KFB President Mark Haney Emphasizes KFB Loves KY during Annual Address

Posted on Dec 2, 2016

Louisville, KY (December 2, 2016) –Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) President Mark Haney addressed the organization’s 97th annual meeting Friday with positive news about another year of continued growth for KFB, a review of advocacy efforts made in the past year and a look into the year to come.

More than 2,000 KFB members from across the state gathered at this year’s annual meeting. Haney, in his annual address thanked all members and their grassroots efforts to support their communities and to support agriculture.

He also pointed out the continued growth of the KFB Insurance Company and its importance to the organization.

“It is the engine that drives this organization and no one else in the country has what we have at KFB,” he said.

In discussing accomplishments made in 2016, Haney mentioned a campaign that debuted at this year’s state fair that speaks to how KFB feels about Kentucky.

“It is called ‘KFB Loves KY’ and talks about the many ways we love our state,” he said. “It has been a huge success and has been very effective.”

He also told members of a new initiative the Insurance Company will begin to help alleviate distracted driving. With a growing number of accidents caused by cell phone distractions Haney said the hope is to curb this trend in an effort to save lives.

He reflected on the 2014 annual meeting when the Water Management Working Group (WMWG) was announced and how advocacy efforts since then brought about passage of legislation creating the Kentucky Water Resources Board during the 2016 session of the General Assembly.

Haney announced a new group which will work to create a unified message from Kentucky agriculture for the next Farm Bill.

“In 2018 we will be re-authorizing probably the most important piece of legislation for all of rural America,” he said.

In 2017 there will be listening sessions at the federal level to gather information for the next bill. The KFB Farm Bill Working Group will conduct discussion sessions with stakeholders throughout the state in order to develop a cohesive strategy to bring to Kentucky’s Congressional delegation assuring Kentucky agriculture will have strong input into the next Farm Bill.

In continuing the discussion about federal issues, Haney noted some of the overreach of agencies that regulate many issues related to the farm. With the broad-based changes caused by the recent election, he said there are high expectations that positive changes will come which will give regulatory relief to agriculture and other industries

The subject of GMO’s was a big topic over the past year. Haney said while Congress took action regarding labeling, it isn’t something to forget.

“We now have to continue to have an educational program and we have to be able to explain to consumers how GMO’s fit into the agriculture process. We need to be very proactive about that,” he said.

Trade was another subject Haney spoke about during his address. He said he feels confident that in the coming months a trade agreement will be realized, pointing out farmers have to be able to trade in a global market.

Moving back to state issues, Haney said tax reform is something being discussed extensively and it is something to be moved on cautiously.

“We want Kentucky to be competitive with all the states around us,” he said.

One of the most discussed issues coming from county Farm Bureaus this year was that related to wildlife management. Haney said the issue of wildlife populations will be one taken on in the coming year.

In concluding the KFB President said, in traveling across the state, he sees Farm Bureau members taking leadership roles in their communities.

I couldn’t be more proud of the work that you do,” he told members. “I encourage you to be involved. Let’s set out to get things done even though they may be different than what we’ve done in the past. We are strong as an organization and we can accomplish great things for the state of Kentucky.”