President's Column | Eddie Melton - Kentucky Farm Bureau

President's Column | Eddie Melton

Posted on Mar 27, 2024
KFB President Eddie Melton

“In my mind, we cannot continue to lose farmland and farm families for whatever reason.”

As farm families across this state begin to look toward another growing season, Kentucky Farm Bureau members have been hard at work during these winter months by participating in several events and activities all in an effort to be better leaders and better advocates.

Our General Assembly session will be winding down soon and as part of our advocacy efforts, hundreds of members made their way to the Capitol during the KFB Legislative Drive-In/Food Check-Out Day event.

While there, they met with their respective lawmakers to discuss issues on the farm and in their rural communities. They also presented many of the General Assembly members with locally produced foods as a reminder of the many different goods made and grown here in the Commonwealth.

We kicked off the year taking the largest state group to the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Convention to hear about national issues while our KFB board members participated in the national policy process.

Just a few short weeks ago, county presidents and vice presidents came to Louisville to get updates on a variety of subjects, as well as to network with their fellow county leaders. Again, we had a capacity crowd attend this event demonstrating their willingness to participate in these local leadership opportunities as we move forward as an organization.

We also just returned from our nation’s capital having attended the annual KFB Congressional Tour. Each year, we make this trip to meet with our state’s national leaders, to hear from AFBF leadership and policy directors about the latest ag issues affecting the country, and to be a part of an advocacy event that has become one of the most important trips we make as an organization.

As important as it is for farm families to plant, grow, and harvest our crops year after year, it is equally important to stand up for and speak out in support of an industry none of us can truly do without.

Unfortunately, we continue to see production agriculture acres decline, as well as the number of people in this state who operate our farms, according to the latest Ag Census data.

In fact, over the last 20 years, we’ve lost 17,000 Kentucky farms and 1.4 million acres in production farmland.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to reverse that trend. In my mind, we cannot continue to lose farmland and farm families for any reason.

We must find ways to keep farmland in production and farm families profitable to the point of wanting to stay on their farms.

We must continue to develop a valid avenue to the farm for the next generation whether they are a first-generation farmer or continuing a long-time tradition.

We must never lose sight of the fact that agriculture is economic development and the communities in which our farms reside are depending on the success of their local agricultural industry.

As we move forward as an organization, we will continue to look for ways to keep agriculture sustainable, to make farming for a new generation a reality, and to create initiatives that will guarantee life on the farm doesn’t just become a memory.

Eddie Melton, President
Kentucky Farm Bureau 


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