President's Column: Kentucky Farm Families Advocating in Washington, D.C.

Posted on Mar 21, 2019

Having just returned from the annual Congressional Tour in Washington, D.C., I’m always amazed and encouraged at the level of participation we have for this trip and other advocacy opportunities.

More than 300 KFB members made their way to the nation’s capital for this event. We continually bring one of the largest of Farm Bureau groups in the country to Washington each year to meet with our Congressional delegation.

Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney.

I can tell you from experience, that means a lot to these legislative leaders, to see so many people from their state taking the time to meet with them, hear from them, and speak to them about the issues that are affecting their farming operations back home.

And there is much to talk about. We are still advocating for better broadband coverage in our overall efforts to help rural development initiatives across the Commonwealth. Our rural communities are such valuable assets to the economy in Kentucky but being connected, digitally, in a consistent manner is crucial to farms and businesses located in these rural areas.

International trade is also something vital to each and every farm, large and small, in every state, and not just something to be thought of in broad national terms. What happens in China, or South America or Canada or Mexico affects our operations at home.

Trading opportunities that arise in Europe are of interest to me, in my community, and it should be to all of us who live and work on the farm or in rural America.

Looking for new trading partners in different parts of the world should be something we do without a single doubt. We can grow it, but we can’t eat it all. So, international markets are just as important as the local farmers market.    

Knowing what rules to play by when it comes to water resources, as set by the EPA, is something we need to know about and discuss in every county in this state.

Moving forward on immigration reform could not be more important to those of us needing and utilizing a sustainable, legal workforce.

If 325 million people in this country want to eat food that is grown here, then all these national and international issues should be of importance to them and every farm family; it’s as simple as that.

I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a part of the fourth largest Farm Bureau in America, as we continue to be a strong advocacy force for our farms, our communities and the citizens of Kentucky when it comes to these and other “national” issues. We have a seat at the policy table. Let’s continue to fill those seats and make our voices heard, because if we don’t someone else with a different agenda will.

 

Mark Haney, President
Kentucky Farm Bureau