Chamber News

Mar 14, 2017

Warren Beeler speakers to the Chamber


Members of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce and visitors learned a lot about agriculture and how to produce more with less when Warren Beeler, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy spoke to during the March networking luncheon.

Warren Beeler speakers to the Chamber

Members of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce and visitors learned a lot about agriculture and how to produce more with less when Warren Beeler, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy spoke to during the March networking luncheon.

Beeler, a former hog farmer from Caneyville, talked to chamber about how Kentucky has used tobacco settlement money for advancements in agriculture.

“This money has been a blessing,” he said.

Fifty percent of the money the state received has been invested in agriculture.

“We’re doing agriculture better than we ever have in history,” Beeler stated. The tobacco settlement money is being used as seed money to help Kentucky farmers help themselves. Beeler said that over the past several decades, farmers have developed forward-thinking scientific advancements and improvements to make more food more quickly using less energy and on less land.

Beeler presented information on how much more farmers produce in pork, chicken, corn, eggs, soybeans, wheat and milk as compared to 1950.

His presentation showed how hog farmers are producing 176 percent more pork with 44 percent fewer sows. It also showed that 333 percent more corn was being produced on 11 percent fewer acres.

Beeler described some new advancements in agriculture, such as robotic milking systems where cows are trained to go to a robot to be milked in order to get fed.

He also touched on new crops that are being studied, such as chia, canola, sumac and hemp. He explained the level of THC or tetrahydrocannabinol in hemp versus marijuana. He stated that hemp had 3/10 of 1 percent of THC, while marijuana had 20 to 30 percent of THC. Beeler said, maybe hemp production can eventually replace lost income from tobacco.