Gov. Beshear has busy day during Tuesday visit in Winchester

Published 3:00 pm Thursday, February 16, 2023

Editor’s Note: The headline on the print version of this story incorrectly spelled Gov. Beshear’s name. The Sun regrets this error.

Gov. Andy Beshear visited Winchester on Tuesday and brought good news – and checks – with him.

His first stop of the day was at Wilde Brands on Tierney Ave. for a flag-raising ceremony at its new facility.

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The company makes protein chips crafted from chicken breasts, egg whites, and bone broth. Each bag contains 20 grams of complete protein while tasting like a typical potato chip.

During his remarks, Beshear highlighted the facility’s opening as proof of Kentucky’s growing prosperity.

“We just had the second-best January for new investment and jobs in our history. What that means is more opportunity for our kids and grandkids than any of us could have ever imagined”, said Beshear. “We’ve got to support our infrastructure, but the other thing we’ve got to invest in is human beings.”

Patrick Tierney of Tierney Storage and Beshear mentioned taking pride in the ceremony because they both have family members who served in the armed forces.

Jason Wright, a Colorado native and founder of Wilde Brands, displayed gratitude to the community and talked about his decision to open a manufacturing facility in Clark County.

“We needed a great town like the town of Winchester,” Wright said. “We started to build a team here, and the community embraced us…For that, I’m forever grateful.”

Adding that the governor supported the company, Wright announced that its new facility would help expand production.

“Wilde Brands is already a great Kentucky success story, and this innovative company is just getting started,” Beshear added.

Next, Beshear appeared at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum to present over a half dozen checks to local organizations that will help support growth and other causes.

He was introduced by Jonah Doss, student president at George Rogers Clark High School for Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG).

Doss’ teacher, James Stults, is, interestingly, the son of Bluegrass Heritage Museum Director Sandi Stults.

“It is really special to be here,” Beshear added. “I grew up in Fayette, Franklin, and Clark counties. This has always been a home to me.”

After introductions, in the name of supporting tourism, clean water, nonprofits, and more, over $2.9 million in investments across several organizations was introduced.

Recipients included the Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission, East Clark County Water District, Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission, Clark County Sanitation District, Bluegrass Heritage Museum, the Salvation Army, the Football Club of Kentucky, Inc., Winchester Youth Soccer League, Clark County Community Service, Legacy Greenscapes, Clark County Animal Shelter, Achieving Recovery Together, Central Baptist Church, and the Winchester Council for the Arts, Inc.

“These funds make a really big difference”, said Leeds Center for the Arts Director of Marketing and Research Ellie Miller, who spoke of how the pandemic caused challenges to the arts community. “Moving forward into the future, we have the financial security to have payroll for the next two years covered, and… that’s enabled us to expand our programs.”

As Miller suggested, Kentucky has had its share of challenges over the last few years.

However, Beshear also believes that the commonwealth is most definitely on an upswing.

“I believe we’re transitioning into [a light] of hope and prosperity, “ he said. “You can see we’re ready for a lot of joy.”