The primary election is May 21, and there are several candidates seeking their party's nomination. The Pure Politics team has contacted each candidate with a primary opponent to find out who they are, and what they stand for.
Joe Trigg is a Democrat running for Commissioner of Agriculture.
He's from Glasgow, and is a first generation farmer. He raises cattle, and has two greenhouses, one with hydroponic and aquaponic produce grown. Prior to that, he served 30 years in the United States Air Force. He decided to run for ag commissioner after being involved heavily with Kentucky Proud and other initiatives. He says a big issue facing farmers is income.
"The biggest issue facing most farmers is the decrease in income, and the second issue would be trying to figure out how to get young people involved in agriculture," Trigg said.
Trigg has a couple of proposals to help with both of those problems. First he says, he is 100 percent for hemp and medical marijuana in Kentucky.
"I think they way it needs to be done is similar to the old tobacco settlement program, where there was an allocation," he said. "That allocation gave each farmer a certain allotment and then everyone gets a piece of the pie. So it would be more equitable and sustainable for both of the products."
While only hemp is legal in Kentucky, Trigg believes once, or if, medical marijuana becomes legal in the Kentucky, the Department of Agriculture should regulate both.
With tobacco farms closing up, farmers throughout the commonwealth are struggling to find income, Trigg believes that could be hemp and eventually medical marijuana. Having two sources of income for farmers will help bring income back to the agriculture community. But Trigg says it's also important to find a way for farmers with food or cattle operations to increase profits.
"Our state is centrally located here in the U.S., we produce a lot of produce and beef cattle, corn, soybeans and most of it leaves the state," he said. "We need to figure out a process and facilities so some of that income stays here."
Trigg believes hemp and medical marijuana are also the key to getting young people back interested in agriculture, as well as diversification of crops.
"With sources of income you may be able to entice more young folks to go into farming," he said. "The average age of Kentucky farmers is around 60 years old. You are going to have a shortage of workers to be on the farms, if they are 63, obviously, their kids have left, so it would have to be their grandkids, and you have got to figure out a way to entice those grandkids to come back to farming."
While Trigg is facing an uphill battle going against an incumbent, he is also facing trouble running as a Democrat in a state that has increasingly been trending more red. Trigg says what he brings to the table isn't partisan.
"I don't look at myself truly as 100 percent Democrat, or 100 percent Republican, I'm an American solider, a military guy, and my policies and my thought process are straight down the middle, but they are dead on with the Democratic principles of this country," he said.
Trigg is running against Robert Conway in the Democratic primary.