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Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer recognized Campbellsville University as the sixth university to join the Kentucky Proud Farm to Campus program on Tuesday.
"This generation of consumers is very concerned about sustainability, they're very concerned about the local food movement. They're very concerned about traceability ... this generation is very interested in everything the Kentucky Proud program's about," Comer said.
Campbellsville University President Dr. Michael V. Carter said he is a graduate of a college of agriculture and is in favor of CU participating in any program that promotes it.
He said CU and Pioneer College Catering will strive to use as many Kentucky Proud products for its dining services as possible, and will highlight the program around the university to help students learn what the Farm to Campus program means to them.
In celebration of the partnership, lunch featured several Kentucky Proud products.
Carter said CU participating in the program is good for the students because the quality of food improves and it benefits Kentucky farmers.
"For our local farmers and farmers across the commonwealth, another consumer right here in the commonwealth is using their products," Carter said.
Comer said the program also gives small businesses the opportunity to get their foot in the door with students who are the next generation of consumers.
He said the Kentucky Proud program is already experiencing significant growth thanks to the Farm to Campus program, which was launched last year.
"I believe with all my heart that we can enhance and revitalize a lot of our struggling rural communities in Kentucky if we refocus our rural economic development efforts around agriculture and food production," Comer said.
He said agriculture is a strong industry in Kentucky and that farm sales have grown 20 percent.
Comer also said universities are of vital importance to restoring Kentucky's economy and many of Kentucky's problems can be solved with better partnerships with universities.