Asked October 31, 2018, 11:54 AM EDT

I have 5 acres in Shelby County . I raise chickens and I love to garden. I want to be totally self sustaining. I am just inquiring to see if there are any free services available to me that I am not aware of . My future goals are to raise meat chickens and I would like to offer someone to Raise bees on my property for honey in return. I am big into pollination and canning/freezing fresh fruits and vegetables from my garden . Thank you in advance for any help Michelle Wells

Shelby County Kentucky

1 Response

Hi, Michelle -
Thanks for your email. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "free services"? We do offer up to 30 free soil tests/year to residents of Shelby County. You can borrow a soil probe from our office, collect the samples and we will send them to the UK testing lab for you and help you with interpreting your results. We also offer access to all the information and research done at the University of Kentucky free of charge. This might include informational publications and/or educational classes, or consultative services. We publish a bi-monthly newsletter which includes relevant information. We do have a beekeepers association in Shelby County, as well as a Master Gardeners Association. You can obtain certification for selling preserved items from your garden to the public through our office.

As far as grants ("free money") go, the only opportunity relative to our office is the CAIP program (County Ag Improvement Program). These cost-share funds are awarded by a scored application process and administered once per year. The application period in Shelby County is usually in September or October and is past for this year. We have a program administrator who could provide you with information so that you would know whether or not you qualify for next year's application period. Her name is Judy White,

I hope this helps and addresses what you were asking. Feel free to email me at with additional questions, or to contact with vegetable or poultry specific questions. He is our horticulture technician and poultry contact and has a wealth of knowledge in those areas.

Thank you,