Eastern Kentucky apple orchard business receives $3.5 million state ag development loan

Republished from WEKU.

An eastern Kentucky apple orchard operation will receive a $3.5 million dollar loan, courtesy of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board. AppleAtcha Orchards is in Martin and Johnson counties. According to their website, the company is growing the apple trees on reclaimed coal mining properties. Charles Hamm is the CEO.

“Right now we have 60 acres of Honeycrisp apple trees, representing about 120,000 trees, and we’re going to be putting in another 100 acres, which will represent about 200,000 more trees.”

Hamm said future plans include a $14 million packhouse.

“That’s where the apples go through and whatever else we process, where it washes them, sizes them. It has artificial intelligence. It can detect the flaw the size of a pinhead.”

Hamm said packhouse equipment will be able to look inside the apples to make sure they’re Grade A. In all, ag development board members approved more than $8.5 million dollars for diversification and rural development projects during their monthly meeting last week.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.