Clay Turner nominated for state Local Food Hero

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

Who's your local food hero? You can honor your favorite Kentucky Proud farmer by voting for the first Local Food Hero award. Seed Capital Kentucky, in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Louisville Metro Government, has created the first Local Food Hero Award to raise awareness of the farmers responsible for growing the food we eat.

One of the nominees for Kentucky’s Local Food Hero is Clay Turner of Russellville.

"It's important that we recognize our farmers as heroes because what they are doing is important to the future of our state and to our country," Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said.

"We wanted to create a way to show our Kentucky Proud farmers that we appreciate all that they do to provide fresh, local food to Louisville," said Caroline Heine, project director of Seed Capital Kentucky. "It's important to our state and community's economies and to the health of our population; that's why these farmers are heroes."

A 2001 graduate of Logan County High School, Clay Turner has parlayed his degree in agricultural economics from Western Kentucky University into a successful fruit and vegetable production business on his three-generation farm outside Russellville. Not only does Turner Valley Produce sell from a roadside stand at the entrance to its U.S. 68-80 farm but also twice a week at the Logan County Farmers' Market at the UK Ag Complex.

Turner also manages the Kentucky Wonders Garden Market in downtown Russellville on Thursday afternoons, which provides easy access for people who either do not have transportation to get to the market on the outskirts of town and for senior citizens who are reluctant to drive on the four-laned highway.

He also has forged close relationships with Warren County agriculture business icons Jackson’s Orchard and Chaney’s Dairy Barn. Turner Valley Produce also sells its vegetables at the massive Fairview Produce Auction.

Clay Turner holds the American Degree in FFA and was named Star Farmer of the LCHS chapter his senior year,

His sister Lindsay, who is also a WKU graduate, and his mother Elaine, who has a degree in home economics from Lipscomb University, join him in performing countless hours of manual labor in the hot summer sun to provide fresh, home-grown produce to Logan Countians and their neighbors.

The public is invited to vote for the first Local Food Hero Awards online at Voting will close at midnight on July 31. For more information, visit

The Local Food Hero Award will honor a handful of farmers for their hard and dedicated work building Kentucky's local food economy The award will be presented at the 2013 Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville.

"We have seen tremendous support for buying locally grown food, which we all know benefits our bodies, our local farmers, and our local economy," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. "Louisville Farm to Table has connected our farmers to large local institutions, and now we are making progress in connecting our farmers to local consumers."

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