The Kentucky Agriculture Council released last week its five-year strategic plan for agriculture called "Connecting: Strategies to Better Kentucky's Agricultural Economy and Rural Communities," its recommended guidelines to bolster the state's farm economy by increasing education, opening new ag markets and recruiting talent back to the farms.
"This strategic plan is not just about improving our farms and helping our farmers; it's about strengthening their place in our communities, improving quality of life and economic vitality across Kentucky," said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. "This plan for Kentucky's agriculture community is a strong and thoughtful document that, when implemented, will help secure a bright future for our farm families."
As the steward of strategic planning for Kentucky, KAC established a task force on the future of agriculture with representatives from its 80-plus member organizations with three co-chairs: Keith Rogers, 4-H Foundation; Todd Clark, Council for Burley Tobacco; and Sharon Furches, Kentucky Women in Agriculture.
For more than a year, KAC's task force met and held public forums to gather input from across the Commonwealth to guide the strategic plan. The 2013-2018 strategic plan is a follow-up to the 2007-2012 plan, which was presented to Gov. Beshear early in his first term. Many of the action items from the earlier plan have been accomplished.
"The Kentucky Ag Council was very gratified by the input to this plan that we received from countless producers and agricultural leaders, who took time to attend one of the seven public forums we held all across the state," said Dan Flanagan, KAC Chairman for 2012. "And on a personal note, as someone who is deeply involved in higher education, I was thrilled to see so many young and first-time farmers involved in the planning process. That led to our decision to focus attention on next generation farmers."
To view or downloaded the plan online, click here.