KFB Advisory Committees: A summary of the 2017 meetings - Kentucky Farm Bureau

KFB Advisory Committees: A summary of the 2017 meetings

Posted on Dec 5, 2017

Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) policy emerges from several sources. While most recommendations come from county Farm Bureau annual meetings, another source is through KFB’s Advisory Committees, which hold meetings between August and November to assess the condition of their respective area of interest and consider suggestions for potential changes to KFB’s state and national policies.

These committees deal with topics ranging from all farm commodities common in Kentucky, to issues of importance to rural areas including education and transportation, for instance.

KFB’s leadership selects the committee members based on their knowledge of the topic. If possible, the committees have members from all areas of the state. The advisory committee meetings also involve officials representing the particular areas of concern, most commonly from commodity groups, universities, business and government.

The following are summaries from recent meetings:



The Education Advisory Committee, chaired by Cloyce Hinkle, met at Morehead State University on September 12. Dr. Eric Jerde, Department Chair, Earth and Space Science provided a tour of the university’s Space Science Center, which is home to MSU's Program of Distinction, the Bachelor of Science in Space Science. He highlighted their partnership with NASA which includes research in nanosatellite technologies.

The group also took a tour of the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. The Academy is a dual-credit residential high school for academically exceptional Kentucky students.

The committee reviewed policy relating to education and discussed other topics including pensions, tax reform, and charter schools.



The Energy & Transportation Advisory Committee, chaired by David Campbell,

met on September 14,  at the Clay County Extension Office in Manchester. John-Mark Hack, Commissioner, Department of Vehicle Regulation, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet gave an overview of his department and discussed topics that included the need for new license plates in the state and the REAL ID program.

Rick Bender, Executive Advisor, Department of Energy Development and Independence, gave a report on the activities of his office while KFB’s Jeff Harper, updated the committee on the Kentucky Infrastructure Coalition, which is made up of farmers, manufacturers, engineers, local leaders, and more than 40,000 transportation workers.

The committee reviewed state and national policy then toured the Gabbard Ford Gas Plant before the meeting was adjourned.



The Farm Labor Advisory Committee, chaired by Shane Wiseman, met at the Clark

County Farm Bureau Office in Winchester, Kentucky September 26.

Tatum Dale, Director of Field Operations, Congressman Andy Barr’s Office, updated the committee on immigration reform in Congress and provided an update on the legislation filed by Chairman Goodlatte that would establish a H-2C program for agriculture labor. Dale said she thought Congress would address tax reform and then a border security bill/DACA issue.

Karen Garnett, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division provided a federal wage and hour update. She stated the agency participated in ten events this year in association with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program. She also said the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, she wouldn’t be surprised to see an uptick from residents coming to the states and employers must consider them as American workers.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training provided the committee with H-2A numbers. In 2017, there were 1,211 applications from 843 employers requesting 7,483 workers.

The committee reviewed state and national policies relative to immigration and farm labor.



The Political Education Advisory Committee, chaired by Victor Rexroat, met at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Frankfort Headquarters on September 12.

KFB’s Matt Ingram shared with the committee information about the Campaign Management Seminar and Measure the Candidate meetings. He also mentioned the 2018 Get-Out-the-Vote activities and stated that public service announcements will be a priority for the organization in 2018.

 Wilson Stone, State Representative, shared information about pension reform and updated the committee on issues in Frankfort. He also discussed tax reform, ag exemptions and House Bill 44.

Jonathan Shell, House Majority Floor Leader, joined the meeting and credited Garrard County Farm Bureau for encouraging him to become involved. Shell spoke very highly of the KFB Campaign Management Seminar and how it opened his eyes on how to run an effective campaign. He also outlined the priorities of the 2018 Kentucky General Assembly and spoke extensively about tax reform and the pension crisis in state government.

Warren Beeler, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP), provided the committee with an overview of GOAP and their recent activities and  shared with the group some developments from the benefits of Ag Development Funds.

Corey Ann Howard Jackson, Policy and Constituent Services Liaison, shared an update from the Secretary of State’s Office. Jackson also shared with the group her appreciation for farming and agriculture.

The group reviewed the state and national policies relating to political education.



The Tax Advisory Committee, chaired by Pat Henderson, met September 13 at the Kentucky Farm Bureau State Office. KFB President Mark Haney welcomed members and thanked them for their service on the committee.
House Majority Floor Leader, Jonathan Shell attended the meeting and

discussed pension and tax reform.  He said Legislative Leadership and the Administration have been meeting to address the pension crisis facing the Commonwealth. He discussed the

dire situation the pension is in, and the changes that must be made to sustain pensions long-term. He said there is an agreement for a framework for pension reform and is hopeful this framework will be unveiled relatively soon.

Shell indicated that tax reform could potentially be a part of the 2018 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. He stated that it has been clearly communicated to the members of the General Assembly, by Kentucky Farm Bureau how essential the current sales and use tax exemptions are to agriculture and how important it was to maintain the current property tax statutes (HB 44).

The committee also discussed and reviewed state and national policies relating to tax.



The Dairy Advisory Committee, chaired by Terry Rowlett, met September 7,  at the E.S. Goodbarn at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Maury Cox, Kentucky Dairy Development Council, reported the state’s dairy farmers ranked first nationally for increased production per cow over the past five years according to USDA/NASS and discussed the upcoming Young Dairymen’s Tour.

Denise Jones, Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, noted there is a lot changing with SUDIA including branding and program emphasis.  She also discussed the current school nutrition program and how USDA has made some changes to the program. 

Harold Friedly, Milk Market Administration, provided the committee with the forecasted uniform prices and discussion on various factors that would be considered in component pricing. 

Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, University of Kentucky (UK), provided the committee an update on the new facilities at the research farm and noted Dr. Joao Costa recently joined the department. 

Eunice Schlappi, Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA), reported on Commissioner Ryan Quarles’ Hunger Initiative and the work going on with the Kentucky Retail Federation on revising the “sell by” coding system. 

Dr. Debbie Reed, Breathitt Veterinary Center, submitted a report about the opening of the Center on February 27, and that all sections are working at capacity and they are making full use of the new facility.

Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, reported on the caseload the lab has been experiencing lately.  She noted there are confirmed cases of EHD by PCR in deer recently and that there is some spillover of the virus to cattle because it is spread by a biting gnat. 

Dr. Robert Stout, Kentucky State Veterinarian, suggested Kentucky needs to consider a secure milk supply plan. 

The committee considered and made recommendations to Kentucky and AFBF policy.



The Emerging Agricultural Enterprises Advisory Committee meeting, chaired by Glenn Howell, Emerging Agricultural Enterprises Advisory Committee meeting was held at 10:00 a.m. on was held September 19 at the Murray State University Agricultural Exposition Center.

Chad Smith, KDA, discussed the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.  For 2017, 3000 acres were planted. The group discussed some of hemp’s harvesting challenges. Smith also reviewed the Linking Agriculture for Networking & Development (LAND) forums held in June. It was noted that Kentucky Proud has 6500 members. KDA’s Promotion Grant program spent $400,000 on a 50-percent match to pay expenses promoting agricultural products with direct Kentucky farm impact.

Kellie Padgett, representing Kentucky Center for Agriculture & Rural Development, reported KCARD receives about 150-200 inquiries per month, similar to a year ago. She also highlighted their assistance with value-added grant application saying current trending products are anything bourbon-related and snack foods, like beef jerky and cheese snack packs.

Tom Keene, UK, reported on several of the university’s programs including the industrial hemp research project and the Center for Grain and Forage Excellence – construction should begin late 2017 or early 2018.

David Gilland, District Director, Kentucky USDA Farm Service Agency, discussed the amounts FSA has distributed in Kentucky in program crop payments and loans; the benefits of the NAP insurance program; the $62,000 ELAP payment made to honey producers with hive losses; and the growing micro-loan program.

Representative Richard Heath, House Ag Committee Chairman, and Warren Beeler, Executive Director, Governor’s Office of Ag Policy, sat in on our committee meeting and shared comments on some legislative matters and current GOAP activities.

The group discussed state and federal tax reform and the upcoming Farm Bill.

Dr. Tony Brannon and Dr. Brian Parr shared information about the growth of Murray State University’s (MSU) agricultural program and their research programs related to hemp. MacKenzie Jones, MSU sophomore, described her building of an apiary and the bee research being conducted.

Policy was considered on both the state FB level as well as for AFBF policy.



The joint meeting of the Feed Grains & Wheat and Soybean Advisory Committees, chaired by Tripp Furches and Kim McCoy, was held on August 31, 2017, at the Hardin County Farm Bureau office.

Keith Rogers, KDA, reported that the Commissioner and various commodity groups departing on a trade initiative to Japan. He also noted Kentucky was dealing with 14 official dicamba complaints (probably affecting around12,000-14,000 acres) and said there are probably another dozen unofficial complaints that are in discussion. 

Laura Knoth, KyCGA/KySGGA, updated the committee on projects KyCGA have cooperated with KCA on and the distillery industry to increase the demand for corn.  She reported KySGGA funded over $300,000 of research projects and made another $250,000 direct donation to the Grain and Forage Center for Excellence. 

Debbie Ellis, KSA, reported one of the major projects they are working on is the export of soybeans internationally noting that logistics is the main problem.  She also reported they funded over $600,000 in research projects at the Grain and Forage Center for Excellence.

Dr. Todd Davis, UK, noted there will be an opportunity for Extension to work with groups on future farm bill discussions.  He said there is seasonality in the current grain market and expects further adjustments in markets. Penny Fleming, reported for FSA, noting it looks like there will be a good PLC payment going out on wheat sometime in October.

Joe Cain, KFB, provided federal issues update on WOTUS, farm bill and tax reform. 

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy and made no recommendations to policy.



The Natural Resources Advisory Committee, chaired by Larry Thomas, met August 15 at the Louisville Water Company facility in Louisville.

Karen Woodrich, NRCS, gave a report on Kentucky NRCS and the efforts they are making to obtain additional funding to implement water quantity demonstration projects around Kentucky as well as efforts to try and incorporate more multi-functional projects in Kentucky’s EQIP program. 

Johnna McHugh, Kentucky Conservation, reported the theme this year of the essay and poster contest is “Water is Life.”  She noted the partnership with Kentucky Farm Bureau.  

Bob Finch, Kentucky FSA, reported about the cap on CRP noting the state is so close to the cap that they cannot approve any continuous acres at this time.  FSA is still taking applications and once USDA FSA determines if dollars are available they will consider applications. 

Dan Figert, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, provided an update on wildlife numbers across Kentucky (elk, deer, bear, turkey, feral hogs, etc.).  He noted KYFW is getting more aggressive in deer control in their high population areas and are considering ways to increase doe harvest in areas where populations need to be reduced.

Brent Burchett, KDA, reported they were currently focused on state fair preparations.  He noted the voluntary pollinator protection plan is online for producers to utilize.  He said legal harvest of wild ginseng in the Daniel Boone National Forest will be closed this year due to ongoing concern of over harvesting.  He also reported there have been 10 reported dicamba cases in Kentucky this year.   

Peter Goodman, KDOW, reported on actions with the Kentucky Water Resources Board.  He is working on dam safety (PL 566 dams).  They are trying to secure federal funding to address several dams and levees needing work and leverage local dollars.

 Amanda Gumbert, UK, discussed efforts to address what drives various conservation efforts and the Gulf Hypoxia Taskforce plans. 

Darwin Newton, WKU, provided an update on the ARS unit located in Bowling Green dealing with forage production and waste management. 

Joe Cain, KYFB, provided federal issues update on WOTUS, farm bill, and tax reform.  He also updated the group on the KFB Livestock Protection Sub Permit program.

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy.



The Tobacco Advisory Committee, and Dark Tobacco Advisory Committee, chaired by Scott Travis, held its joint meeting August 10 at the US Smokeless Tobacco facility in Hopkinsville.

Al Pedigo reported on the July 10, Council for Burley Tobacco meeting where various processor representatives reviewed the market outlook for US-produced leaf as well as new and innovative products they plan to bring to the market.

Pat Raines of the Burley Cooperative reported that several states have significantly raised cigarette taxes that are adding to a declining market. He also noted how companies are

blending increasing levels of foreign-grown leaf into products with consumers not really noticing the difference in taste.

Dr. Will Snell, UK, said Universal reported that worldwide supply was down about 13 percent and demand may slightly exceed burley supply implying there could a stronger market for quality leaf.  Global supply and demand balance has improved slightly.

Dr. Andy Bailey, UK, said overall, the crop looks decent. He said the Research Station is transitioning over the next three years to the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, and is about a $30 million project and specifically recognized and thanked Kentucky Farm Bureau for the $1 million donation made recently.

Dr. Orlando Chambers, UK, reviewed some of the recent FDA research they are doing including the NNN proposed standard and FDA’s efforts to reduce nicotine levels to lessen consumer dependence.

Clint Quarles and Brent Burchett provided a report on KDA’s activities noting the department is moving forward with checking scales at receiving stations. They reported that Kentucky has not had the degree of dicamba-related problems nearby states are having, and that Kentucky is a leader in the industrial hemp industry.

Greg Baker, USST, provided an overview of the US Smokeless Tobacco operations and gave the committee a short tour of the leaf facilities.

Eddie Melton, KFB, addressed the importance of policy development and thanked the group for their commitment to serving on the committees.

Joe Cain, KFB, provided a federal issues update on farm labor, farm bill, and tax reform. It was also discussed that FLOC plans to hire a person to work in Kentucky to organize farm workers.

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy.



The Forage Advisory Committee meeting, chaired by David McGlone, was held October 5 at the Woodford County Farm Bureau Office in Versailles.

Dr. Ray Smith, UK, introduced Dr. Jimmy Henning and Dr. Chris Teutsch, both of whom have joined the UK Extension Forage team this year.

Teutsch, based at the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence in Princeton, made a presentation showing research results on a variety of forage topics; a future project of his is the integration of forages and livestock back into grain operations. He thanked KFB for its financial support of the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence and noted that the Center is attracting young researchers who are among the best in their field.

Henning discussed five priorities for the UK Forage Program that were identified in a process that he led for the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council.

Traci Missun, Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council, reminded the group of upcoming forage conferences and thanked Kentucky Farm Bureau and all those involved in getting UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to fill the second forage extension position which Dr. Teutsch now holds.

Brent Burchett, KDA, spoke about the 17 percent state budget cut and that every KDA program is on the table, including Hay Testing. Producers should express their support for the program.

Travis Chick, Kentucky USDA Farm Service agency, noted that ARC/PLC payments and CRP rent payments will be made soon, and touched on the Livestock Forage Program, NAP, and the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).

The committee reviewed state and national policy relative to forage.



The meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Roadside Markets Advisory Committee, chaired by David Chappell, was held September 6 at the University of Kentucky Horticulture Research Farm in Lexington.

Sharon Spencer, KDA, reported on branding for the Kentucky Farms are Fun program and asked people to update their information online. She also discussed Commissioner Ryan Quarles’ Hunger Initiative and the #KyAg365 campaign.

Angela Blank, Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, reported the new tourism website will launch on January 1, 2018. She also said there will be several new initiatives coming in 2018.

Kati Bowman, KCARD, reported that each month they assist 150-200 different businesses across the state to provide specialized assistance increasing the chances for success. Many of the businesses they helped with in 2017 want to do agritourism or are already in agritourism operation.

Dr. Tim Woods, UK Department of Horticulture, said all extension agents just completed training for FSMA compliance. He reported Kentucky has 800 high tunnels, funded by NRCS, but commented that producers need marketing help once they have a high tunnel.

Fran McCall, KFB, reported in the 22 years of the Roadside Farm Market Program, there was a total of 92 markets in 57 counties across the state; 10 of those are new markets. She also provided an overview of the 2017 Roadside Farm Market tour to Ohio and Pennsylvania and announced that the 2018 tour will be to Alaska on June 17-26.

Mark Haney, KFB, discussed tax reform and noted he spoke on behalf of AFBF at the Senate Ag Committee this summer. Eddie Melton, KFB, reviewed farm bill discussions.



The Beef Cattle Advisory Committee, chaired by Fritz Giesecke, was held September 19 at the Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville.

Dr. Debbie Reed, director, MSU Breathitt Veterinary Center provided an overview of the facility and gave the committee with a tour.

Ben Conner, KDA, reported on Commissioner Quarles’ Hunger Initiative and the recent donation of more than 150 freezers from Farm Credit to local food banks so they can store more fresh, nutritious food donated by Kentucky farmers. He noted the Commissioner wants to focus on more international trade.

Tim Dietrich, KDA, noted the Fall Bred Heifer sales are starting now and the CPA sales in December. He said markets are about 0.10 higher than a year ago.

Dr. Robert Stout, State Veterinary, discussed animal disease traceability in cooperation with USDA regulations and said tagging will now be the responsibility of stockyards owners and/or cattle owner if a bovine comes to the market place without one. Stout also noted BVD-PI is still an issue and the KDA is working with Tennessee and lawyers and hope to have a regulations draft to have input from beef producers and KFB members. 

Dr. Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, reminded the committee it is anaplasmosis season and to keep cattle on CTC and how farmers will need a prescription from a veterinarian due to the veterinarian feed directive rule. She also noted pneumonia season is coming up.

Dr. Richard Coffey, UK, reported a record of enrollment in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment of 2,923 students and noted enrollment numbers are creating challenges in terms of adequate faculty numbers for teaching, classroom space and pressure on animal units for course labs.

Dave Maples, and Chuck Crutcher with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association noted Kentucky has the largest cattlemen’s association in the eastern United States with 10,666 members. They discussed the new Beef Solutions program that will provide a way for Kentucky consumers to purchase local ground beef and a way for Kentucky retailers to have a reliable, source verified product from a GFSI certified processing plant. They also noted the new YARDS classroom is now open at the Bluegrass Stockyards in Lexington.

Mark Haney, KFB President,  discussed the tax reform and how KFB is taking it very seriously, but does not see a special session this year. Haney also noted he was asked to represent American Farm Bureau and speak at the Senate Agriculture Committee this summer. Some of the points he mentioned included a safety net for crop insurance, NAP program, a strong research component, and broadband internet in rural America.

Eddie Melton, KFB First Vice President, reviewed farm bill discussions and the recent KFB Farm Bill Discussion Working Group.

The committee considered KFB and AFB policy with recommendations for both.



The Equine Advisory Committee, chaired by Alex Barnett, met September 26 at the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office in Lexington.

Chauncey Morris, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, discussed the recent success of the Keeneland September Sales where 2,555 yearlings sold for a gross total of $307,845,400.  The Jockey Club recently reported that Kentucky annually leads all states and provinces in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity.

Robert Coleman, UK, discussed the Equine Science and Management program, noting how it is the second most popular degree program in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment with 315 students.  A new Master Horse Owner program will be offered as an extension program starting this fall. 

Dr. Robert Stout, KDA, reported a small herpes outbreak occurred earlier this year and 11 cases of West Nile were also reported so far in 2017 in KY.  He expressed concern about maintaining funding levels on the federal level for the Equine Disease Monitoring Program. The department also continues to monitor the free roaming horse problem in eastern Kentucky. 

Dr. Laura Kennedy, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, discussed the herpes disease. The Laboratory will host its 100th Equine Diagnostic and Research Seminar Series Symposium this month.

Dr. Debbie Reed, MSU Breathitt Veterinary Diagnostic Center, discussed their new facility and reported they have seen several cases of West Nile at their lab this year.  

Laura Prewitt, Kentucky Horse Park, discussed the yearlong 100th year birthday celebration for Man O’ War. They are planning a new rodeo and concert event November 17-18 and will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Kentucky Horse Park in 2018. 

Kathy Ross, Kentucky Horse Council, discussed the recent Livestock Investigation Training offered to animal control officers and the popular Recreational Rider Day program. 

Bryan Cassill, Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager’s Club, reviewed upcoming an leadership seminar on December 5, and their support of the Kentucky Equine Management Internship Program.

Frank Penn spoke about the 2nd Annual Kentucky Equine Educational Project Conference and noted equine is now classified as livestock by state legislation.

Fran McCall, KFB, discussed state and federal tax reform. She reviewed the farm bill and the recent KFB Farm Bill Discussion meeting where the working group discussed important items related to livestock.

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy with recommendations.



The meeting of the Horticulture Advisory Committee, chaired by David Chappell, was held September 6 at the University of Kentucky Horticulture Research Farm in Lexington.

ran McCall, KFB, provided a KFB Roadside Farm Market program update and commented on the enrollment process for 2018. She also reviewed the 2017 Roadside tour to Ohio and Pennsylvania and announced the 2018 tour will be June 17-26 to Alaska.

Sharon Spencer, KDA, reported the agency is working on branding for the Kentucky Farms are Fun. She noted anyone that has a sampling certificate will need to have it renewed due to it reaching its two year permit expiration and the Farmers Market Manual is getting updated.

Dana Reed, Kentucky State Horticulture Society, reported on the 2017 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference that focused on education opportunities and noted the 2018 conference will be January 8-9.

Mac Stone, Kentucky Horticulture Council, reported that group is working with UK Extension to develop new ideas and review programs due to fewer funds and employees.

Joel Wilson, Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association, reported a vegetable check-off was in the works with the proceeds going to fund research for horticulture products at the universities.

Dr. Robert Houtz, UK Department of Horticulture, reported they are hiring a basic science position and UK is in the process of obtaining a wine selling license to sell the wine made at the UK Horticulture Research farm.

Mark Haney, KFB, discussed tax reform and noted he spoke on behalf of AFBF at the Senate Agriculture Committee this summer. Eddie Melton, KFB, reviewed farm bill discussions.

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy making recommendations to both.



The Member Benefits Advisory Committee, chaired by Terry Lawson, met at the Kentucky Farm Bureau State Office July 27.

Todd Bright, KFB addressed the committee on the importance of social media within the organization and how the organization uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other media to promote member benefits. 

Dwight Greenwell, KFB,  gave the committee a membership report and he reviewed the status of several Kentucky Farm Bureau member benefits including the new Ford Program, Florida Fruit, Security Systems (Pro-Security and Modern), Lifeline Screening, Choice Hotels, the Drug Discount Program (Creative Benefit Design), and the Mineral Program (KNS).

Other discussions included how to promote and advertise our member benefits and efforts being made at the local level to promote member benefits.



The meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Poultry Advisory Committee, chaired by Jay Coleman, was held  August 29 at the Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville. 

Dr. Robert Stout, State Veterinarian, KDA, discussed the Low Path Avian Influenza case in Kentucky in March and how the Low Path Avian Influenza Containment Plan worked well. He expects changes to the USDA indemnity program and that USDA is working on ways potential ideas to include payments for farmers’ losses due to Low Path Avian Influenza in future farm bills.

Jamie Guffey, Kentucky Poultry Federation, reported they are developing a high school poultry curriculum for the state of Kentucky with funds from the Ag Development Board. They are currently testing this curriculum with 6 FFA teachers and they plan to release it to all teachers in three months. He also noted Tyson is expanding and needing 100 more houses in Kentucky.

Dr. Tony Pescatore, UK, said the university is currently preforming research on trying to find natural remedies for Woody Breast, enhancing food products with DHA from various sources, and increasing the number of eggs laid per hen.

Dr. Lynne Cassone, UK Diagnostic Laboratory, stated that most cases the lab is seeing is backyard flock problems due to poor management of the chickens. UK Diagnostic Laboratory is providing more education to veterinarians on how to train to work on chickens like drawing blood and taking samples.

Eddie Melton, KFB, discussed tax reform. He noted how an outside group has been brought in to consult and help make recommendation for the pension reform. He also provided an update on the KFB Farm Bill Discussion Working Group. In addition, Melton noted the Rural Road Fund is a high priority for KFB.

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy and made recommendations to both.



The KFBF Safety and Rural Health Advisory Committee met September 26, 2017 at the farm of Chairman Randy Chrisman in Lawrenceburg.

Dan Smaldone, Director of Communications, Kentucky Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, delivered a presentation on the history, trends, and impact of distracted driving. He then led a discussion on steps Kentucky Farm Bureau can take to heighten public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

Tom Miller, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, conducted distracted driver training in the D2 Driving Simulator which provided a safe and realistic environment for advisory committee members to experience the effects of texting, eating, and other distractions have on driving ability.

Officer Robert Purdy, Kentucky State Police, gave a presentation on distracted driving and law enforcement. He also outlined current state law and its enforcement emphasizing laws against distracted driving will not stop unsafe behaviors and emphasized the importance of personal responsibility.

Dale Dobson, Safety Program Director at the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, provided an update on the Turtle Tube rescue sleeve and discussed the importance of farmers taking the lead on the “Share the Road” initiative.

Dr. Joan Mazur, University of Kentucky, highlighted her organization’s focus on youth safety and the need for community based solutions for farmers.

The committee reviewed state policy on food quality and safety, safety, health, courts and law enforcement, crime prevention and drug control.



The meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Swine Advisory Committee, chaired by Larry Clark, was held September 21 at the Kentucky Pork Producers Association Office in Elizabethtown.

Dr. Robert Stout, State Veterinary, KDA, discussed animal disease surveillance efforts by USDA and the KDA for diseases like PED, Vesicular disease and Porcine Influenza. 

John Chism, KDA, reported the junior swine exhibitors have been very strong and that  477 market hogs and 168 gilts were exhibited by 305 exhibitors at the 2017 Kentucky State Fair. 

 Bonnie Jolly, Kentucky Pork Producers Association, discussed the recent National Pork Board Fly-In to D.C. Major topics discussed on their trip included labor, the need of a yearlong guest worker program, expanding trade in other countries, and the Animal Disease bank.

Dr. Richard Coffey, UK, reported the only open position in the Animal and Food Science department is the Swine Extension Specialist position. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is undergoing a program review which involved completing a self-study and having an outside review team evaluate the effectiveness of the college’s research, teaching and extension programs.

Dr. Alan Loynachan, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, reported the lab handles 60,000 cases each year, of which on to two percent are swine related. 

Dr. Debbie Reed, MSU Breathitt Veterinary Center, reported their new facility was complete and only a small amount of cases they see are for the swine industry. 

Fran McCall, KFB, discussed state and federal tax reform. She also reviewed the farm bill and the recent KFB Farm Bill Discussion meeting where the working group discussed important items related to livestock.

Committee member, Ray Allan Mackey, provided an overview of his recent Heartland Trip to Japan with United States Meat Export Federation.

Warren Beeler, GOAP, reported on the pension and tax reform issues and discussed the idea of farmers using a card system for tax ID for the farm tax exemption to streamline and prevent fraud issues at retailers. 

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy and made recommendations.



The Economic and Market Development Advisory Committee, chaired by Mary Kate Kordes, met at Blue Grass Regional Marketplace, Lexington, Kentucky on September 26, 2017.

Warren Beeler, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy, reported that Kentucky received $6.5 million dollars more than was expected from the tobacco companies.  The Kentucky Ag Development Fund is not subject to the sharp cuts to be made in the budgets of other state agencies. He said the Kentucky Ag Development Board is reviewing the type of approved projects with the goal of making the KADF money more impactful and identified two growth areas for agriculture – international trade and value-added products.

Melanie Blandford, KDA, reviewed several of their programs, including the Industrial Hemp Pilot Program which had 3000 planted acres of which 64 percent were for CBD oil, 31 percent for grain and 5 percent for fiber. A new program for 2017 is Linking Agriculture for Networking & Development (LAND) which is a partnership with manufacturers and the Cabinet for Economic Development to spur exports and value-added products.

Brent Lackey, KY Center for Agriculture & Rural Development, provided a brief update on KCARD’s activities. He stressed their work is dependent upon funding from the KY Ag Development Board and USDA Rural Development.

Kylie Palmer, KY Cabinet for Economic Development, provided some statistics on new business announcements and job creation in the past year. 

Jeff Jones, USDA Rural Development, reviewed many of their programs including a variety of loan programs and rural energy assistance grants.

Commissioner Ryan Quarles stressed two points: 1) agriculture is in a strong position with the KADB and KAFC, and 2) Kentucky agriculture has strong leaders.  He also highlighted the importance of international trade and trade agreements.

Darrell Link, KY Council of Area Development Districts, described their services which foster economic development and improve the overall quality of life for Kentuckians by working with local and regional governments. KCADD is in its 50th year of existence.

Marshall Coyle, Committee Vice Chair, and KY State Fair Board member, provided an update on the State Fair and the North American International Livestock Exposition.

The group discussed state and federal tax reform and the upcoming Farm Bill and reviewed state and national policies relative to economic and market development.



The Forestry Advisory Committee meeting, chaired by Bige Hensley, was held September 28 at the Clay County Cooperative Extension Service office in Manchester.

Will Bowling, a Clay County Farm Bureau member, introduced a new program he will be promoting for The Nature Conservancy beginning this fall which will pay woodland owners for carbon sequestered during the term of the agreement.

Steve Kull, Kentucky Division of Forestry, reported that KDF has a new State Director, James Wright, who comes from within the agency.  He said KDF sent employees to help with firefighting in the West and to Texas to assist in the hurricane response.

Dan Olsen, the new Forest Supervisor at Daniel Boone National Forest, spoke about the importance of partnering with adjacent landowners and the Kentucky Division of Forestry. He also discussed USFS activity on white oak restoration, short leaf pine, eastern hemlock and the American Chestnut.

 Bobby Claybrook, USFS, reported on activity in the Red Bird District noting tree theft, especially white oak, is very bad.

Frank Hicks, Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, reported on their activities in a variety of areas including invasive species, taxation, and timber theft.

Tim Hughes, KDA, discussed a new program, Linking Agriculture for Networking & Development (LAND), which is a partnership with manufacturers and the Cabinet for Economic Development to spur exports and value-added products. Kentucky has 50,000 manufacturing jobs related to agriculture products. 

Bob Bauer, Kentucky Forest Industries Association, explained how the timber theft law was improved by removing “intent”. Also, county road bonding continues to be a concern.

The committee reviewed state and national policy relative to forestry.



The meeting of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Sheep and Goat Advisory Committee, chaired by Carroll Amyx, was held September 28 at the Kentucky State University Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm in Frankfort.

John Chism, KDA, discussed the success of the sheep and goat marketing program led by Tess Caudill.  According to the 2016 USDA report, 12,000 head of sheep and 7,500 goats were marketed through the grading sales at Kentucky stockyards last year. 

Evan Davis, KDA, reported the KDA sponsored sheep shows continue to have strong youth participation.  He noted there was an increase in the number of Kentucky Proud animals tagged for the small animal species this year.

Dr. Beth Johnson, Office of State Veterinarian, KDA, reported they saw an increased number of flocks of sheep and goats coming to stockyards without scrapie tags.

Due to this problem and concern over traceability in Kentucky, KDA will post signs stating, “As of January 1, 2018, all sheep and goats must be identified with official scrapie ID before unloading” at all stockyards.  She also discussed the Kentucky Small Ruminant Herd Assessment Program, a new program designed to help producers.

Kelley Yates, Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, discussed the new Kentucky Fiber Trail program.

Dr. Richard Coffey, UK, reviewed the importance of the UK Sheep Unit and the hands on student learning and producer programs it provides.

Dr. Kenneth Andries, KSU, reported KSU has a new president and provost.

Dr.  Michelle Arnold, UK Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, reported they are hiring a new pathologist and looking to create some learning modules for future education for veterinarians. 

Dr. Debbie Reed, MSU Breathitt Veterinary Center, reported they moved into their new facility in February and thanked everyone for their continued support.

Fran McCall, KFB, discussed state and federal tax reform and Terry Rowlett reviewed the farm bill.

The committee considered Kentucky and AFBF policy and made recommendations.


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