Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces First Governor's Summit on Agriculture

Press Release Date:  Friday, February 02, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Angela Blank

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced the first Governor’s Summit on Agriculture, emphasizing the need for strategic thinking about the future of an industry ingrained in Kentucky’s heritage.

The Governor’s Summit on Agriculture will be held on Thursday, March 15, 2007 at 9 a.m. Eastern time in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. All agricultural leaders and those involved with agriculture across the Commonwealth are invited to attend.

“Kentucky farmers continue to make history as they transform our agricultural economy from one based on tobacco to one that is economically strong and diverse. Agriculture leaders must continue to push forward and prepare for the future,” said Governor Fletcher. “I am hosting this Summit to bring agriculture leaders together to begin the process of a strategic plan of action that encompasses all aspects of agriculture. This plan should establish the policies and goals needed for continued success and the movement of Kentucky agriculture into the future.”

The agricultural diversification efforts that started with House Bill 611 in 2000 are paying great dividends for our farm families and rural communities.  In the past three years, total farm income surpassed four billion for the first time in history and net farm income reached new heights.  The entrepreneurial spirit of our farmers is creating new income sources by adding value to traditional farm commodities.

Because our farmers face a world of constant change, we have little time to rest.  The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board has approved an initiative for 2007 to update County Comprehensive Plans for agriculture.  The strategic plan of action will be the next step for agricultural leaders to build on successes of recent years.  Governor Fletcher would like to thank Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer, Farm Bureau President Marshall Coyle, and University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith for their support and participation in the Governor’s Summit on Agriculture.

“The state of Kentucky agriculture today is strong,” Commissioner Farmer said. “There’s a spirit of teamwork and optimism that has strengthened the foundation of Kentucky agriculture for years to come. By working together, we can do even more to ensure a bright future for the next generation of Kentucky farmers and agribusinesses.”

Registration information for the Governor’s Summit on Agriculture will be available on Feb. 22, 2007, on the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy Web site at