Saturday, April 21, 2001

$1.8M in tobacco funds OK'd

State hands out settlement money to 23 projects

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — The Kentucky Agriculture Development Board on Friday approved spending more than $1.8 million from state tobacco settlement funds on 23 projects.

        The projects range from renovation of an old tobacco warehouse for use as an apple cider processing site to cattle improvement programs in 12 counties.

        The largest single grant was $381,000 to build and equip a catfish processing facility in the Jackson Purchase area.

        It will provide support for 50 area catfish producers.

        Most of the projects approved Friday were from individual counties, from $94,977 for Daviess County to help a regional vegetable growers processing plant, to $4,000 to increase bee populations in Allen County for crop pollination and honey production.

        The state is scheduled to receive more than $2 billion from the national tobacco settlement in the next 20 years.

        The General Assembly has decreed that 65 percent of the funds should go to regional and statewide agriculture projects and 35 percent to individual counties based on their tobacco dependence.

        The board had previously approved a $25 million bond issue for farmland protection and $18 million to help farmers meet water quality laws.

        Another $37 million was distributed directly to tobacco quota owners and producers last year to supplement direct payments from cigarette manufacturers.


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