Ray Allan Mackey honored for Distinguished Service to Agriculture

Posted on Nov 21, 2016

Louisville, KY (December 2, 2016) – Hardin County farmer Ray Allan Mackey has been named winner of Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (KFB) annual award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture. He was honored at the organization’s 97th annual meeting at the Galt House Hotel.

Mackey grew up on a family farm that included livestock, tobacco, grain and commercial seed production. He was also involved an early age with 4-H and FFA projects.

After completing college, he began to manage the family farm under the leadership of his father. Mackey and his wife Jan purchased their first farm in 1986 raising grain, tobacco and alfalfa hay. As their family grew, they expanded the operation buying another farm and adding a small beef cattle herd and a small farrow-to-finish swine enterprise.

After the tobacco buyout of 2004 the Mackey’s increased their volume of tobacco to the point of now having contracts for 165,000 pounds of burley tobacco. He also grows 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans with his brother David.

Mackey has always been eager to try new farming practices as a way to improve efficiency and profitability including the use of vertical tillage in seed bed preparation and variable rate soil testing and fertilizer application.

He has also been active in building relationships with foreign buyers to expand markets and improve exports while serving in leadership roles with commodity organizations. Some of those organizations included the Kentucky Beef Cattle Association, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association and the Kentucky Soybean Association.

He has also been active on the board of the Kentucky Corn Growers Association serving as vice-president and president.  He currently represents that organization on the U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

From a community standpoint, Mackey has served in many volunteer and leadership roles in his church, with the local extension service, and with Farm Bureau. He has also worked extensively with youth programs and made presentations to 4-H and FFA winners during livestock shows.

Mackey has been an active spokesman for farmers and Farm Bureau through the years often being called upon by the local media for comments about ag-related issues.