The Kentucky Ag Council is an umbrella group representing all sectors of Kentucky Agriculture. Its 70+ members include non-profit organizations, trade associations, commodity groups, state and federal agencies, and institutions of higher education — all interested in the advancement and development of Kentucky agriculture. KAC works to:
- Plan programs for its members and disseminate information that creates an understanding and appreciation of Kentucky agriculture.
- Serve as liaison between private and public agricultural organizations, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Governor, and the legislature in order to develop and effectively utilize our agricultural resources to the fullest extent.
Since 2006 Kentucky’s governors have asked the KAC to assume a leadership role in planning to help increase net farm income and to improve the quality of life in rural Kentucky, resulting in the publication of A Pathway for Kentucky’s Agriculture and its Rural Communities: 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan. Today the KAC fulfills an ongoing role as the “steward” of strategic planning for Kentucky Agriculture and its rural communities.
KAC holds quarterly meetings (open to the public) to update members on topics of broad interest as well as to focus on the ongoing progress of the strategic plan.
The Kentucky Agricultural Council wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund for the ongoing efforts by the Kentucky Agricultural Council to facilitate the implementation of its strategic plan A Pathway for Kentucky’s Agriculture and its Rural Communities: 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan.
The KAC was established in the late 1970s by the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s E. W. Kessler and other Kentucky agricultural leaders. Originally it operated as an informal group that met once or twice each year for the purpose of sharing information about common goals, projects and activities of the members.
During the mid-1990s, the KAC incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization and its activities became more formalized with the adoption of Bylaws, a statement of purpose, and creation of an Executive Committee. Its focus was to promote communication among the State’s institutions of agricultural education, State and Federal agricultural agencies, and the main commodity groups, working toward common goals.
In partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the KAC helped coordinate activities and served as a forum for the exchange among its members by sponsoring events such as a Governor’s Ag Tour, Agriculture Summits, and award programs to recognize outstanding producers and innovative ideas in agriculture.
The KAC also supported and served as a sounding board for major initiatives designed to strengthen the competitiveness of Kentucky agriculture. This focus continued during the 1998–2004 period, when Master Settlement Agreement and the National Tobacco Buyout forever changed the economic and production landscape for Kentucky farmers, and Kentucky’s HB 611 establish a new framework via the Agricultural Development Board for funding and supporting innovative initiatives in agricultural production and marketing statewide.
Since 2006, at the request of the Governor of Kentucky, the KAC has taken on a stronger leadership role in strategic planning to help increase net farm income and to improve the quality of life in rural Kentucky, leading to publication of A Pathway for Kentucky’s Agriculture and its Rural Communities: 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan. Continued encouragement by Kentucky’s most recent Governor for the KAC to play a facilitator role in implementing this plan led to the adoption of new ByLaws and strengthening the representation of KAC members on its Board of Directors in early 2009.
Along with its quarterly meetings (open to all KAC members), the Board has established six committees centered on the key goals of the strategic plan, that continue to drive forward the implementation of its recommended Actions, provide accountability toward meeting the plan’s Benchmarks, and that will help update the plan on a periodic basis. The KAC’s strategic planning committees are designed to encourage broad participation by individuals and representatives from all sectors of Kentucky agriculture.