FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 31, 2016) – The KY EXCEL Program in the Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) announces the acceptance two new members, Thompson Ag Exchange and Capstone Farms. Both of these members are being accepted into a recently created category specific to agricultural facilities, called KY EXCEL Farm.
Thompson Ag Exchange, owned by Vincent Thompson, is installing alternative water sources for his Angus and Charolais cattle and meat goats. He has excluded livestock from ponds and sinkholes, and plans to flash graze instead of mowing or applying herbicide.
David Neville, owner of Capstone Farms, produces Angus and Angus cross cattle. For his first KY EXCEL Farm project, Mr. Neville used 52 Kiko/Savannah cross goats for brush control. The goats cleared the area of invasive species and woody plants without the use of chemicals, and are provided fresh fertilizer.
The first 25 KY EXCEL Farm members will receive a large sign to display on their property to acknowledge the beneficial practices that are being conducted.
“We are excited to recognize the environmental leaders in the farming industry, bring them together to share experiences, learn from each other, and inspire beneficial practices” says Paulette Akers, Acting Director for the Division of Compliance Assistance.
KY EXCEL Farm is open to all individuals and entities that own at least five acres of land and farm crops or livestock, or is an advocacy group for farmers/agriculture. KY EXCEL Farm membership is good for one year and may be renewed. A member needs to submit at least one voluntary environmental project, which may include activities such as increasing efficiency, resource conservation or a best management practice taking place on the farm.
Launched by DEP in 2006, KY EXCEL is a free, voluntary program open to any individual, organization, community or business to that act to improve Kentucky’s diverse and unique environment through environmental leadership. EXCEL members go above and beyond the state’s environmental requirements. For more information about KY EXCEL Farm, see http://dca.ky.gov/kyexcel/Pages/HowToJoin.aspx or contact John Eisiminger at John.Eisiminger@ky.gov 502-782-6354.