Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Hosts First Summit on Agriculture

Press Release Date:  Thursday, March 15, 2007  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Angela Blank

Governor challenges Kentucky agriculture community to create strategic plan

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Hundreds of state agricultural leaders gathered today in Louisville for the first Governor’s Summit on Agriculture.  The day-long event at the Kentucky Exposition Center featured nationally known business and economic experts as well as top leaders in Kentucky’s agricultural industry.  Governor Ernie Fletcher was on hand to present a challenge to Kentucky’s entire agricultural community.

Governor Fletcher addressed the more than 400 attendees and issued a call to the state’s agricultural leaders and organizations, agri-businesses and farmers to develop a strategic plan of action which builds on the Commonwealth’s agricultural successes and will propel all of Kentucky agriculture into the future.

“I challenge Kentucky agriculture to bring forward a plan that embraces the goals and objectives of the entire industry and creates a roadmap to guide our farm families to a brighter and more profitable tomorrow,” said Governor Fletcher.  “We are in the midst of a strong farm economy, and today I call on Kentucky agriculture to devise a strategic plan to secure a prosperous future for the entire industry.  I pledge my support to help accomplish this goal.”

Governor Fletcher asked Kentucky’s agricultural leaders to develop a plan with state, federal and non-government components that prioritizes the industry’s issues, establishes action plans and sets benchmarks.

Agriculture leaders including Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Marshall Coyle and University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith accepted the governor’s challenge on behalf of Kentucky agriculture.

Governor Fletcher also encouraged farm leaders to assess how the public views the agricultural industry as it relates to the use of technology and farm policy.  He emphasized the importance of agriculture’s leaders having support of the public in farm programs and environmental and resource use issues.  Governor Fletcher also encouraged agriculture leaders to complete the state portion of the strategic plan before the Kentucky General Assembly meets next January.