FRANKFORT, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has announced that three long-time Kentucky businesses have formed a statewide distribution network for Kentucky Proud products that could have a significant economic impact for Kentucky farmers.
Critchfield Meats of Lexington, Brown Foodservice of Louisa and Southern Foods of Bowling Green have formed the network. The three family-owned distributorships have a combined 160 years of experience. Valu-Market of Louisville launched a line of Kentucky Proud beef obtained through the network last week as part of the grand re-opening of its Outer Loop store.
“This network addresses a long-standing challenge in the growth of Kentucky Proud,” Commissioner Farmer said. “I’m grateful to these three Kentucky-based distributors for making it possible for Kentucky producers to find markets for their meat and dairy products.”
The network is distributing beef raised by Kentucky producers such as the Greathouse family of Midway and other cattle purchased through Kentucky’s Certified Pre-Conditioned for Health (CPH-45) program, in which source-verified cattle are raised under a strict health regimen. The cattle are finished on a nutritional diet developed by Alltech of Nicholasville and processed by PM Beef of Windom, Minn.
“These [distributorships] are families that are deeply rooted in the state of Kentucky and proud to be Kentuckians. So this was a natural for us,” said Larry McMillan, CEO of Critchfield Meats.
Plans are for the network to expand into many other Kentucky Proud products.
A $125,000 grant from the Kentucky Proud program will be used for promotional items such as point-of-purchase signage, truck wraps and advertising.
Kentucky Department of Agriculture marketing specialists have worked with the distributors, the producers, the processors and Alltech for more than six months to put the network together.