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Why Kentucky?

Kentucky’s signature industries uniquely support the development of agritech in the state. Agritech seeks to enhance the manner in which we manage our resources to ensure quality, safety, and the overall well-being of consumers, while at the same time providing enhanced economic opportunities in related fields.


  • Agriculture in Kentucky is one of the state’s leading and most vital industries, contributing about $45.6 billion to Kentucky’s economy each year.  Kentucky agriculture is also constantly changing to keep up with consumer demand and the ever-growing world population.
  • Kentucky farmers achieved $5.90 billion in farm cash receipts in 2018. Kentucky’s leading agricultural product in cash receipts was poultry and eggs at more than $1.2 billion. 
  • Kentucky is, of course, the Horse Capital of the World, and sales of horses and stud fees accounted for cash receipts of nearly $400 million. 
  • 6th nationally for having the highest number of farms.
  • 75,966 farms, 13 million acres, making up more than 50% of Kentucky’s total land acreage.
  • Poultry is Kentucky’s top farm commodity.
  • Kentucky harvests what the country needs. Below are Kentucky’s rankings for the top crops in the U.S. 
    • 8th largest beef cow producing state in the United States.
    • 7th in the nation for production of broilers.
    • 5th in the U.S. for the largest number of acres of hay harvested.
    • 15th in the U.S. for largest number of acres of soybeans harvested. 
    • 16th in the U.S. for largest number of acres of winter wheat harvested.

Food & Beverage

  • From food processing to an expanding bourbon industry, food and beverage facilities are creating an economic boost across Kentucky. The state’s proximity to massive consumer markets, combined with an abundance of natural resources and transportation networks, allows companies to produce and transport quality products cost effectively and efficiently.
  • 300+ Food & Beverage Facilities
  • 50,000 employees in Kentucky’s Food & Beverage related industries
  • $4.04 billion announced investment and 6,363 announced jobs in the last 5 years
  • More than $7 billion contributed to Kentucky’s  economy from Food & Beverage related industries
  • Kentucky has the greatest concentration, 2x more than average, of Beverage Manufacturing employment in the United States
  • Food Manufacturing employment is 1.3 times more concentrated in Kentucky than average.
  • 95% of the World’s Bourbon is produced in Kentucky


  • Kentucky’s ideal location, skilled workforce and business-friendly environment make the Commonwealth a great place for manufacturing companies to make and ship products to every corner of the globe. In the past five years, manufacturers announced over 1,100 facility location or expansion projects with a reported capital investment of more than $21 billion and nearly 39,000 additional jobs.
  • There are 4,500 manufacturing related facilities in Kentucky
  • Over 260,000 Kentuckians work in a manufacturing facility
  • $30.3 billion of Kentucky-made products were exported through November 2019


  • Located at the center of a 34-state distribution area in the eastern United States, Kentucky’s location advantage facilitates the distribution of goods and materials to a massive industrial and consumer market. Across the nation and around the world, business leaders and logistics providers are increasingly looking to Kentucky as the strategic partner they need to aggressively compete in the global marketplace.
  • Kentucky is located within  a day’s drive of 2/3 of the U.S. population
  • Some of the nation’s largest cities are located within a two-hour flight of Kentucky’s borders.
  • 3 worldwide air cargo hubs (UPS, DHL and Amazon)
  • 2nd in total air cargo
  • 6 commercial airports, including 2 international and 60+ regional
  • 10 interstates and 10 state parkways
  • 2,760 miles of rail track, including 2,600 miles of freight rail
  • 2,000 miles of navigable waterways and 12 active or developing river ports

Animal Food Manufacturing and Pet Food Manufacturing

  • Kentucky’s ideal location, skilled workforce and business-friendly environment make Kentucky a great place for manufacturing companies to make and ship products to every corner of the globe and that includes animal food and pet food manufacturing. 
  • Case Study: Alltech
    • Headquartered in Nicholasville, Kentucky and with its focus on animal and crop science research  the company is perfect example of an agritech company leading the way
    • Employing approximately 650 people from 30 counties across seven facilities in Kentucky, the company has grown steadily over the past four decades. 
  • Case Study: Champion Pet Foods
    • Canadian company chose Logan County in Kentucky for its first U.S. facility.
    • $85 million investment, 147 jobs
  • Other KY companies: Hill’s Pet Nutrition (Warren County), The Hyland Company (Boyd County), Dinovite (Grant County), Willard Milling Inc (Carter County)

We’ve been growing.

Kentucky businesses are finding success in today’s global market. As exporting continues to grow, small businesses and large corporations alike are finding a growing demand for Kentucky-made products. This additional revenue source provides more security for business and more jobs for Kentuckians. In 2019, over $33 billion in goods and services were sold abroad.

Last year, Kentucky’s top five export products were:

  1. Aerospace products and parts - $14.6 billion
  2. Motor vehicle-related - $4.6 billion
  3. Pharmaceuticals and medicines - $2.4 billion
  4. Resin, rubber, fiber and filament - $917 million
  5. Basic chemicals - $743 million

Currently, the top export destinations for Kentucky companies are:

  1. Canada
  2. United Kingdom
  3. France
  4. Brazil
  5. Mexico