Farm bureau managers have been reassigned in Kentucky, the first state to take steps to help rural farmers, after the Kentucky Farm Bureau Association announced that it would be replacing a sink in a rural Kentucky farm.
The new sink will be used to dump farm waste into a landfill, and the agency is working with the Kentucky Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to identify the best way to recycle the material, said John H. Stearns, president and CEO of the Kentucky farm trade group.
The Kentucky Farm Bill, which passed in 2012, requires the Kentucky government to provide the bureau with the best available equipment to handle waste, but the agency has struggled with its equipment, including a water pump and a sink.
The sink is the only one that works.
“We had to spend $4,000 and get it fixed,” Stears said.
“It is not a perfect solution, but it’s what we are doing.”
The bureau has about 20 employees and has received several requests for more equipment, he said.
The agency’s budget for fiscal year 2018 is $2.8 million, but that includes $3 million from the state.
Stearns said the bureau will be replacing the sink in order to better address the growing demand for waste from Kentucky farmers.
The state currently has about 10,000 farm sinks, and a statewide backlog of nearly 1 million.
“Our farmers have always been concerned about the sustainability of the waste that goes into our state’s compost and landfill,” Stears said.
“So when we found out that we were going to have to replace the sink, that is something that we wanted to do as soon as possible, because we have to do something about this.”
H.D. CNR Director Scott Smith, who oversees the CNR’s Kentucky program, said the agency plans to use a contractor to dispose of the new sink, which will cost $200,000.
Smith said the cost of the equipment will be covered by the state’s budget, and that the agency hopes to have the sink installed by spring.
The bureau’s work on the sink began last year, but was delayed by a lawsuit, and then delayed again by a court order, Smith said.
He said the new structure will help the agency reduce waste that would otherwise be dumped into the landfill.
The agency has a contract with a private contractor to clean up the waste, and it will also provide free labor to the contractor and a local contractor, Smith added.
The sink will have to be able to accommodate large amounts of waste, Smith noted.
“The amount of waste that is being dumped in our state is growing, and we are finding out how much of it can be safely removed from our landfills,” he said in a statement.
“This sink will make it easier to dispose the excess material, and will help reduce the amount of materials that end up in our landfill.”
The Kentucky farm bureaus are one of only a few statewide agencies that provide rural farmers with assistance with the disposal of their waste.
The Kentucky Farm Bureaus provides about $3.4 million in assistance to farm operators each year.
The bureaux provides information about waste management and agricultural products.
The Bureau of Land Management has about 1,000 acres of land that it manages, and about a third of the bureas land is in Kentucky.
The department also provides technical support to the boreas landfilling operations, and oversees the state government’s collection of agricultural waste.
In October, the state and Kentucky announced a partnership to implement a new plan to reduce waste, with the goal of making Kentucky one of the top states in the country in terms of recycling agricultural waste and compost.