Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has pledged to work with Kentucky leaders of every political persuasion to build on the gains Kentucky agriculture has made in the past four years and meet the challenges facing the Commonwealth.

Commissioner Farmer spoke during ceremonies at the Capitol in which he was sworn into office for a second four-year term.

“Kentucky agriculture is more prosperous, more diversified and more united than at any time in its history,” Commissioner Farmer said. “Working with members of the General Assembly, with agricultural leaders from across Kentucky, and with businesses large and small, we have seen Kentucky agriculture make tremendous strides over the past four years.”

Commissioner Farmer recounted the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s achievements in his first term, including the new state motor fuel lab, the KDA’s contributions of $300,000 to Kentucky FFA and 4-H, and the growth of the Kentucky Proud movement, which generated an estimated $80 million in retail sales in 2007.

He said he looked forward to working with Governor Steve Beshear, Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo and the Kentucky General Assembly on issues such as health care and energy, and he called on them to continue to dedicate 50 percent of Kentucky’s tobacco settlement funds to agricultural diversification.

“When I think about how far we’ve come in the last four years, I’m very proud,” Commissioner Farmer said. “When I think about how together we can meet the challenges of the next four years, I can only say, I just can’t wait. My fellow Kentuckians, for our great Commonwealth, the best is yet to come.”