FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 23, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced that the Team West Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will provide up to $3.25 million to help farmers in Western Kentucky continue to grow and process grains after the local grain elevator was critically damaged by December’s deadly tornadoes.
The Governor said the Graves County Grain Assistance Program has been established after being contacted by Graves County Judge/Executive Jesse Perry and local farmers. The group was concerned about the potential loss of crop yield and sought assistance for local farmers, who are an important part of ensuring the state has an ample grain supply.
“This money will not only alleviate stress for local farmers due to the loss of Mayfield’s grain elevator, it also will help get grain to facilities that can process the product and keep the supply chain moving,” Gov. Beshear said. “The potential loss of these crops is a disaster for the farmers of Western Kentucky, and ultimately is yet another factor in the rising costs we are all experiencing.”
“After talking with local farmers about how the tornado had affected each of them in the county, I knew that we had to have outside assistance,” Judge/Executive Perry said. “We are so very thankful that the Governor and the Public Protection Cabinet have worked together to provide this program to help our local farmers during this time.”
Family-owned and -operated Mayfield Grain Co. buys corn, soybeans, wheat and canola from approximately 200 local farmers. At full capacity, it stores over 6.5 million bushels of grain. But the sustained damage limits capacity and backs up grain supplies across the commonwealth.
While repairs are underway, local farmers must travel 50 miles or more to the next nearest grain elevator to sell their crops. The additional mileage and lack of larger trucks for hauling grain have increased costs for local farmers and threaten a loss of crop yield.
“Graves County has an extraordinary agricultural heritage,” Gov. Beshear said. “It boasts the fifth largest grain production in the state and is first in total value of agricultural products sold in Kentucky. It is critical that we do more to help this essential industry recover.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Mayfield is in Kentucky’s top county for agricultural sales, accounting for 6% of the state’s total farm business. Graves County has more than 62,000 acres of corn and about 17,000 acres of wheat.
Mayfield Grain Co., founded in 1986, was recognized last year by the local chamber with the 2021 Agri-Business of the Year Award.
Kentucky farmers who conduct business with Mayfield Grain Co. can get more information about the Graves County Grain Assistance Program and apply for assistance at teamwkyrelieffundapp.ky.gov/grainassistance.
Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund
More than 150,000 individuals and organizations from all over the world have contributed to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, raising $52 million to assist in long-term recovery. To date, more than $26.5 million has been distributed from the fund to individual Kentuckians and families as they rebuild from the devastating December 2021 tornadoes. This includes funeral expenses to the families of the deceased, payments to insured and uninsured homeowners and renters and funds to build 300 homes through the help of Homes and Hope for Kentucky, Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center on Housing.
Donations to the fund are still being accepted. All donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund are tax-deductible, and donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes after donating. To contribute, visit the Team Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund online, TeamWKYReliefFund.ky.gov.