Remarks from KFB President Mark Haney for the 2018 Ham Breakfast

Posted on Aug 23, 2018
Good morning, and welcome to the 55th Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast and charity auction. Kentucky Farm Bureau is proud to welcome over 1,500 guests to today’s breakfast that celebrates the best of farm bureau—our commitment to Kentucky agriculture.
 
We are proud of today’s tradition. In its 54-year history, the ham breakfast and auction has raised over $10 million for Kentucky charities and nonprofit organizations.
 
We are honored by your presence here this morning. This is one of the most important days of fellowship each year for Kentuckians. Folks come from all over to celebrate what is wonderful about Kentucky, especially in our rural communities. And that is, of course, what Kentucky Farm Bureau is all about – making life better for rural Kentucky.
 
So as we celebrate together this morning as Kentuckians, I just want to personally thank you all for what you do to make the commonwealth the wonderful state it is.
 
Truly, my heart is full on this morning each year when I look out from this stage and see your faces. Old friends, and new. I speak on behalf of the leadership and staff of Kentucky Farm Bureau when I say that it is a pleasure to serve you.
 
Service is a word that defines everything we do at farm bureau, both in the federation and the insurance company. We serve our members. Our members serve their local communities. It’s that culture of service to one another that forms the backbone of Kentucky’s economy.
 
And for the past year, the concept of service has formed the core of a theme we talk about everyday, “Lead Where you Stand.” With so many difficult issues facing the Commonwealth, it is imperative that we all lead where we stand.
 
We can all do something. No matter where you live, whether it’s right here in Jefferson county or in my home town of Nancy in Pulaski county, you live in a community where there is an opportunity to serve and to lead where you stand.
 
When we all lead, whether we know it or not, we become more connected across this state. That strengthens urban and rural communities. It strengthens all of Kentucky.
 
We should set the example for others. We show our children and grandchildren what it means to be responsible and engaged citizens. We form a powerful, unified voice that communicates our values, our hopes, and our dreams to the people we elect to form policies at every level.
 
When we lead where we stand, we guarantee that the values that have defined Kentucky Farm Bureau for 100 years will live on in the next generation.
 
Thank you for your leadership in your communities.
 
Thank you to the elected leaders who have stepped forward to offer themselves for public service.
 
We are about to embark on this organization’s centennial. For 100 years, Kentucky Farm Bureau has stood as a unifying voice for Kentucky farm families to help address the many issues we face daily on the local, state, and national level.
 
You name it, and we have been there to support our members no matter the challenge.
We’ve been through so much together over the last century, and we’ve never wavered in our commitment to this Commonwealth.
 
Being an advocate in Frankfort and Washington is critical to maintaining a viable agricultural industry. Legislative issues are important. Legislative issues matter.
 
One issue that we are heavily engaged in is the Farm Bill, which is currently in conference committee in Washington D.C. We are pleased that United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and first district Congressman James Comer are members of this committee.
 
We are in regular contact with them to ensure that farmers and rural communities across Kentucky will benefit from the investments made by the nation’s next farm bill.
 
This is just one area where our team is working to represent and support our members. There are many others.  
 
Our commitment to education is as strong as ever, Kentucky Farm Bureau and county farm bureau organizations awarded over 400 college scholarships this year totaling nearly a half million dollars. The scholarships were given to recipients who displayed the greatest levels of academic excellence, involvement in extracurricular activities and leadership.
 
I could go on and on, but the fact is – Kentucky Farm Bureau has never been more relevant, more engaged, and more important than it is right now.
We will continue to lead where we stand.
 
And where we stand, folks, is right here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. KFB loves Kentucky.  We have for 100 years. And we will for 100 more.