Ace, November 1991
What Lexington Needs: Michael J. Greene – Support for Bluegrass Farmers
What Lexington needs is for people to stop talking about Bluegrass farmland as though it is an open-space museum that ought not to be developed for urban uses and start doing things to help farmers earn enough money to want to keep on farming, including, but not limited to:
- Buying directly from local food producers at roadside stands and farmers’ market.
- Buying foods in grocery stores which have a “Pride of Kentucky / Produced by Kentuckians” label and asking store mangers to stock and feature Kentucky products.
- Encouraging restaurants to serve home-grown foods.
- Calling for the establishment or enlargement of farmers’ markets in Lexington, Frankfort, Georgetown, Nicholasville, Paris, Richmond, Versailles and Winchester.
- Demanding that public funds or guarantees for economic development be used for agricultural projects, like food- and fiber-processing facilities, just as they are used for other projects like Festival marketplace, expansion of Bluegrass Field, Toyota, etc.
- Urging mayors, county judges, urban-county councilors, city commissioners and fiscal court magistrates throughout the Bluegrass to work with their peers on a comprehensive land-use plan for the Bluegrass which: (a) Puts agriculture and farming on an equal footing with housing, commerce and industry as “a highest and best use of land;” (b) Employs transfer of development rights, conservation easements, land evaluation and site assessment (LEASA) and other planning tools to facilitate expansion of the farm sector of the Bluegrass economy; and (c) Establishes a regional government for the Bluegrass through which all Bluegrass communities share the positive and the negative aspects of development in that region.