Call to Order and Roll Call
Themeeting of the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee was held on Wednesday, February 2, 2011, upon adjournment of the House and Senate Chambers, in Room 129 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Carroll Gibson, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Carroll Gibson, Co-Chair; Representative Wilson Stone, Co-Chair; Senators David Givens, Vernie McGaha, Dennis Parrett, and Damon Thayer; Representatives Royce W. Adams, James R. Comer Jr., Tom McKee, and Fred Nesler.
Guests:† Roger Thomas, Joel Neaveill, Bill McCloskey, Jennifer Hudnall, Michael Tobin, and Angela Blank, Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy.
Election of House Co-Chair
Following roll call, there was an election of a House Co-Chair to replace former Representative Dottie Sims.
Representative Tom McKee nominated Representative Wilson Stone for House Co-Chair; seconded by Representative Fred Nesler. Representative Nesler moved that nominations cease and that Representative Stone be elected by acclamation, and this was seconded by Representative Jamie Comer. Without objection, Representative Stone was elected House Co-Chair. Upon his election, Representative Stone thanked the committee for the opportunity to serve.
Minutes and Announcements
The December 1, 2010 minutes were approved, by voice vote and without objection, on a motion made by Senator McGaha and seconded by Senator Givens.
The presiding chair, Senator Carroll Gibson formally welcomed three new committee members who then introduced themselves: Senator Dennis Parrett, Representative Nesler, and Representative Stone.
Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy
Chairman Gibson called on Mr. Roger Thomas, Executive Director, and Mr. Joel Neaveill, Chief of Staff, and Bill McCloskey, Director of Financial Services, Governorís Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP), to review the projects considered by the Agricultural Development Board (ADB) during meetings in December 2010 and January 2011.
Before summarizing the projects, the three GOAP representatives reviewed the 2011 program and policy revisions approved by the ADB in the earlier meetings. The changes affected several areas, including: general guideline changes and policy changes; share-use equipment; producer education and training (new program); farmersí market infrastructure competitive grant program (new program); agricultural diversification investment; buyer-seller language; dead livestock on-farm composting; farm structure and commodity handling investment; fertilizer; and technology investment.
They responded to several committee membersí questions, including the levels of commitment and growth of local and regional farmersí markets, the procedures involved in setting up on-farm composting endeavors, general guidelines related to non-profit applications, and general procedures related to applying for funds.
The GOAP officials reviewed the projects approved for funding at the earlier ADB meetings. Those included: Heart of Scottsville, a farmersí market feasibility study; Crittenden County Board of Education, a high school greenhouse project; Grayson County Conservation District, welding training; Wayne County Pork Producers Association, a project in support of the Wayne County Women in Agriculture program; Jessamine County FFA Alumni Association, a chainsaw safety training project; and Scott B. Shackelford, an individual setting up a produce collection and shipping facility in Todd County.
Regarding the Heart of Scottsville farmersí market feasibility study, Senator Givens first complimented Representative Nesler for earlier questioning the need for such a study. He then pointed out the study would have a long-term value to that city. He noted that the Turner Foundation is committing funds to the endeavor, thus in-depth study would be needed.
During the Grayson County welding project discussion, the GOAP officials responded to Co-Chair Gibson that a $400 commitment from each participant is generally a standard amount. They also later clarified the fee arrangement for Senator McGaha.
As for the Jessamine County chainsaw project, the GOAP officials noted that an ADB application review committee had earlier recommended no-funding for the project, but the full board decided to grant funding because of the safety aspect involved.
The Scott Shackelford project also prompted questions from committee members. The GOAP officials explained to Co-Chair Gibson that the applicant had prior experience in produce handling and delivery. Mr. McCloskey noted that several producers are involved in the undertaking in the Todd County area, and that Mr. Shackelford agreed to take the lead on shipment efforts. Mr. Thomas noted that ADB funds committed will be used to renovate an existing building as a site to take in produce and sort it for shipment.
They indicated to Co-Chair Stone that the project is not associated with an auction facility in Fairview operated by Mennonite producers. Co-Chair Stone said it is appropriate to encourage such produce distribution efforts.
Co-Chair Gibson talked about produce distribution activities in Hart County. Mr. McCloskey suggested that those involved may wish to apply for agricultural development funds.
Documents distributed during the committee meeting are available with meeting materials in the LRC Library.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 5:45 pm.