Democratic Nominee for Agriculture Commissioner Sets Out to Protect Family Farms
On November 5, Kentuckians will head to the polls to elect constitutional positions like Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State.
Eigth-generation Kentucky farmer Robert Conway is running for Agriculture Commissioner.
Focal points for the Scott County Democrat include saving the state's family farms, and encouraging more young people to pick up the trade.
"Three farms a day are going out of business, not due to urban sprawl, but because farmers literally cannot make a living on the farms," Conway said.
That's a main reason he entered the race. He stresses he's not a politician, turning down non-union corporate donations, and personally financing his primary campaign.
"There's three things my parents gave me. And that's my last name, my ethics and my integrity...they're totally who I am and what I'm about," Conway said.
Conway does have some government experience. In the past, he spent more than a decade on the Scott County Board of Education.
He's also a current member of the Scott County Soil and Water Conservation Board, where he serves alongside the father of incumbent Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
Conway's plans for Kentucky's agriculture industry include improving the state's beef processing infrastructure, a tobacco quota-style system for hemp, and expanding urban agriculture efforts. It's a plan he crafted alongside his Democratic primary opponent, Barren County farmer Joe Trigg.
"We have sat down with a whole bunch of farmers out of Warren County and Barren County, and that's where our farm plan has come from," Conway said of the detailed list of ideas and suggestions available on his Facebook page.
Some of the ideas mentioned on it would require lawmakers to act, like a proposal to legalize medical marijuana, which the candidate refers to as a moral issue.
Another focus of Conway's campaign is improving the treatment of animals in Kentucky, an area where Kentucky ranks low nationally.
WKU Public Radio will also feature an interview with incumbent Republican Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles that will air ahead of the Nov. 5 election.