Call to Order and Roll Call
The3rd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture was held on Thursday, August 23, 2012, at 10:00 AM, in the VIP Room, Kentucky State Fair Exposition Center, 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 Joe Bowen, Paul Hornback, Vernie McGaha, Dennis Parrett, Joey Pendleton, Dorsey Ridley, Damon Thayer, and Robin L. Webb; Representatives Royce W. Adams, , John "Bam" Carney, Mike Cherry, Jim DeCesare, Mike Denham, Myron Dossett, C.B. Embry Jr., Sara Beth Gregory, Kim King, Martha Jane King, Michael Meredith, Brad Montell, Sannie Overly, Ryan Quarles, Tom Riner, Bart Rowland, Steven Rudy, Rita Smart, and Wilson Stone.
Guests: Harold Workman, President and CEO, Kentucky State Fair and Exposition Center; Ronald Carmicle, Chairman, Kentucky State Fair Board; Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville, Kentucky; Tim Capps, Director, Equine Program, University of Louisville, College of Business, and members of the Kentucky State Fair Board.
The June 13, 2012, and July 11, 2012, minutes were approved by voice vote, without objection, upon motion made by Senator McGaha and second by Representative Stone.
Report of the Kentucky State Fair Board
Mr. Ron Carmicle discussed the potential of the Six Flags Amusement Park being reopened and said that the Board is working with the Governor to advance the process. He said that the closure of the Park created financial stress. He also talked about the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Convention returning to Louisville along with other events that will result in significant economic benefits to Louisville.
Mr. Harold Workman explained that the State Fair actually runs three weeks instead of two weeks. The Quarter Horse Show must be completed the week before the official opening because of limited space and time slots. He stressed the need to keep all of the facilities in good shape in order to draw trade shows and other events. The downtown Louisville Convention Center will need to be renovated and/or expanded.
Louisville Health Hometown and Farm to Table Programs
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer explained the Healthy Hometown Movement and a Food-to-Table Program promoting homegrown food products. The program encourages people to eat nutritious food and helps to eliminate food deserts in the poorest neighborhoods. The program also helps to promote Louisville’s top ranked restaurants, chefs and other food industries. In addition, Mayor Fischer stated that the city’s plan to study the local demand for specific foods should help to identify which products are needed. The study will be beneficial toward blending the urban and rural communities. Mayor Fischer said he would like to see an increase in the number of hot house and greenhouses and the development of a processing center to convert apples into applesauce and tomatoes into tomato paste.
In response to questions from legislators, Mayor Fischer stated that the next level would be year-round production depending on the information gathered from the study. He also said that Jefferson County Public Schools is a strong partner within the program.
Equine Industry Program, University of Louisville, College of Business
Mr. Tim Capps, Director, stated that the Equine Program is in its 25th year and that it is the only equine program in America to be housed in a College of Business. He said it is important for students to acquire a business major to be successful in the equine industry. The College has graduated over 300 students with most being women. UK and UofL have a strong working relationship.
In response to Representative Denham, Mr. Capps said that no students have been interested in Saddlebreds.
In response to Senator Webb, Mr. Capps stated that the program is a member of the Kentucky Horse Council.
The meeting adjourned.