What does a guy like me do when there’s an actual weekend off work? Hit the road after work on Friday, drive 4 hours, change time zones, and go look at horses and cattle. Yeah, that was my weekend road trip to central Kentucky, Lexington, and Frankfort. Huge thanks to Jesse (@cowgirljesse) and Ray Bowman (@jrfarms) for hosting me for the weekend and giving me a view of the real Kentucky.

I got to see some of those fancy horse barns that look like houses in the middle of lush, manicured fescue pastures, miles of black board fences, join the Kentucky Bourbon Trail (more on that tomorrow) and overlook the Kentucky river from a high ridge where I could see acres of tobacco barns, soybeans, and sprouts from harvested tobacco fields. Such awesome views, and proof that I need to do a lil more driving East of the Mississippi.

I’ll share a bit more on my trip tomorrow. Til then here are some facts about Kentucky Agriculture. Despite its smaller size, Kentucky makes a big contribution to U.S. Agriculture production.

  • Kentucky had 85,000 farms in 2008, according to the Kentucky field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Kentucky farm size averaged 164 acres.
  • In 2009, Kentucky set a record for farm income with $4.29 billion. Horses were the leading source of farm income for Kentucky farmers, followed by broilers, cattle, tobacco, soybeans and corn. Kentucky is home to some of the world’s leading thoroughbred farms and thoroughbred auctions.
  • Kentucky still leads the nation in burley tobacco production, even though the federal tobacco price support program was discontinued in 2005. The state is second in the U.S. in total tobacco production and is in the top 20 in corn, soybeans, winter wheat, hay, barley and sorghum.
  • Kentucky is the leading beef cattle state east of the Mississippi River and is eighth in the nation overall. Kentucky is seventh in broilers and in the top 20 in goats, dairy cows, swine and chickens other than commercial broilers.

Kentucky Tourism

More facts about Kentucky Agriculture from NASS.