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Farming in the Bluegrass is a big deal. Across our state we have over 77,000 farms and 135 Kentucky Farmers Markets, generating more than $5 billion in annual revenue — with a lion’s share of these statistics* happening throughout the Bluegrass region. It only takes one trip to your local Farmers Market to taste the difference that will keep you coming back for more of that homegrown Bluegrass goodness.
Kentucky is the 8th largest cattle-producing state in the U.S., and the largest one East of the Mississippi River. In addition to cattle raised for beef, Kentucky has 78,000 milking cows that produce approximately 135 million gallons of milk each year.* With popular slogans asking, “Where’s the beef?” and letting us know, “milk, it does a body good.” It is easy to understand how the cattle industry contributes millions of dollars to Kentucky’s economy each year.
Every plant and animal require a certain environment, unique to their needs. Whether it’s in woodlands, tall grasses, or creeks, rivers, and streams, the environment required for our local wildlife to thrive and reproduce is called their habitat. When habitats are broken up, plant and animal populations suffer. When habitats are preserved, we are ensuring our ability to fish, hunt, and enjoy the natural environment and local plants and animals for years to come.
The Horse Capital of the World. It’s a distinction we wear with pride here in the Bluegrass. Imagine a spring or fall without hearing the call to post from Keeneland’s grandstand. Or, envision a drive through the countryside without seeing the majestic horse farms that serve as the ambassadors for our idyllic Bluegrass landscape. As Conservancy board member, Brutus Clay, succinctly points out, “The Bluegrass region is world renowned for its rolling hills and horses. As a community, we must celebrate and protect what differentiates us from the rest of the world.”
The Bluegrass region is steeped in rich history that defines the character of this area. From the Civil War battlefields to the origins of the equine industry, much of that history lies in farmland that has been passed down and cared for within families for generations. Our region’s heritage is protected and traditions are honored when we preserve these historic farms and structures for future generations.
Protecting the waterways of the Bluegrass region equates to a healthier future for us all. Clean creeks, streams, and rivers are some of our most important and irreplaceable assets, contributing to our quality of life here in Central Kentucky. Protecting these waterways benefits residents, visitors, and neighbors of the Bluegrass.