Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy
Op-Ed: One Accord, One Voice
Editor’s Note: The Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund is the investment of 50 percent of Kentucky’s Master Settlement Agreement made by Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky General Assembly to lessen Kentucky’s dependence on tobacco production, while revitalizing the farm economy.
One Accord, One Voice
Op-Ed by Roger Thomas, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy
As we continue to observe the 10th anniversary of the creation of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, we have passed another notable date – the 10th anniversary of the first meeting of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (ADB).
It was July 19, 2000 when then Gov. Paul Patton chaired the inaugural meeting of the ADB at the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center in Princeton. The first order of business beyond obvious staffing needs was to discuss general goals and review the possibilities for this new board and the initiative it was about to create.
Over the initial six months, much energy was put into setting up the operations of the board, developing a near-term plan, supporting newly organized County Agricultural Development Councils and development of an application process for the available funding.
Ten years later, more than 3,600 projects and $301 million have assisted in growing Kentucky agriculture into a more than $4 billion industry and diversifying Kentucky’s agriculture and rural economy. Even so, there is still much more to do, as we look to the next decade of agricultural development and diversification.
To commemorate the efforts of the last decade, a seven minute video, One Accord, One Voice, was developed to show where we started and how far we have come with Agricultural Development Fund investments and the diversification of Kentucky agriculture.
Sam Moore, one of the original ADB members, and Charles Miller, a former Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation board member, share their insights on the cooperation that led to the enacting legislation and how the fund came into existence.
The video also highlights a variety of projects that have been impacted by the Agricultural Development Fund, including Roundstone Native Seed, Commonwealth Agri-Energy and Elmwood Stock Farm. Representatives from each project share their experiences, how the fund has helped their dreams become reality and discuss the impact on different industries in agriculture.
As Mr. Moore stated in the video, Kentucky’s agricultural diversification effort is the result of a collection of various agriculture organizations and leaders coming together with “one accord and one voice” to move Kentucky agriculture into the 21st century.
To view the One Accord, One Voice video, visit agpolicy.ky.gov/news-center.shtml.
The video, One Accord, One Voice, was produced in cooperation with Media Working Group and the Kentucky Office of Creative Services.