LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — The fourth annual Conference of the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits has officially begun.

The three-day event, held at the University of Kentucky, is an educational program for the many faces of Kentucky’s largest industry, including distillers, farmers, scientists, and tourism representatives.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear welcomed the industry’s professionals to the conference at 9 a.m. Monday where he emphasized the importance of the spirit to the state’s culture and economy — referring to the staggering $2 billion put invested over the past year.

Over the course of three days, participants are scheduled to hear industry leaders speak on topics including oak, grains, fermentation, spent grains, warehousing, maturation, and logistics.

Additionally, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles will address conference participants at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Although registration is closed, you can learn more about its importance, as well as see the schedule of keynote speakers, here.