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AG Commissioner’s turkey pardon stuffed with a message


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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — Dr. Ryan Quarles has a lot on his plate these days. The outgoing Commissioner of Agriculture is set to begin a new job on January 1, 2024.

“I look forward to becoming the new president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College system,” Dr. Quarles said after pardoning a 30 lbs. turkey named Jack on a Georgetown farm.

Dr. Quarles fell slightly shy in his bid to become the state’s Republican nominee in the Governor’s primary race last May. He’ll assume his new post on January 1, 2024. Between now and then, he’ll continue to do the job he says he loved doing for the last 13 years.

“Today, we’re going to start our transition meetings with commissioner-elect Jonathan Shell. We’ll be handing over transition documents, having conversations for a smooth transition,” the commissioner said before eluding to a few agriculture-related items he’ll announce before leaving office.

The pardon was, admittedly, a silly ceremony but done to drive home a point of much greater significance to the man who grew up on a Scott County farm.

“Today is a simple thank you to our farmers, and secondly to remind Kentuckians to buy Kentucky-proud,” he stated. “Every day, our farmers work outside putting food and fiber on the table for all Kentuckians,” he continued.

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