Category Archives: LATEST NEWS

Independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis talks drug abuse, economy



HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT)– founder Drew Curtis is using his background as a website founder as a part of his platform as he runs for governor of Kentucky.

“The community has been between 2 and 4 million people at any given time over the last 17 years, and that’s almost the size of the population of the state of Kentucky, and part of what’s unique about my website is that we allow people to have all political viewpoints,” said Curtis

Not having to stay within one line of thought is one advantage in Curtis’ eyes.

“Whichever party comes in will push forth the party platform, and the problem is this, it’s that neither party has all the right ideas, and they will make decisions on policy based on what their party tells them to do or what their donors tell them to do,” Curtis said.

Curtis also sees a potential solution to the region’s drug problem in another state.

“It turns out that Massachusetts is engaging this problem head on, and they’re actually coordinating with Kentucky as it turns out, so they have a program out there which basically revolves around more treatment, changing the way the criminal justice system works so that these people are not treated like criminals, and a number of other initiatives,” Curtis said.

Curtis also noted his first order of business as governor would be an audit of the state pension system.


Hemp harvest begins

Kentucky State researchers begin to bring in school’s 1st crop

By Brent Schanding, Published: September 25, 2015 8:20AM

Sheri Crabtree carries a bundle of cut hemp plants at the Kentucky State University Reasearch Farm. (Bobby Ellis/

Kentucky State University researchers on Wednesday began harvesting the school’s first hemp crop at the Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm on Mills Lane off U.S. 127 South.

They spent about four hours in the field cutting stalks before hauling them to a greenhouse to cure.

“This is a new crop for Kentucky so part of this research is to help give farmers an idea as to how they can use it,” said Chelsea Jacobson, a research coordinator for Nicholasville-based agri-giant Alltech that’s been partnering with KSU on its efforts to revive the once prominent cash crop. 

Dr. Kirk Pomper — associate research director and professor of horticulture at KSU who is co-leading the university’s research efforts — says he’s interested in converting the hemp to fiber and cloth. It’s a market that has a growing potential in Kentucky since hemp was legally reintroduced here in 2014. 

In June, researchers with the College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems along with a technical agronomist from Alltech took soil samples and treated and prepared a test plot before sowing several small parcels with hemp seeds at KSU’s farm.

“We’ve got two different products here so we’re looking for differences between them. Difference in height, seed count and oil content,” Pomper said. “We’re looking at the effect of the influence of soil enzymes on the two products.” 

Hemp revival
Hemp was first planted in Kentucky in 1775 when the state served as leader in the U.S. hemp industry. It flourished for generations before largely disappearing by the late 1940s when federal lawmakers restricted its production with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. The Controlled Substance Act of 1970 made hemp a controlled substance under federal law, with production regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

However, Kentucky lawmakers in 2014 approved legislation to permit industrial hemp production in the state. In February of 2014 Kentucky announced five pilot hemp projects across the state and several farmers have since revived the crops in fields across the Bluegrass.

While hemp and its cousin marijuana are both derived from the same cannabis plant, industrial hemp production relies on the commercial use of the plant’s stalk and seeds to produce textiles, paper, plastics and body care products among other things.


"Welcome to Kentucky, the leading industrial hemp-producing state"



By Janet Patton

September 28, 2015

Hemp has come a long way, increasing from 33 acres in 2014 — the first legal crop in Kentucky — to more than 922 acres planted this year.

"Welcome to Kentucky, the leading industrial hemp-producing state in the country. It feels good to say that," Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told a sold-out crowd Monday at the annual Hemp Industries Association Conference in Lexington.

This was the first time in 22 years that the conference of hemp entrepreneurs and activists has been held in a hemp-producing state, said Eric Steenstra, executive director of the Hemp Industries Association.

Among the crowd of 200 were attendees from as far away as Hawaii, Alaska and Australia, including people well known in the fight to legalize industrial hemp and separate it from more controversial marijuana. The notables included Hawaii state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, who fought to establish one of the first DEA-regulated test plots years ago, and David Bronner, whose multinational soap company has contributed $10,000 to grants for Kentucky farmers to transition to organic hemp.

Comer, the conference’s keynote speaker, was greeted with a standing ovation for his efforts to bring industrial hemp back to Kentucky after decades of federal banishment.

"We wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for his efforts," said Andy Graves, CEO of Atalo Holdings, a Central Kentucky group that has organized growers and processors.

Kentucky has more than 121 growers working with seven universities around the state on research into growing, processing and marketing hemp into everything from oil, food and fiber to energy, manufacturing, textiles, automotive composites, construction materials and paper, Comer said.

Most importantly, Kentucky has attracted more than 20 processors, who will be key to taking the crop into profitable markets.

Comer predicted that in coming years, Kentucky will go from less than 1,000 acres to thousands, and from 24 processors to hundreds.

"We’re going to be the epicenter of industrial hemp in this country," Comer said.

The next battle, he said, will be with the Food and Drug Administration. He plans to lobby to keep cannabis oil products regulated as supplements rather than as medications.

Comer plans to work on the FDA until December, when he will leave office for the private sector, he said. He has no plans "at this time" to run for political office again, he said.

Kentucky’s hemp program will be in the hands of a new agriculture commissioner; candidates Jean-Marie Lawson Spann, a Democrat, and Ryan Quarles, a Republican, are scheduled to meet with hemp conference attendees on Tuesday.

Both candidates have indicated that they support continuing the state’s hemp program, which Steenstra said will be crucial because it isn’t clear that the pilot program could continue without the state’s involvement in coordinating farmers with researchers through legal memoranda of understanding.

Federal efforts to legalize full-scale industrial hemp production continue, Steenstra said.

"Groups like HIA and Vote Hemp will be more important than ever, because now we have something to lose," Steenstra said.

Janet Patton: (859) 231-3264. Twitter: @janetpattonhl.

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Friday’s UN Attack On America – 17 Global Goals To Seize America’s Wealth – Sustainable Development Agenda 21 Style

Posted on September 26, 2015 by Rick Wells in Agenda 21,


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To those unfamiliar with the UN’s global government attack on freedom, capitalism and the United States, the ambiguous term “sustainable development” doesn’t have much meaning. It’s deliberately vague and can mean pretty much anything anyone chooses. Under the UN it means a “Nanny World” of global Marxism and austerity, with every person on the planet living at the same level of destitution and minimized resource consumption. To the degree that it is achieved by lifting up the poor, it’s equally dependent upon a corresponding degradation of the living standards of the more affluent.

The people of the United States pay the nanny’s salary and all expenses, which are extremely hefty and burdensome. It is the opposite of the system we Americans have thrived under in the past and which the rest of the world, led by our own hijacked government, is now working feverishly to destroy.

On Friday the anti-American global government, the United Nations, formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which they depict as a positive set of bold new Global Goals. It all depends upon which side of the equality equation one resides. For America and the West, it is a recipe for disaster, a hemlock cocktail that we didn’t order but which is being delivered to our table nonetheless, courtesy of the management; the global government cabal.

In a ceremony at UN headquarters in New York City which opened the UN sustainable Development Summit, our chief protagonist, General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said, “The new agenda is a promise by leaders to all people everywhere. It is an agenda for people, to end poverty in all its forms – an agenda for the planet, our common home.” It’s an agenda for all nations to subordinate themselves to UN dictates, and to surrender their wealth for redistribution. Somehow those stark realities became lost in the midst of all the feel-good grand proclamations and naiveté, by design.

It’s important to bear in mind while many of these vague and idealistic goals may seem worthwhile; most are completely unachievable, such as the first one below, and all come with a hefty price tag that must be paid by someone. That someone is the American people and our fellow Westerners. We, our nation and our way of life are under attack by the United Nations and by our government. It is an attack which, if allowed to proceed to its unnatural conclusion will be the end of us. That fact cannot be overstated. This is a takeover of the United States, our resources, our society and our sovereignty. We still have the power to say no, we can evict these global parasites and reclaim our sovereignty. All it requires is leadership, recognition of the threat and a sincere desire to preserve the greatest country on earth.

If we fail to do so and they are successful in implementing this global agreement and enforcing it, America as we have known it will cease to exist. It’s that simple. The following seventeen goals are from the UN document, which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Please note the unrealistic nature of the grand proclamations and goals, all intended to pull at the humanitarian heart strings and vilify those who resist the takeover as callous, uncaring and selfish. Pay attention to the insertion of central control in the UN over every aspect of our lives as Agenda 21 continues to be implemented without our approval and without any debate. It’s just being done, unilaterally, by those who have hijacked our government. The goals below are each linked to their original page on the UN website along with a short and in many cases disturbing excerpt of the UN’s own justification for their objectives.

Also pay particular note to the objectives of economic development and equality. That money has to come from somewhere and as our standard of living is reduced we all become more equal. It’s also worth noting that climate change and “sustainable development” are prominently featured as a justification for everything, in spite of both terms having no real world relevance.


Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.


It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food.

If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centered rural development and protecting the environment.

Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded. Climate change is putting even more pressure on the resources we depend on, increasing risks associated with disasters such as droughts and floods.


Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.


Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.


Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.


There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. But due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, every year millions of people, most of them children, die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.


Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential.

Sustainable energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leading a Sustainable Energy for All initiative to ensure universal access to modern energy services, improve efficiency and increase use of renewable sources.


A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress.

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment.


Investments in infrastructure – transport, irrigation, energy and information and communication technology – are crucial to achieving sustainable development and empowering communities in many countries.

Inclusive and sustainable industrial development is the primary source of income generation, allows for rapid and sustained increases in living standards for all people, [except Westerners] and provides the technological solutions to environmentally sound industrialization.


There is growing consensus that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty if it is not inclusive and if it does not involve the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

To reduce inequality, policies should be universal in principle paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.


However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources.

The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty.


Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all [Again, not the Americans or Westerners – We’re paying the bill but excluded from the investments]. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce future economic, environmental and social costs, strengthen economic competitiveness and reduce poverty.

Sustainable consumption and production aims at “doing more and better with less,” increasing net welfare gains from economic activities by reducing resource use.

It also requires a systemic approach and cooperation among actors operating in the supply chain… engaging consumers through awareness-raising and education on sustainable consumption and lifestyles, providing consumers with adequate information through standards and labels and engaging in sustainable public procurement.


Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.

People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events. [More of the usual false alarmist claims are in the original text] The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.

[Here’s their “justification” for requiring worldwide participation by every nation and the ability to control every country.]But climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level and it requires international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy. To address climate change, countries are working to adopt a global agreement in Paris this December.


Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.


Deforestation and desertification – caused by human activities and climate change – pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in the fight against poverty.


…dedicated to the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.


A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. [Money going in every direction from a web of sources makes it much harder to track and much more lucrative.]

Urgent action is needed to mobilize, redirect and unlock the transformative power of trillions of dollars of private resources to deliver on sustainable development objectives. Long-term investments, including foreign direct investment, are needed in critical sectors, especially in developing countries. [Where few see the fraud and those that do are often in on it]

It isn’t hard to figure out who will be left out of the benefits when all of this new inclusiveness and “sustainable” everything is being created. Just as the foreigners are now being given preference within the United States for everything soon foreign nations will be given the advantage. We can only imagine, since it hasn’t yet been revealed, just how much of this type of outrageous and destructive anti-Americanism is hidden in Obamatrade.

As hard as it was being pushed by the criminals in the executive branch and the legislature, in conjunction with foreign commissions, we can be certain that it is not a benefit to the American people. There is no good news in this declaration for the American people, just more of the same anti-Americanism, much of it at the hands of our own “leadership.”

I’m Rick Wells – a conservative writer who recognizes that our nation, our Constitution and our traditions are under a full scale assault from multiple threats. I’m not PC; I call it like I see it. – Please “Like” him on Facebook, “Follow” him on Twitter or visit & www.truthburgers

"Dry counties" that prohibit alcohol sales seem to have a bigger meth problem than other counties

Published on Sep 25, 2015


If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if we banned alcohol and we reinstated prohibition, they answer is a whole lot of meth. In the U.S. there are some places that ban the sale of alcohol. These are called dry counties. Dry counties that prohibit alcohol sales seem to have a bigger meth problem that other countries.
John Iadarola (Think Tank), Hannah Cranston (Think Tank), and Ben Menkowitz (What The Flick?!) break it down. Does banning alcohol ever end well? Let us know in the comments.
Read more here:…
"Dry counties" that prohibit alcohol sales seem to have a bigger meth problem than other counties.
That’s the thought-provoking conclusion of a new paper by researchers at the University of Louisville. In the state of Kentucky, some counties ("dry") prohibit alcohol sales completely. Others allow it only within certain municipalities ("moist,") or don’t place restrictions on alcohol sales at all ("wet").
The Louisville researchers noticed that dry counties had higher rates of meth lab busts, as well as higher rates of meth crimes overall. And the effect is significant: "if all counties were to become wet, the total number of meth lab seizures in Kentucky would decline by about 25 percent," they found.


Sep 23, 2015 by Casey Coates Danson


8 hours ago DoomsdayVault2_1024

In Brief

International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas has requested 116,000 seed samples from a seed vault built into an island near the North Pole.

The Breakthrough Normally, researchers in the Middle East would simply withdraw the seeds they need from a facility in Aleppo, Syria, but due to the instability in the region they can’t. So instead they’ve turned to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which was formed in 2008 to save critical seeds and genetics from a natural or man-made disaster. Although the war in Syria might not be at the level of a nuclear war, it’s still the exact reason that the vault was built in the first place.

The Implications: The vault has said the researchers will get their seeds as soon as the paperwork is finished. The research group is requesting 116,000 samples out of 860,000 that the vault contains, but they’ll be replenished next year. The researchers are examining drought-resistant crops, and have selected strains of what, barley, and grasses for study.

Read more at:

All roads in Kentucky lead you through Hell

Subtitle:  How to age quickly and retire early from a life of Activism in Cannabis – via the DEA

Subtitle:  How to become a criminal vs. a patient in need of their medication…


May 7th, 2015


I really hate writing about myself.  I rarely do and when I do it is for a reason.  I have no other choice but to tell the story as it happened – and unfortunately it happened to me, although you could say that I have set myself up for “martyrdom” by being involved with Activism in any aspect which has to do with Cannabis.  That is my sin – I smoke Cannabis.  I know that it helps my anxiety but I also knew that Cannabis alone most likely would not be able to handle my “condition” and that it was “illegal” to use.  O.K., that much is fact.

In 1979 I was diagnosed with Chronic Major Depression, Dysthymia, and Acute Anxiety.  This is no secret as I have not tried to hide the fact that I suffer from this condition.

Skip forward to 1990 when I finally was placed with a Psychiatrist that was very knowledgeable in his field and I took to him quickly.  I was glad to have someone that knew more than I did prescribing my medication.

I never hid the fact that I worked as an Activist with the USMjParty from him.  I never hid the fact that I used Cannabis from him.

I left a pain clinic in 2003 where I tested positive for THC and the only medication they would prescribe at that point was Methadone which I had ironically enough just been able to detox myself from and was not taking anymore.  Hence, my reason for leaving.

My Psychiatrist, Dr. Theodore B. Feldman who works for U of L Psychiatric in Louisville Kentucky told me at that time that I did not have to worry about obtaining my medicine from him because he would never hold the THC against me.  My main two medicines were Zoloft and Xanax.  I had been tried on a multitude of drugs but this is what worked for me and I have been using the same medication since 1986.  He even filled out a form which is seen below, to send back to the pain doctors saying there wasn’t a reason to withhold my pain medication because of THC.


Theodore B. Feldmann, M.D., Associate ProfessorDr. Feldman is responsible for all aspects of the psychiatry curriculum during the four years of medical school. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Cincinnati and his medical degree from the University of Louisville. He completed his psychiatric residency training at the University of Cincinnati and received additional training at the Chicago Institute for psychoanalysis and Cincinnati Psychoanalytic Institute. Dr. Feldman received his board certification in psychiatry in 1986 and in forensic psychiatry in 1996. His clinical activities include general adult psychiatry, long-term intensive psychotherapy, and forensic psychiatry. He has been the principle investigator on research activities related to workplace violence and hostage and barricade incidents. Dr. Feldman serves as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. He is a psychiatric consultant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation which includes consultation in hostage situations, training of hostage negotiators, and psychological profiling of offenders. Dr. Feldman serves as a consultant to the Baldwin County (GA) Victim Assistance Program and to the Louisville Metro/Jefferson County (KY) Police Crisis Negotiation Team. He has published numerous scientific papers and serves as a peer reviewer for a variety of regional and national publications. In addition to his clinical service, Dr. Feldman supervises and lectures to medical students and psychiatry residents on topics related to psychiatric assessment, personality disorders and psychotherapy.

Dr. Feldman THC

I had also been told by Dr. Feldman not to worry if I could not get to an appointment – I could reschedule.  The problem was that when I rescheduled he was always booked three to six months at a time so it could be hard for me to get in.

The first part of April this year I called in to get an appointment.  I had missed two previous, one because of weather and one because of taking my (ex)husband to an important heart cath appointment here in Glasgow.   When I called in I was told that I was NO LONGER A PATIENT OF DR. FELDMAN THAT I HAD BEEN DISMISSED FOR MISSED APPOINTMENT AND A PAST DUE BALANCE WHICH WASN’T PAID OFF.  I never received a letter to this effect from either Dr. Feldman, nor the office of the U of L Psychiatric Clinic.  I was told nothing until the day I called in for an appointment.  After much adieu the clinic called in my Zoloft and Xanax for one more month.  I needed them filled again by the first of May.


This is where I will go backwards a little bit.  I had also been a patient of Dr. Chandra Reddy here in Cave City.


Reddy 2013


He had been my primary doctor since I moved here in 2011.  He had filled my medications as needed for the most part – until I was caught by a drug test by him back in 2014.  At about that same time, in July of 2014 Dr. Reddy, himself, was found to be trading scripts for marijuana! reported the following on July 7th, 2014:

According to last week’s order restricting Reddy from prescribing controlled substances, Berry said patients would call for narcotic prescriptions without coming to the office. She also claimed to have a sexual relationship with her married boss and to have traded cash and prescription narcotics for marijuana for his use.


Here is the PDF Document of the outcome of his demise.


The end of this scenario with Dr. Chandra Reddy is that he is now back in his office practicing medicine after having had these charges against him and he had admitted to smoking marijuana as well. 

Now, I move forward to current time.  The Physician I went to after Dr. Reddy was out of business was located in Glasgow.  I was referred to him by T.J. Samson Hospital approximately six months ago.

I will not use his name because he is currently still my physician.  He has done no wrong.  He is just doing what he has to do to keep his license.  When H.B. 1 was passed in January of this year all the Physicians who were already on edge, increased their drug testing and removal of patients who smoked Cannabis, because the new laws just served to create a free fall for all Medical Cannabis user’s.  We were immediately pegged because of drug testing in the Doctor’s office which is how I came to be in this situation to begin with.

When I went to my current Physician in Glasgow they got me with a drug test.  I was positive for THC and he could no longer prescribe me “scheduled narcotics” – which would include the medicine I need the most to survive in this chaotic world I live in, Xanax.

Do to the fact I thought ahead and always kept an extra few weeks of medicine put back in case of emergency, which I think this definitely qualifies as an emergency, I am able to sit here today and write the story of what is happening to me.

The only thing my current Physician could do is refer me to a new Psychiatrist in Bowling Green for which my appointment is not until September! 

It is documented fact that after being on this medication for so many years, my age, my heart conditions and anxiety, I could die from withdrawals.  So therefore they know that that withdrawal will force me into a hospital for treatment (I’ve never had to be hospitalized for my condition before) and force me to “retire” from Activism all together – get me out of their way, an activist “culling” of sorts, and I damn well know that it is not just me that is being hung by the neck in this scenario.  It has to be playing out with many people – all Cannabis user’s.  In all areas of the Country.  It is just particularly bad in Kentucky — and my name is Sheree Krider.


So effectively I have been given a death sentence by our Government and Health Care System.  If I do not become a criminal and find Xanax on the “street”, it is quite likely I may end up dead – or worse.

They have judiciously made me into a criminal for being ill and speaking out for something I believe in and not trying to hide the fact.  I was, in fact, very naïve to think that I could trust any Doctor – even Dr. Feldman who I felt I could be truthful with, after twenty-four years, kicked me out like an old rag.  Due to the fact that he is involved in Forensics I have to ask myself why I ever felt I could trust him.  These people are good at what they do.  And they damn well know EXACTLY what they are doing to me.

Let my scenario be your warning!  The legalization movement is truly a war.  And they are going to keep knocking us down every time we think we are getting a step up.  The Activists who are in my age range are particularly vulnerable because of other healthcare issues.  Legalize, tax and regulate as a form of control is not going to change this scenario.  Only true repeal of the prohibition of this plant would do us any good now.  Yes, you can “legalize” a schedule II Cannabis drug that will give the plant to the Pharmaceutical Companies to patent, and prescribe to patients…But you will never be able to grow a plant in your yard for your own use.  You will have to have a RX in order to get this medication and it will come straight through the FDA and DEA and don’t get caught with someone else’s “Cannabis RX” in your pocket!


I just cannot figure out how a Doctor can be sanctioned for bartering RX’s for Marijuana and be back in business within six months and I am a patient, half dead already, and cannot get my mental health medication filled because I smoke Marijuana ?????


That’s it, and that’s that.


All the years of hard work by Activists to free a plant are quickly going to Hell in a Hand Basket.  So enjoy while you can.


God Bless,










Taiwan to buy corn, soybeans

Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:23 AM Kentucky Press News Service


FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday announced an agreement between Taiwan and Kentucky farmers to increase corn and soybean exports to the island nation over the next two years.

"These agreements between Kentucky farmers and the Republic of China (Taiwan) will allow Kentucky to capitalize on one of our nation’s great trade partners," Beshear said in a statement. "Kentucky exports already support more than 125,000 jobs statewide, and I am excited to have the opportunity to extend that success to our farmers with each of these trade organization commitments in Taiwan."

In 2009, Kentucky’s annual farm receipts totaled $4.3 billion. Today, that number is hovering around $6 billion.

Beshear traveled to Taiwan in April during his trade mission to Asia. In Taiwan, Beshear met with Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou and other government dignitaries to further explore trade and investment opportunities.

During Tuesday’s event at the Governor’s Mansion, representatives from Kentucky and Taiwan in both the corn and soybean industries joined Beshear to officially sign Letters of Intent for future purchases of U.S. farm products.

The Taiwan Feed Industry Association has agreed to purchase 197 million bushels of corn at a cost of more than $1.2 billion. The Taiwan Vegetable Oil Manufacturers Association will be purchasing approximately 100 million bushels of soybeans valued at $1.1-$1.2 billion. These combined purchases over the next two years will be beneficial to corn and soybean growers in Kentucky and across the U.S.

Last year, the state exported $27.5 billion in products to more than 190 countries, the fourth consecutive year of record growth.

In 2014, Taiwan ranked as the seventh largest market for U.S. corn exports and fifth in the U.S. soybean market.

Taiwan imported more than $3.5 billion in U.S. farm products in 2014. Taiwan has imported more than $9 billion in corn and more than $10.5 billion in soybeans from the U.S. since 1998.

"Taiwan is an important buyer of U.S. coarse grains and co-products, including corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles," said Kentucky Corn Growers Association President Russel Schwenke. "By having the Taiwanese Agricultural Goodwill Mission visit our state, we are strengthening trade ties and helping to maintain the well-established partnership between the United States and Taiwan."


Man arrested after found with hemp at Walmart

Man arrested after found with hemp at Walmart

A Harrodsburg man was arrested Tuesday, after he was found with a truck full of hemp plants stolen from private farmland legally authorized to grow hemp.

Timothy J. Preston, 27, of Belmont Street in Harrodsburg, was located at 12:10 p.m. by Danville Police Officers at the Danville Walmart parking lot.

He was found with a black pick up truck full of green, leafy plants.

Preston was charged with receiving stolen property under $10,000, possession for sale or transfer of a simulated controlled substance, first offense, and criminal trespass, third degree.

He is lodged in the Boyle County Detention Center.


reuters Exclusive: In clash with pope’s climate call, U.S. Church leases drilling rights

Casting the fight against climate change as an urgent moral duty, Pope Francis in June urged the world to phase out highly-polluting fossil fuels.

Yet in the heart of U.S. oil country several dioceses and other Catholic institutions are leasing out drilling rights to oil and gas companies to bolster their finances, Reuters has found.

And in one archdiocese — Oklahoma City — Church officials have signed three new oil and gas leases since Francis’s missive on the environment, leasing documents show.

On Francis’ first visit to the United States this week, the business dealings suggest that some leaders of the U.S. Catholic Church are practicing a different approach to the environment than the pontiff is preaching.

Catholic institutions are not forbidden from dealing with or investing in the energy industry. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) guidelines on ethical investing warn Catholics and Catholic institutions against investing in companies related to abortion, contraception, pornography, tobacco, and war, but do not suggest avoiding energy stocks, and do not address the ownership of energy production interests.

A Reuters review of county documents found 235 oil and gas leasing deals signed by Catholic Church authorities in Texas and Oklahoma with energy and land firms since 2010, covering 56 counties across the two states. None of the Texas leases in the review were signed after the pope’s encyclical.

Those two states have been at the forefront of a boom in U.S. energy production in recent years, often through the controversial hydraulic fracturing production method, known as fracking.

It was not clear whether production on the Church leases was through fracking – a process that involves injecting sand, water and chemicals underground to crack open rock formations — or more conventional drilling methods.

The Church authorities receive a royalty ranging from 15 to 25 percent of the value of what is taken out of the ground, according to the leases, which are public documents filed with county clerk offices. Reuters’ search method did not capture leases signed before 2010 but which may still be in force.

(Click here for a graphic:

"There may be some kind of inconsistency here between what the pope has said and what the Church is doing in U.S. oil and gas country," said Mickey Thompson, a consultant and former director of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.

He added that since the Church often acquires its mineral rights through donations from parishioners, there could be "legal or fiduciary reasons" it has sought to lease them out. It was unclear if that was the case with the leases signed by Church institutions in Texas and Oklahoma, including the three leases signed in Oklahoma since June.

A USCCB official and a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City archdiocese both declined to comment.

The Vatican does not have direct power over investment decisions taken by dioceses in the United States, a responsibility reserved for their bishops.

Members of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy have fallen out of line with papal administrations before. Last year, for example, U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke was moved out of a senior post in the Vatican after clashing with Francis’ more liberal views on homosexuality and Catholic re-marriage.


A Reuters examination of financial disclosures by U.S. Catholic institutions in August found that they have millions of dollars invested in energy companies, from hydraulic fracturing to oil sands producers. One U.S. archdiocese, Chicago, told Reuters it planned to review its energy shareholdings in light of the pope’s June message.

But the Church’s direct links to the fossil fuels industry through the Oklahoma and Texas lease deals highlight a potentially deeper moral dissonance in the wake of the pope’s unambiguous attack on human-caused climate change.

Francis makes his first visit to the United States from Tuesday through Sept. 27 with stops in Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

In Texas, dioceses that granted oil leases in recent years included Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio.

Pat Svacina, a spokesman for the Diocese of Forth Worth, said the diocese received $31,661 from its leases in fiscal year 2015. He declined to say whether the diocese was considering reviewing its oil and gas leasing program in light of the pope’s encyclical.

"The way the leases are written it is very difficult to cancel a lease that is in production," Svacina said. "The Diocese always reviews the viability and desirability of renewing a lease at the conclusion of a current lease," he added, without elaborating.

In Oklahoma, about one quarter of the roughly 165 Church lease deals signed since 2010 were granted by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, with most of the rest granted by the Catholic Foundation of Oklahoma and the St. Gregory’s Catholic University of Oklahoma.


Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley signed the most recent deal on Sept. 3, giving privately held oil company Comanche Resources rights to operate on 160 acres in Major County in exchange for 18.75 percent of the value of the oil and gas produced.

The two-year extendable lease also permits Comanche to lay pipes, build storage tanks, power stations, and other installations. (Click here to see the lease: (

Coakley signed similar deals with energy companies Continental Resources and Lance Ruffell Oil in July and August, with royalties of 25 and 20 percent respectively.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese declined to comment, and efforts to reach Coakley were not successful. The spokeswoman also declined comment on behalf of the Catholic Foundation, where Coakley serves as chairman.

An official at St. Gregory’s said the university had been given significant mineral rights by donors, adding that the royalties collected had averaged about $405,000 over the past three years, or 3.7 percent of revenue. The official asked not to be identified.

While the Church provides little data on its finances, information from other Catholic institutions in Oklahoma and Texas showed oil and gas royalties yielded a small portion of overall revenue in recent years, partly reflecting a slide in energy prices.

A review of audited statements issued by the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City between 2010 and 2013 showed that the oil and gas royalties made up 2 percent of total revenue, or $1.6 million, over that period. That share peaked in 2012 at 5 percent, or $704,399, according to the audited statements. The other Oklahoma institutions did not provide data.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Jordan McMurrough, said the archdiocese had been collecting small energy royalties on its mineral rights since the 1950s, but that they currently make up less than 1 percent of revenue.

"The archdiocese currently does not plan changes to its long-standing practice of granting oil and gas leases," he said, adding that Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller "is well aware of and deeply respects" Pope Francis’ encyclical.

He said one-third of the archdiocese’s mineral rights were donated, with the rest "by acquisition for church purposes over the years."

Officials at the other dioceses in Texas did not respond to requests for comment.

Other companies that have signed energy leasing deals with the Church in recent years include Apache Corp, Cabot, Chesapeake, Devon Energy, and Range Resources.

All have been active in a fracking boom over the past several years.

A spokeswoman for Apache Corp confirmed the company has "a very limited" number of leases with the Church, but declined to comment further. The other firms did not respond to requests for comment.

Fracking has led to a surge in U.S. production by making new reserves available to the industry, and contributed to the slump in world energy prices. But the drilling boom has raised worries about pollution, climate change, and potentially damaging earthquakes from wastewater injection — fears that the oil industry says are overblown.

The American Petroleum Institute has said technological advances and efficient regulation have allowed drillers to raise production without contaminating water supplies or increasing emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas.