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Richie Farmer Receives Leadership Award


Richie Farmer receives a Leadership award from Mike Huckabee and University of the Cumberlands president Dr. Jim Taylor at UC’s 6th annual Leadership event on Tuesday, April 5.

Williamsburg, Ky. - Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee spoke to a crowded auditorium of 3,000 University of the Cumberlands (UC) students, staff and faculty, as well as friends from across the state of Kentucky, during the University’s 6th annual Forcht Group of Kentucky Center for Excellence in Leadership event on Tuesday, April 5. Held in the O. Wayne Rollins Center on UC’s campus, Huckabee’s speech, “Leadership in a Free and Strong America,” highlighted not only the economic crisis in America but the moral issues behind the problem and the moral solutions to work towards change.

The Center, that sponsors internationally renowned speakers recognized for their character and leadership, provides a keynote speaker yearly at UC to help raise the visibility of the University’s values.

At this year’s program UC honored eight individuals who have been instrumental in demonstrating exceptional leadership in a free and strong America. These individuals were chosen because they demonstrate the essentials of leadership not only in their business lives but in their personal lives as well.

Richie Farmer was one of the honored guests to receive a Leadership in a Free and Strong America Award for his patriotism and drive for excellence to his family, community and nation and for serving as a role model to others by taking active steps in the development of a Free and Strong America.

Richie is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management. Commissioner Farmer was also a standout player for the UK basketball team under Coach Rick Pitino.

Richie has been elected twice as commissioner of Agriculture in 2003 and 2007. As commissioner, Farmer has fought vigorously on behalf of Kentucky’s consumers and for Kentucky’s agriculture industry. During his time as commissioner, Farmer has created the signature Kentucky’s Proud marketing program which helps to expand the markets for Kentucky farm products. The program has grown to over 1,500 since its inception in 2004 and has resulted in the sale of almost a half billion dollars in Kentucky Proud food and farm products since 2006.

Commissioner Farmer has also served as the president of the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture. As a national agriculture leader, Farmer has promoted the interests of Kentucky producers in the 2007 Farm Bill and other legislation, and he is currently working with his counterparts representing Kentucky producers in the creation of the next Farm Bill. Commissioner Farmer also promotes agriculture to Kentucky’s youth, spearheading initiatives to ensure the next generation of farmers has the knowledge and the tools necessary to succeed.

Commissioner Farmer’s term expires this year, but now he seeks to continue his service to the people of Kentucky as lieutenant governor, running with the 2011 gubernatorial candidate Kentucky State Senate President David Williams.

A Clay County native, Farmer is certainly known as a great competitor and a person who can get things done. He currently resides in Frankfort.