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News - KFB 91st Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

  • December 06, 2010

Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) concluded its 91st annual meeting with voting delegates electing officers and adopting policy for 2011, and the Board of Directors approving condensed lists of priority issues. Federal legislative issues such as farm programs, environmental regulations, estate taxes and energy policy were prominent on the list.

Executive Committee Elections
Pulaski County farmer Mark Haney was re-elected president of KFB, Webster County’s Eddie Melton was elected to fill the vacant role of First Vice-President, and Hart County’s J. Fritz Giesecke was elected as Second Vice-President. They comprise KFB’s Executive Committee along with Executive Vice President David S. Beck.

Haney has served on the Executive Committee for 12 years and has been a state director since 1993. For years he chaired the State Resolutions Committee. He is a past president of the Kentucky Center for Cooperative Development and the Kentucky Horticultural Society. A former President of the Pulaski County Farm Bureau, Haney and his brother, Don, produce apples and peaches near Nancy, KY, where they also raise beef cattle. They sell fresh produce from their orchards – as well as cider, jellies, baked goods and other products – at a KFB Certified Roadside Market located on the farm. He and his wife, Marlene, have two sons and a daughter.

Melton is chairman of KFB’s State Resolutions Committee and is a former President of Webster County Farm Bureau. He also was chairman of KFB’s Farm Bill Task Force, which conducted statewide forums and sought input from Kentucky farmers on provisions of the 2008 farm bill. Melton serves in leadership positions with the Corn Growers Promotion Board and is chairman of the board of the Southern States Cooperative. He and his wife, Regina, have a daughter.

Giesecke serves as the chair of the Beef Cattle Advisory Committee and vice chair of the Farm Labor Advisory Committee. He also represented Kentucky Farm Bureau on the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Giesecke has been an active member of the Hart County Farm Bureau for over 30 years where he has served in a variety of leadership positions, including county president. He also served 25 years as county supervisor for the local soil conservation district. The Pulaski County native farms 190 acres in Horse Cave, KY. He and his wife, Lydia, have a daughter and a son.

2011 Priority Issues
As KFB members turned to targeting issues for 2011, Kentucky’s largest farm organization continues to advocate health care reform that will stabilize the market, encourage competition and increase consumer choice. The organization supports policies that allow association health plans and contain costs through tort reform. KFB also continues to place a high priority on reforming the H-2A program for migrant farm workers.

At the state level, the list of priorities includes maintaining the funding level for Kentucky’s historic agricultural development initiative that utilizes tobacco settlement funds, permanent repeal of the estate tax and maintaining sales tax exemptions for production agriculture.

Other state legislative priorities include:
 Funding for Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center.
 Continued funding of the Soil Erosion and Water Quality Cost-Share Program.
 Ensure that steep increases in property taxes are subject to voter referendum.
 Protect the rights of landowners when dealing with regional planning issues, eminent domain laws or smart growth initiatives.
 Broadening the representation of production agriculture on the State Board of Agriculture. Under legislation enacted this year, the State Board is involved in the process of developing livestock care standards for Kentucky.

“As always, we have a full agenda,” said Haney. “Our broad range of policy positions are aimed at strengthening our farm economy and providing farm families with essential programs and services.”

In regard to national farm policy, KFB advocates maintaining an effective economic safety net for farm families. It also opposes several regulatory proposals under the Clean Water and Clean Air Act on grounds that they are unnecessary and burdensome.

The farm organization is calling for the repeal of a provision in the health care reform law that would require farmers to submit IRS form 1099 for all purchases of services or goods. Under prior law a 1099 was required only for purchases of services in excess of $600. Farm interests nationwide are objecting to this burdensome and costly change in the tax law.

Board of Directors Election Results
Two new members were elected to fill expiring terms on the board. Stephen DeBord, of Eubank, KY, is the new chair of the Young Farmers Advisory Committee, and Phyllis Amyx, of Campton, KY, is the newly elected chair of the Women's Advisory Committee. DeBord replaces Chris Ragan, of Bowling Green, who served in the Young Farmer post for one year. Amyx replaces Frieda Heath, of Hickory, who served as chair of Women’s Advisory Committee for three years.

Other board members are: Randall Heath of Graves County; Tripp Furches of Calloway County; Kelly Thurman of McLean County; Steve Bolinger of Christian County; Larry Thomas of Hardin County; Patrick M. Henderson of Breckinridge County; Russell Poore of Logan County; Jay Coleman of Barren County; Scott Travis of Spencer County; Randy Chrisman of Anderson County; Joe Paul Mattingly of Marion County; David Chappell of Owen County; Terry Rowlett of Henry County; Danny Wilkinson of Adair County; Kim McCoy of Cumberland County; Terry R. Gilbert of Boyle County; David L. Campbell of Lincoln County; Alex Barnett of Harrison County; Shane Wiseman of Clark County; David McGlone of Carter County; Carroll Amyx of Wolfe County; Charlie Benge of Laurel County; Bige Hensley of Clay County; Marshall Coyle of Bath County; Mickey Sirls of Marshall County; Curt Lucas of Casey County; Kevin Lyons of Monroe County; and Dr. M. Scott Smith of Fayette County, who is also Dean of the UK College of Agriculture.

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