Call to Order and Roll Call
The1st meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture was held on Wednesday, July 14, 2010, at<MeetTime> 9:00 AM, at the Convention Center, Kentucky Dam Village, Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Representative Tom McKee, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Tom McKee, Co-Chair; Senators David E. Boswell, Bob Leeper, Joey Pendleton, Kathy W. Stein, and Ken Winters; Representatives John A. Arnold Jr., John "Bam" Carney, C. B. Embry Jr., Richard Henderson, Charlie Hoffman, Martha Jane King, Fred Nesler, Don Pasley, Steven Rudy, and Wilson Stone.
Guests: Representative Will Coursey; Keith Tapp, Webster County; Mike Burchett, Calloway County; Warren Beeler, Kentucky Department of Agriculture; and Dave Maples, Kentucky Cattleman’s Association.
LRC Staff: Biff Baker, Lowell Atchley, and Susan Spoonamore, Committee Assistant.
Keith Tapp and Mike Burchett, members of the Kentucky Soybean Association (KSA), talked about changes to the industry, especially technology advances. Because of technology, farmers are able to use the entire soybean for biodiesel, food, and grain – no part is wasted.
Mr. Burchett explained that the KSA is working with other farm organizations and commodities to provide a united front on farming issues. He and Mr. Tapp both thanked the members for creating The Livestock Care Commission (HB 398).
In response to questioning, Mr. Burchett stated that the soybean checkoff is working well. The money is used to promote the soybean industry, including organic soybeans, though organic beans are a small niche market; most of the harvested soybean goes into making bean meal.
Mr. Burchett also confirmed that there is a public misconception that using soybeans for producing biodiesel takes away from the food chain. He stated that biodiesel is made from a byproduct of soybeans, and it was not hurting the food supply.
Mr. Burchett and Mr. Tapp stated that the Agriculture Committee could help the agricultural industry by refining restrictions for animal agriculture
On another note, Representative Henderson commented that dead animal removal is becoming a serious issue, and that all counties needed help to solve the problem.
Mr. Burchett and Mr. Tapp, on behalf of the KSA, presented Chairman McKee a special “Friend of Agriculture” award for his commitment to agriculture.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned for tours of a swine and poultry operation.