There are no easy answers for ongoing farm labor shortages.
Increasingly, Kentucky’s farmers can’t find the help they need. Agriculture experts blame the slow economy and a nationwide crackdown on undocumented workers. However, the debate over illegal immigration has not been a campaign issue in the Commonwealth.
Kentucky’s Public Service Commission projects natural gas prices this winter will be the lowest in a decade. On average, customers can expect to pay about 12-percent less this November, as compared to a year ago. Over the last four years, commission spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says natural gas prices have dropped 43 percent. Melnykovych says the devastating storm in New England will not likely impact natural gas rates.
Kentucky’s agriculture industry is faring better than early predictions. The agriculture industry, which includes crops, cattle, and horses, last year earned over five billion dollars. That figure is beyond Kentucky’s reach this year, but, University of Kentucky Agriculture Economist Will Snell says many farmers should still do okay.
Tax revenues coming into Lexington city hall seem to indicate the local economy is ‘relatively stable.’ The local unemployment rate in the six percent range, is about one percent lower than a year ago. City Revenue Director Bill Omara says a number of taxing categories are down slightly, but service-related fees are up. “Services category was over budget. That’s a large category that takes into detention fees, e-m-s fees, parks fees. Those types of fees that are general fund related,” said Omara.
Creating art and selling it are two very different things. In marketing their creations, the executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council, Lori Meadows says many artists struggle with setting a fair, but competitive price. “Really looking at pricing, what kind of marketing that you can do as an artist that will promote the image that you want to put forward,” said Meadows. To further their businesses, Meadows says artists must work well with buyers and galleries.
Hoping to make the Kentucky Horse Park into a major convention center, officials are asking Lexington city leaders for help. Two years ago this week, Lexington was playing host to the World Equestrian Games. Horse Park Director John Nicholson says the international event pumped more than 200 million dollars into the region’s economy. The longtime director says high gasoline prices, 85-million dollars in improvements and the state’s fiscal crisis then put a financial strain on the horse park. Now, Nicholson says state officials want the park to become self sufficient. Still, he told council members he’s not looking for a handout.
FRANKFORT Ky. (Sept. 25, 2012) – Thunder Tool & Manufacturing Ltd. has purchased a 30,000-square-foot facility in Richmond. The company plans to create 45 new, full-time jobs and invest $2.2 million in the project. “Thunder Tool is a tremendous success story out of Canada, and we’re thrilled it chose Kentucky as the place to begin its growth in the United States,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.
Gross receipts for Keeneland’s eleven day yearling sales were down slightly from a year ago. But, the average price and median figure were up. Just over 25 hundred horses were auctioned off during the eleven day sale, A little more than 29 hundred horses were sold last year. The cumulative average price this year increased 14 percent while the median jumped up 50 percent.