Kentucky’s candidates for agriculture commissioner tout their rural pedigrees as proof they understand the needs of farmers. Both want to boost exports, promote agriculture in schools, expand marketing of Kentucky-grown foods and nurture a budding hemp industry.
But sharp differences have emerged as Republican Ryan Quarles and Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann compete for the job of running the Department of Agriculture in a state with a diversified farm economy.
They are vying in the Nov. 3 election to succeed first-term Agriculture Commissioner James Comer.
Spann supports putting labels on genetically modified foods.
Quarles says Kentucky shouldn’t adopt its own labeling program, but instead should wait for a uniform national policy.