Partnership expands market share for local farmers

LEXINGTON, KY  – Keeneland and Black Soil KY, an agritourism social enterprise that fosters a greater market share for Black farmers in Kentucky, today announced a strategic partnership in advance of Keeneland’s Spring race meet. 

Black Soil KY Co-founder and COO Ashley Smith and Keeneland Hospitality Executive Chef and Managing Director Marc Therrien lead the culinary-centric collaboration.

Black Soil KY Meal Kits in Partnership with Keeneland Hospitality

Inspired by Keeneland Hospitality’s belief in using high-quality, simple ingredients to craft timeless dishes, the Black Soil KY Skillet Frittata Meal Kit includes a selection of thoughtful ingredients grown and harvested by local farmers. Each meal kit can serve up to four people and is available for pre-order via or in person at the Julietta Market at Greyline Station in downtown Lexington starting Sunday, March 21 from noon–4 p.m.

Watch a video of Black Soil KY’s Ashley Smith and Keeneland Hospitality’s Chef Marc Therrien creating the Black Soil Skillet Frittata here.

Keeneland Spring Meet to Feature Black Soil KY Produce

During the upcoming Spring Meet (April 2-23), Keeneland Hospitality will incorporate local produce from Black Soil KY farmers and producers into Keeneland’s rotating dining menus. This Spring’s featured offering, the Kentucky Farm to Table Salad will include lettuces grown by Black Soil farmers.   

“Keeneland was founded with the mission to continuously reinvest in the community and that vision extends to our culinary program,” Therrien said. “We take pride in using locally sourced ingredients in our culinary offerings and it is a privilege to be able to collaborate with Black Soil KY on this initiative. We look forward to growing this partnership and showcasing the expertise of these talented Kentucky farmers and artisans.”

“This collaboration is a celebration of a shared history found within the farming and equine sectors,” said Smith. “We’re thrilled to partner with Keeneland in supporting Kentucky farmers throughout our 31 county service area.”

Since 2017, Black Soil KY has invested over $300,000 in grants, institutional contracts and procurement opportunities for Kentucky farmers. Representing less than 1.4% of Kentucky producers, Black farmers achieve greater market share and opportunity through partnering with Black Soil KY.

About Black Soil KY
A statewide social enterprise with a charitable fund, Black Soil KY fuels rural leadership development and entrepreneurship through intentional economic investment into over 60 Kentucky-based Black owned farm, culinary, and food entrepreneurs and artisans. An award winning and nationally recognized agribusiness, Black Soil KY presents programming dedicated to education, economic development and empowerment. Its mission of reconnecting Black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture has been realized by hundreds since its launch in August 2017 through Farm Tours, Farm to Table Dinners, Education and Outreach Initiatives, and Off Season Workshops.

About Keeneland
For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November, and presents online auctions through the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and 2020 and is holding the event again on Nov. 4-5, 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit


Press Contacts: 

Ashley C. Smith
Black Soil Co-founder, COO

Amy Gregory
Keeneland Director of Communication