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University of Kentucky Dining Forges New Partnership With Local, Family-Owned Farm

University of Kentucky Dining announced a new partnership with Cleav’s Family Market, a local, family-owned farm that uses sustainable agriculture practices to produce naturally raised meats and produce. This partnership is expected to have a $10,000 impact on the local economy per month during the FY24 academic year. 

The partnership is a collaboration between UK Dining and The Food Connection, which serves farmers, food producers, students and consumers by cultivating creative strategies and partnerships to support a vibrant, healthy and equitable local food economy. 

Cleav’s network of producers in LaRue and Hart counties will provide hogs monthly for the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Cleav’s Family Market owner Travis Cleaver feels that this partnership mutually benefits his farm and producer network. 

“This partnership has been very positive,” Cleaver said. “With the amount of pork UK needs and how many we need for our customers, this is a perfect opportunity to fill in the gaps. It’s a win-win.” 

Trackside Butcher Shoppe in Henry County will process the hogs. Clem's Refrigerated Foods, a family-owned Lexington distribution company, will deliver the middle meats (smoked and served as pulled pork) to Kroger Field and UK residential dining halls. Clem’s to Custom Food Solutions, in Louisville, will deliver the remaining ground meats (blended with Kentucky milk and flour to make sausage gravy) to UK Dining and other Kentucky Aramark accounts. 

“Thanks to our partnership with Cleav’s Family Market we’ll consistently have top quality pork to offer our guests, and the fact that it’s produced right here in Kentucky is just the cherry on top,” said Tyler Murray, UK executive chef. 

UK Dining has invested more than $18 million in Kentucky’s local farm and food business economy since 2014 when Aramark took over dining operations. In FY23, UK Dining purchased more than $1.2 million in Kentucky farm impact products. 

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