Agriculture Commissioner James Comer (#721)
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer discusses the state audit of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture under former Commissioner Richie Farmer. He also discusses his plans to expand the Kentucky Proud advertising program.
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James Comer, a Republican who was elected in 2011, asked Auditor Adam Edelen for an audit of the state Agriculture Department under his predecessor, Richie Farmer. The audit, released in spring 2012, found "a toxic culture of entitlement and self-dealing at Kentucky taxpayers' expense." The audit's findings are being reviewed by the state Personnel Board.
The Agriculture Department oversees a wide array of programs, from organic marketing and farmland preservation to amusement ride inspections and animal shelters.
Kentucky Proud, which promotes the sale of food and drink products from Kentucky, generated more than $200 million in retail sales through member retailers in 2010, according to the Agriculture Department. The Kentucky Proud website provides a listing of farmers' markets as well as Kentucky Proud producers and even recipes.