The3rd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture was held on Thursday, August 27, 2009, at 10:00 AM, in Louisville, Kentucky. Representative Tom McKee, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator David Givens, Co-Chair; Representative Tom McKee, Co-Chair; Senators David E. Boswell, Ernie Harris, Vernie McGaha, Joey Pendleton, Dorsey Ridley, Kathy W. Stein, and Damon Thayer, Representatives Royce W. Adams, Dwight D. Butler, James R. Comer Jr., Mike Denham, C. B. Embry Jr., Jeff Greer, Richard Henderson, Charlie Hoffman, Martha Jane King, Brad Montell, David Osborne, Sannie Overly, Don Pasley, Tom Riner, Steven Rudy, Kent Stevens, Wilson Stone, Tommy Turner, Ken Upchurch, and Susan Westrom.
Guests:† Harold Workman, President and CEO, Kentucky State Fair Board; Board Members:† Lanny Greer, Chairman; Ronald Carmicle, Vice Chair; Anna Jane Cave, Richie Farmer, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Gib Gosser, Hilda Legg, Mike Libs, William Malone, Sam Moore, Fred Sarver, Dr. Scott Smith, Dean, UK College of Agriculture, William Tolle and Steve Wilson; Virginia Flannigan, Kentucky Heritage Center, Dr. Robert Stout, Kentucky Veterinarian, †Mallory Ervin, 2009 Miss Kentucky; House Speaker Greg Stumbo; Rep. Robin Webb, and Rep. John Will Stacy.
LRC Staff:† Lowell Atchley, Stefan Kasacavage, Stewart Willis (Budget Review staff) †and Susan Spoonamore, Committee Assistant.
The July 8, 2009 minutes were approved by voice vote, without objection, upon motion made by Rep. Pasley and seconded by Rep. Denham.
Harold Workman, CEO, Kentucky State Fair, recognized Richie Farmer, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Agriculture for remarks.
Mr. Workman made a report regarding the facilities and operations of the Kentucky State Fair. Going into this yearís State Fair, Mr. Workman stated that they were apprehensive about participation due to the economy. Once all the entries had been received, they were relieved to see that entries were up in most all categories. Attendance has been up and officials are hoping to end the week on a good note, he said.†
Mr. Workman said that he was proud to say that with the expansion of the facilities at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, it was now ranked the 5th largest facility in the country for trade shows and conventions.†
The Fair Board has been charged with the responsibility of managing the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC), and will soon have the responsibility of managing the downtown arena. Mr. Workman also stated that two major conventions will be coming to Louisville between now and 2013 and there are requests pending with interest in the combination of the KICC and the new arena.
Mr. Workman talked about replacing the outdoor stadium with a 12,000 seat amphitheatre. He also discussed building a new 600 plus guest hotel at Gate 1.† He indicated that they hoped to have a developer interested in building the hotel in the near future.
Sen. Pendleton talked about the North American International Livestock Show (NAILS) that is held at the Fairgrounds every year. He raised the issue that the NAILS will not receive any state funding for the year 2009, and if permanent funding is not put back into the NAILS, Kentucky stands to lose the largest livestock show in the world.
Mr. Workman concurred with Sen. Pendleton.† He said it is an event that started 37 years ago, and is owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Sen. Stein asked how long the horses would have to stay in quarantine before the start of the World Equestrian Games. She also asked if the World Equestrian Games would have a positive effect on the Kentucky State Fair next year.
Mr. Workman stated that he could not answer the question about the quarantine of horses being brought into the state for the World Equestrian Games. He said that anything that brings international attention to Kentucky is good for the whole state.
Commissioner Farmer stated that the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the State Veterinarianís Office will be on the front line with quarantining horses. †
Dr. Robert Stout, State Veterinarian, informed the members that the quarantine †facility will be at the airport in Cincinnati, and will be open for approximately 23 days.† Horses from out-of-the country will pass through that facility, moved to the Horse Park, and then return back to the quarantine facility.
Chairman McKee asked if there is a timeline for building the new amphitheatre and hotel, and whether there are additional needs to be considered.
Mr. Workman said that the demolition of the stadium and construction of the amphitheatre would require legislative funding.† The hotel would be a private investment.† One other issue is parking and gate admission.† He said that starting next year there would be automated equipment that would handle debit/credit cards and cash which should make entry into the fairgrounds faster.
Chairman Greer, Kentucky State Fair Board, gave closing remarks on behalf of the Board.†
Executive Order 2009-754, relating to reorganization of the Kentucky Milk Commission, was reviewed and accepted, by voice vote, without objection, upon motion made by Rep. Embry and seconded by Rep. Pasley.
Co-Chairman Givens informed committee members of future meeting dates and places.