Production Agriculture Leaders Making Their Voices Heard

Posted on Dec 16, 2020

Kentucky Farm Bureau brings state ag commodity leaders together to form agri-tech coalition

In an effort to bring more awareness to advances in technology issues within the state’s agriculture industry and to keep the state’s agricultural and governmental organizations apprised of these issues, Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) and ag commodity groups throughout the state have joined together to form a state Coalition of Production Agriculture.

Over the last several months, the coalition has worked together to discuss agri-tech and bring forth ideas for awareness and possible solutions of any concerns.

KFB President Mark Haney said agri-technology really isn’t new but putting it to use in all areas of the industry has presented its own set of challenges.

“From getting adequate broadband coverage to every last farm, to learning how to apply new marketing techniques, to meeting the educational needs related to this type of technology, there is much work to be done in order to make agri-tech usable throughout the industry, especially as it relates to production agriculture,” explained Haney.

One of the first moves from coalition members was to introduce the Kentucky Production Agri-Tech (KPAT) Initiative, complete with a white paper detailing the group’s thoughts and concerns related to agricultural technology, particularly those related to production agriculture.

KFB Federation Executive Vice President Drew Graham, who has taken the coalition lead for KFB, said the initiative is necessary to ensure those involved in production agriculture are included when any agri-tech projects or programs are considered in Kentucky.

“As our farm families become more dependent on technology to run their operations efficiently, we must have a seat at the table when initiatives are being discussed,” he said. “This coalition has come together to speak with one voice about the technology issues production agriculture faces on a day to day basis.”

Graham emphasized that in addition to voicing concerns, the coalition will also work together to offer solutions to agri-tech related issues.

“We’re not just getting together to talk about problems,” said Graham. “We are promoting what is already taking place on the farm by way of advanced technology and offering possible solutions to any issues related to it.”

One of the first priorities of the group will be to continually advocate for complete broadband coverage throughout the state.

Haney said so much of the technology being used on the farm is dependent on broadband.

“The use of advanced technology on the farm has become as necessary as the seeds we plant when it comes to raising a crop,” he said. “It only makes sense that we address the broadband issue early and often.”

In addition to broadband, other priority areas for the group include marketing, research, and education. 

Coalition members recently sent a signed letter and a copy of the white paper to agricultural and government leaders in their efforts to bring awareness to agri-tech as it currently exists and what is needed to make advanced technology on the farm a reality for all farm families.

Haney said the group will continue to meet regularly to keep apprised of the initiative’s progress.

“As we continue to bring this coalition together, we will emphasize that agri-tech initiatives will be more successful when all stakeholders are brought to the table,” concluded Haney. “We are poised to connect with any and all such initiatives to ensure future farming generations will be aided by technology on their road to success.”