The Kentucky Agriculture Development Board recently approved $4,939,773 for agriculture and rural development projects, including $100,000 in state funds and $1,500 in Whitley County funds to build a farmer’s market pavilion in downtown Corbin, and over $20,000 for a local meat processing program.
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles noted the announcement shows how diverse the Kentucky Agriculture Development Board’s mission truly is.
“These investments in capital projects for a farmers’ market, greenhouses for our schools, meat processing facilities to reduce the backlog of cattle processing across our state, and others are positioning Kentucky farm families well as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Quarles said in a press release.
Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Monhollen said the pavilion will be located in NIBROC Park and initial plans are for a “U” shaped structure with an open area in the middle coming out to the front of the property.
“The Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission is thrilled to have received the $100,000 grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund! We are also so grateful for the financial support from the Whitley County Extension Office! These funds, combined with the sponsorship from Hometown Bank, will enable our dream of building a permanent space for the Farmers Market to become a reality,” Monhollen wrote in an e-mail.
“We will be able to take a piece of dilapidated property that sits directly on Main Street and turn it into a beautiful and useful space, and really, these brick and mortar projects that improve our downtown and increase economic stimulation and development is part of the mission of the Tourism Commission. Without this funding, the project could not be a reality,”
Monhollen said that officials hope to start construction on the project in early fall, possibly September, and hope to have it complete by the start of the 2022 farmers market season in April.
The Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund’s Meat Processing Investment Program (MPIP) provides funding for meat processors, who are currently or plan to become USDA certified to financially incentivize economical expansion of businesses to process Kentucky beef, dairy, pork, lamb, goat and poultry products.
Moonlight Meat Processing was approved for $21,042 in state funds to purchase a meat tenderizer, meat mixer/grinder and additional processing equipment for its processing facility in Whitley County.