American Farmland Trust Opens Kentucky Office in Partnership with Brown-Forman - American Farmland Trust

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American Farmland Trust Opens Kentucky Office in Partnership with Brown-Forman

Note to editors: A virtual news conference will be held 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8 to discuss the AFT work. Reporters and editors may join at 

(December 8, 2020 — LOUISVILLE, Ky) — American Farmland Trust — a national organization dedicated to farmland protection, keeping farmers on the land and sound farming practices — is opening an office in Louisville in partnership with Brown-Forman and its associated DendriFund.

Headquartered in Washington D.C., AFT is advancing numerous agricultural initiatives, including a project to grow rye grain in Kentucky. 

Rye is a critical ingredient in bourbon, but most rye used today by Kentucky distilleries is purchased from Canada or Europe.

“Our collaboration with Brown-Forman is helping elevate our impact in supporting local farms, protecting farmland, and accelerating the use of regenerative farming practices in a critically important agricultural region of the country,” said Billy Van Pelt, Senior Director of External Relations for AFT. “Brown-Forman and members of the Brown family have long supported AFT’s work. We appreciate all they are doing today to strengthen the future for farming and our environment.” 

“Farms are vital to the future in Kentucky and more broadly across the Southeast because they provide jobs, produce healthy, safe foods, and can protect clean water and fight climate change,” Van Pelt added.

The DendriFund, created by Brown-Forman and members of the Brown family, focuses its sustainability efforts on wood, water, and grain. 

“Those are the key natural ingredients essential for making whiskey, for a healthy ecosystem and economy and upon which future generations depend,” said Barbara Hurt, executive director of the DendriFund. The foundation has worked with AFT and numerous other partners on the local rye initiative. 

The opening of a dedicated AFT office in a Brown-Forman building at 7th and Main is a natural next step in growing and expanding this and other projects. 


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families. 

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