Beshear Focuses on Opportunities for Veterans from Treatment Court to Agritech

Jul 2, 2019

One of Kentucky's agritech businesses is Sunstrand, which supplies natural fibers used for cars, houses, electronics, packaging, paper and clothes. Sunstrand works with farmers who supply bamboo, jute, hemp, kenaf and flax.
Credit Sunstrand

Kentucky Attorney General and Democratic nominee for governor Andy Beshear released a major policy proposal on July 2 that focuses on giving military veterans more opportunities for job training. One element of Beshear's policy proposal is a vision for "agritech."

The combination of technical training many veterans gain during military service  and Kentucky’s strong agriculture industry offers a major opportunity in the growing agritech sector.

Andy Beshear said it’s an emerging industry that covers innovations ranging from the science of seeds before they go into the ground, to technology used in tractors, to data analytics that help determine what crops to plant.


“Agritech, I believe, is one of the fastest growing industries where Kentucky could lead the world," said Beshear. "At a time when it’s never been harder to know when to plant and when to harvest, when  changing weather patterns have wiped out farmers for even a full season, yet the world’s population continues to grow, agritech has never been more important.”

He said agritech can create jobs with six-figure salaries in regions across the state.

Another element of the policy proposal is intended to help Kentucky's military veterans get into good jobs by making sure they have access to mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Beshear said he will expand Veterans Treatment Courts, a program that launched in Jefferson County in 2012.

“Veterans Courts are designed to get veterans into treatment and keep them out of jail, especially because a lot of what may be driving the actions that led them into the criminal justice system are caused by PTSD resulting from their service,” said Beshear.  

Veterans Treatment Courts are now also in Christian, Fayette, Hardin and Kenton counties and Beshear said he will expand the program if he’s elected governor.

Kentucky has an estimated 300,000 military veterans.

Beshear is running against Republican Governor Matt Bevin, who is seeking a second term.