeding. We typically see a 10% increase here in conception due to feeding wet cake.
Justamere Angus Farm
Dave and Susan Burge own Justamere Angus Farm in Lawrenceburg Kentucky. Dave was one of the first farms in the state to be a pilot farm for a Master Grazer Demonstration Farm. Dave had never had any real pasture management on this farm. The first year we asked Dave to split the herd and graze one half the herd using continuous grazing and the other half of the herd using rotational grazing. The next year he managed them all in a rotational grazing system. He has continued to improve his farm and management and this past year completed installation of 8 big tire waterers. He has 16 individual paddocks, fenced the creeks and installed high tensile wire for permanent fence in most of the paddocks. The farm consists of 130 acres and he rents 60 acres of hay ground that contains Indian grass and switch grass.
He has bred the herd by artificial insemination since 2002. He is growing the herd to 45 cow/calf pairs. Dave also markets 15-20 bulls per year. He places bulls in the Indiana Bull Evaluation Program and the Tennessee Bull Test Station. This year he also did embryo transfer, placing embryos in 16 head. He is also developing a market for selling freezer beef through an online website he has developed. Lastly, Dave keeps outstanding records and will share his enthusiasm for rotational grazing.
Four Roses Distillery
The Four Roses Distillery was built in 1910 and features a unique Spanish Mission-style architecture rarely seen in Kentucky. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Four Roses began in 1888 when Paul Jones, Jr., the founder of Four Roses Bourbon, became smitten by the beauty of a Southern Belle. It is said that he sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer was “yes” she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. Paul Jones waited for her answer excitedly on that night of the grand ball, when she arrived in her beautiful gown, she wore a corsage of four red roses. He later named his Bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle. Four Roses was recognized as the American Whiskey Distiller of the Year in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015. This tour will cover most of the entire bourbon making process. Four Roses has just recently spent 60 million dollars to add new stills, a centrifuge, and a new drying system.
Tour 5: Fayette County
Part thoroughbred race course, part sales company, Keenland is considered one of America’s most beautiful tracks. Keeneland is known for its well designed and meticulous landscaping. The grounds consist of a paddock, a prep area where visitors can view horses close up and a combination of dirt and turf race tracks.
Clark Family Farm
Clark Farm is an 85 acre farm located on Georgetown Road in Fayette County just north of Lexington Kentucky. Todd Clark manages an additional 500 acres that are either rented or shared. The operation currently includes 175 one year old finisher beef animals, 10,000 broilers, 500 turkeys, 42 ewes and offspring, and 700 layers.
Todd serves on an array of boards that include the Fayette County Farm Bureau, the Fayette Alliance and the Fayette County Extension Council.
West 6th Brewery
Founded in 2012, West 6th Brewery is a craft microbrewery located in a historic 100 year old bakery called The Bread Box. Their products are sold at their location on West 6th Street in Lexington, but also at bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor stores throughout the state of Kentucky.
They offer beer brewed on site, including fifteen to twenty West 6th varieties on tap, along with occasional special bottle releases.
FoodChain is also located in The Bread Box. It is an indoor aquaponics farm. They raise tilapia in large tanks. Food for the fish is made from spent grain from the brewery next door (West 6th). The waste from the fish is converted into a fertilizer which is used to grow lettuce in a hydroponic system. Both the lettuce and fish are sold to a restaurant located next door (Smithtown Seafood).
FoodChain’s mission is to teach the community about food production via tours and workshops and to show the economic opportunity fresh food can provide.
Rood and Riddle
Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital was established in Lexington in 1986 as a partnership between veterinarians William Rood and Thomas Riddle. It has since grown to a world-renowned facility offering a full range of services for the treatment of horses. They have cared for many famous thoroughbreds both at the race track and on the farm. They also provide support for other equine sporting events such as the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games held in Lexington.