A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Deputy sheriff, third-grade teacher from Fleming County win Kentucky Proud Weddings contest

Justin and Christa Conley of Ewing, Kentucky, won the second Kentucky Proud Weddings Contest, which includes a $5,000 grand prize package, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has announced.

Justin and Christa Conley were married on Oct. 6 and held their reception at Echo Valley Winery, a Kentucky Proud agritourism destination in Fleming County. (Photo by Thacker Photography, used with permission of Christa Conley)

“I want to thank the Conleys for making Kentucky Proud a part of their special day,” Commissioner Quarles said. “We started Kentucky Proud Weddings to give our farm families an easy way to earn a share of the $72 billion wedding industry. We appreciate the fact that Justin and Christa made buying local a priority for their wedding.”

The Conleys held their reception at Echo Valley Winery near Flemingsburg, a Kentucky Proud agritourism venue, after they were married at Elizaville Christian Church in Ewing on Oct. 6, 2018. The couple selected a Kentucky Proud caterer, Cowan Station Honey Farm, and a Kentucky Proud florist, Grimes Greenhouse, both of which are located near their Fleming County home.

“I love what Kentucky Proud stands for,” said Christa Conley, a part-time beef cattle farmer in Fleming County with her husband and parents. “I think it’s very, very important that people understand how important farmers and agriculture are to our state and our country.”

Christa Conley’s full-time job is teaching a classroom full of third-graders at Mason County Intermediate School in nearby Maysville, while Justin is a deputy with the Fleming County Sheriff’s Department.

The couple plans to donate a portion of the $5,000 prize to their church. They will also use the money to help cover expenses this winter on the farm, such as fence repair, and update some features in their home. “And hopefully, we get to save a little bit for the future,” Christa added.

The Conleys are members of Kentucky Farm Bureau, and Christa was active in 4-H in her youth.

Over the course of the public relations and marketing campaign, the Kentucky Proud Weddings website, kyproud.com/weddings, has received nearly 28,000 views.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture launched the Kentucky Proud Weddings website in February to make it easy to find Kentucky Proud businesses that offer picturesque farm venues for weddings and receptions, local foods and beverages, catering, flowers, gifts, and other goods and services. Funding for the contest prize is provided by the generous support of contributing direct-farm-impact Kentucky Proud business members.

Kentucky Proud is the official state agricultural marketing program with nearly 8,000 members. Kentucky Proud is funded through a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture administers the Kentucky Proud program.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

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