Priorities set for 2020 as Kentucky Farm Bureau begins a new century

Posted on Dec 16, 2019

The Kentucky Farm Bureau 100th Annual Meeting came to a close with its Board of Directors approving state and national priorities for 2020.

KFB President Mark Haney emphasized how vital these priority issues are to the advocacy efforts of the organization as it continues to be the Voice of Kentucky Agriculture.

“One of the most important things we do during each annual meeting is to bring forth priorities for the coming year that serve as an advocacy road map,” he said. “We take this responsibility seriously and will do all we can to make sure the concerns of our farm families are heard at all levels of government and throughout our ag community.”

Some of the top state and national priority issues for 2020 are related to taxation, rural development/broadband, trade, immigration, and the upcoming budget session of the General Assembly.

Taxation

Priorities relating to taxes included maintaining Kentucky’s sales tax exemptions for production agriculture; supporting the provisions of House Bill 44 (KRS 132.010), which limits property taxes to four percent, plus new growth and proposals to exceed that four percent should automatically go to the voters; and strongly opposing freezing the state real property tax rate.

Rural Development/Broadband

Supporting broadband and high-speed internet service being available for the benefit of all Kentuckians is again a top priority for KFB, as well as supporting efforts and incentives to improve and provide all telecommunications in rural Kentucky, and the support of efforts that will retain and attract new business and industry to rural areas of Kentucky.

Trade
Trade continues to be a priority including the support of fair and open multilateral trade agreements that will open new markets and expand existing markets for U.S. agricultural products.

Immigration and Farm Labor Reform

The support of immigration reform that restructures the H-2A program to make it more streamlined, reliable, and economical, in addition to limiting legal liability for farmers remains on the priority issues list. 

Budget

With the upcoming budget session, maintain the 50 percent allocation of the Master Settlement Agreement funds to the Agricultural Development Board, and funds be spent for the purpose of improving the net farm income of individual farmers in production agriculture remains a priority. 

Also, supporting continued funding of the Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost-Share Program and the support of an efficient, well-administered and adequately financed Kentucky Department of Agriculture are budget priorities.