Comer Expects Hemp Crop In Kentucky This Season

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- Farmer and business leaders gathered early Tuesday morning in Warren County to celebrate National Agriculture Day, a day designed to recognize their hard work and dedication.

"Agriculture is important to every single person whether they farm or not. We eat and we wear the clothing," said Joanna Coles, Warren County Cooperative Extension Office.

Joining in on the celebration was Kentucky's Commissioner of Agriculture, James Comer. Comer was one of the leaders in getting industrial hemp legalized in the state, and this planting season is the first time he expects to see that change in the soil.

"The most important thing is that we will have a crop this year. That's coming a long way in a short period of time. I think if we look ahead ten years from now this will be a significant crop in the state, that's hopefully provided hundreds if not thousands of manufacturing jobs around the state for companies that will be processing the hemp from farmers," said Comer.

The Commissioner of Agriculture said his office is currently writing regulations for growing the plant.

While farmers prepare to plant their fields, the General Assembly in Frankfort is trying to come together on a budget. The House recently included in their version, that the Department of Agriculture should administer Diabetes research and prevention funding, something Comer thinks isn't a good idea.

"I guess they saw on my staff that we had three doctors. The problem is they're veterinarians. I don't think they're qualified to administer Diabetes funding. The Senate has taken that out and hopefully, that won't be put back in."

Comer said he would like to see the Senate version of the budget to pass, and that the house budget has too much debt involved.

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