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Putting the Importance of Agriculture into Perspective

Mr. Ryan Quarles, KY Commissioner of Agriculture, lectures in Rogow Auditorium

Agriculture students got to hear a special lecture given by Commissioner of Agriculture, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Ryan Quarles on Friday December 1st, in the EKU Business and Technology Center Auditorium

During his lecture to students in Agricultural Economics (AGR 308) and other agriculture students attending, he spoke about Kentucky’s agriculture industry, and the many changes the industry has experienced in the past few decades. Quarles elaborated on the opportunities that have arisen from those many changes. Since Kentucky is one of the most diversified states in terms of variety of agriculture products, he discussed the outlooks of several agricultural enterprises including production of poultry and beef, and specialized crops. The topic of Kentucky’s agriculture is very important because it is such an important sector to the economy that generates job opportunities and income throughout the food supply chain for the entire society.

Commissioner Quarles acquainted students with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture internship program for 2017. He encouraged student with a passion for agriculture to apply for this internship opportunity, which would provide various experiences in the area of government and agriculture. The link for the internship may be found at and application s are due no later than Fri., Jan. 5, 2018.

Quarles, from Scott county, began his interest in agriculture at a very young age while growing up on his family farm. He comes from a family that has lived in central Kentucky for over 200 years. In just four years at the University of Kentucky Ryan graduated (2006) with three undergraduate majors and two graduate degrees. He furthered his education in 2008 at Harvard University with a full scholarship resulting in a Master’s degree in higher education in 2009, and finished his final year of law school after moving back to Kentucky. He put his education into action in 2010 when he was elected into the Kentucky General Assembly, representing Scott, Owen, and Fayette Counties. After serving on many committees, he was elected Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture as the youngest statewide elected official in the United States in 2015.

Find out more about EKU's Agribusiness Program at

Published on December 04, 2017

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