Training on Local Hunger Relief – A Tool to Fight Hunger”
KY Department of Agriculture
KENTUCKY COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE RYAN F. QUARLES
Ryan Quarles was elected Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture in 2015. Under his leadership, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) started several new programs, including initiatives to combat hunger and connect Kentucky farmers to new markets.
As a result of his Kentucky Hunger Initiative, Kentucky now has the strongest food donation immunity law in the country, and more Kentuckians are talking about the chronic problem of food insecurity than ever before. His leadership on international trade issues saw the resumption of live equine exports to China, a decision that benefits all sectors of Kentucky’s agricultural economy from horse breeders to feed producers. Under his direction, the KDA continues to look for more opportunities for Kentucky farmers to grow domestic and international markets.
While Commissioner, he has also supported the expansion of Kentucky’s diverse agricultural portfolio to include industrial hemp, kenaf, and hops. On the national level, Commissioner Quarles serves as Second Vice President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and as Chairman of the Republican Agriculture Commissioners Committee (RACC).
Prior to serving as Commissioner of Agriculture, Quarles represented Scott, Owen, and Fayette counties for three terms in the General Assembly, where he was an outspoken advocate for agricultural issues affecting Kentucky families.
In 2006, Quarles graduated from the University of Kentucky with three undergraduate majors and two graduate degrees. In 2008, he was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University, where he studied higher education, government, and law. After graduating with a Master’s degree in higher education, he returned home to finish his last year of law school at the University of Kentucky. In 2018, he graduated from Vanderbilt University with his doctorate in higher education.
Ryan grew up on his family's farm in Scott County, coming from a family that has lived in central Kentucky for over 200 years.
Dare to Care
Brian Riendeau is Executive Director of Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville, KY. Established in 1971, Dare to Care Food Bank delivers over 19 million meals through a variety of programs to Kentuckiana families struggling with hunger.
Riendeau joined Dare to Care in 2009. Previously, he spent 14 years with Yum Brands as Vice President of Government & Community Affairs. In that role, he oversaw Yum’s community outreach, managed the Yum Brands Foundation, and directed the company’s legislative and public policy strategies. During his time with Yum, Riendeau developed and expanded the YUMeals program, the largest prepared-food recovery program in the country, and helped launch World Hunger Relief Week, a global partnership between Yum Brands and the United Nations World Food Programme.
Prior to joining Yum Brands, Riendeau spent six years as a Legislative Assistant for US Senator Mitch McConnell in Washington, DC. Riendeau also worked for Saunders & Company, a DC-based public affairs firm, and was an Account Executive for AT&T and Abbott Labs.
Riendeau received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and his Masters of Business Administration from George Mason University. He and his wife Judy have a daughter, Jesse Rose, and have lived in Louisville since 1994.