Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced on Facebook new business prospects with Israel on Monday, following the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Quarles posted that he was proud to discuss ‘agriculture partnerships with ISRAEL.’ He wrote that Kentucky already has significant Israeli investments in greenhouses and precision irrigation. The department hopes to expand business with industrial hemp and bourbon. Quarles is a member of President Donald Trump's Agricultural Advisory Committee.
The announcement came on the same day violence erupted along Israel’s Gaza border. Palestinians are protesting Trump’s move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and Israel’s economic blockade. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.
NPR reports Israeli forces fired on protesters Monday, killing at least 60 Palestinians. Kentucky Department of Agriculture Communications Director Sean Southard said in a statement the KDA has placed an emphasis on “increasing international trade for our farmers” and that Quarles regularly meets and posts on social media about bringing ag jobs and investment to the state.