KAC Strategic Plan cover2013–2018 Strategic Plan

In February 2012, the KAC convened a Task Force representing a broad spectrum of Kentucky agricultural leaders to create an updated strategic plan for Kentucky Agriculture and its rural communities for the 2013-2018 timeframe. Throughout the year, Task Force members and committees developed the plan. Public Forums were held around the state to get additional input. The final plan was presented and formally adopted by the Task Force at the November 8, 2012 Kentucky Ag Summit.

[Download the full KAC Strategic Plan]
[Download the Executive Summary]
[Download the “What Page Are You On?” form to provide KAC an update on your organization’s goals and actions related to the Strategic Plan.]

Sign up for our mailing list to get information about the public presentation of the Strategic Plan.

To quickly navigate to any of the sections on the Strategic Plan page, click a link below:
[ Process Documents ] – [ Issues Questionnaire ] – [ Participating Organizations ] – [ Task Force Meetings ] –
[ Committees ] – [ Public Forums ] – [ 2007–2012 Strategic Plan: History and Process ]

Hear interviews about the Strategic Plan from Kentucky Farm Bureau site:

Across Kentucky icon

KFB Across Kentucky | June 17, 2013 | “What page are you on?” isn’t quite as catchy yet, as that credit card commercial hook using, “What’s in your wallet?,” but the Kentucky Agricultural Council is asking its members to find their page and place and begin work in this first year of the state’s 5-year strategic plan for agriculture. Feldhaus visits with Ag Council Chair, Dr. Tony Brannon, as the group gets rolling in its first year.

KFB Across Kentucky | March 4, 2013 | The Kentucky Ag Council rolled out its 5-year strategic plan at a news conference in Frankfort a few days ago. Feldhaus covers a few of the key elements with council chair, Dan Flanagan, and has several comments about the document from Governor Steve Beshear.

KFB Across Kentucky | Aug 27, 2012 | A series of regional input forums continues this week in Murray, Henderson, and Bowling Green, as the Ky Ag Council seeks ideas and comments from the general public as it develops its next five-year strategic plan for Kentucky agriculture. Comments from Calloway County farm leader Sharon Furches, one of the KAC strategic plan co-chairs.

KFB Across Kentucky | Sept. 4, 2012 | The last three regional input meetings for the Ky Ag Council’s Strategic Plan for Agriculture will be held this week in Laurel, Rowan and Franklin Counties. Feldhaus discusses the process with Task Force co-chair, Todd Clark, a farm entrepreneur from Fayette County.

Process Documents
A number of documents that support the administration, policies, and the time frame for the planning process are linked below:

[ back to top ]

Issues Questionnaire
At the February 21 kick-off meeting, a three-page, in-depth questionnaire was distributed to all Task Force members, seeking their organizations’ perspectives on the importance of various challenges, opportunities and major issues facing Kentucky Agriculture. A Summary as well as numerical results of the tabulated questionnaire results were provided to Task Force members at their second meeting (May 30). Task Force members then had an opportunity to vote on a wide range of “themes” emerging from the questionnaire responses. Voting was conducted anonymously using an Electronic Response System. Seven Committees then were established to begin development of preliminary Goals, Actions and Benchmarks for the top-ranked themes.

[ back to top ]

Participating Organizations

  • Agribusiness Association of Kentucky
  • Agribusiness Industry Network, Inc.
  • Agriculture Workforce Management Association
  • Berea College Department of Agriculture
  • Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association
  • Center for Rural Development
  • Community Farm Alliance
  • Council for Burley Tobacco, Inc.
  • Eastern Kentucky University Department of Agriculture
  • Farm Credit Services
  • Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy
  • Hopkinsville Community College
  • Kentucky 4H Foundation
  • Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund Board
  • Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation
  • Kentucky Agritourism Advisory Council
  • Kentucky Alternative Livestock Association
  • Kentucky Aquaculture Association
  • Kentucky Assocation of Conservation Districts
  • Kentucky Association of Agricultural Educators
  • Kentucky Association of Conservation District Employees
  • Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners
  • Kentucky Bankers Association
  • Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association
  • Kentucky Center for Agricultural & Rural Development
  • Kentucky Corn Growers Association
  • Kentucky Council on Post Secondary Education
  • Kentucky Department for Energy Development & Independence
  • Kentucky Department of Agriculture
  • Kentucky Diary Development Council
  • Kentucky Division of Conservation
  • Kentucky Equine Education Project
  • Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation
  • Kentucky Farm Services Agency
  • Kentucky Farmers Market Association
  • Kentucky Feed and Grain Association
  • Kentucky FFA Association
  • Kentucky FFA Foundation
  • Kentucky Forest Industries Association
  • Kentucky Goat Producers Association
  • Kentucky Greenhouse Association
  • Kentucky Grocers Association
  • Kentucky Horse Council
  • Kentucky Horse Park
  • Kentucky Horticultural Council
  • Kentucky House of Representatives
  • Kentucky Livestock Coalition
  • Kentucky Nursery & Landscape Association
  • Kentucky Pork Producers Association
  • Kentucky Poultry Federation
  • Kentucky Retail Federation
  • Kentucky Senate
  • Kentucky Retail Federation
  • Kentucky Senate
  • Kentucky Sheep & Goat Development Office
  • Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association
  • Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association
  • Kentucky Soybean Association
  • Kentucky State Beekeepers Association
  • Kentucky State Fair Board
  • Kentucky State University
  • Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
  • Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association
  • Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association
  • Kentucky Women in Agriculture
  • Kentucky Woodland Owners Association
  • Morehead State University
  • Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center
  • Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture
  • Office of Senator Rand Paul
  • Organic Association of Kentucky
  • PACE Board
  • University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
  • University of Kentucky Ag Advisory Board
  • USDA NASS Kentucky Field Office
  • USDA Rural Develoment
  • West Kentucky AgBioworks
  • Western Kentucky University Department of Agriculture

[ back to top ]

Task Force Meetings
Over the course of the 2012 year the Task Force members will conduct 5 formal meetings as a group, for the purpose of identifying issues facing Kentucky Agriculture (“Challenges”, “Opportunities” etc.). From this step, and through various subcommittees, they then developed a series of Goals, Actions and performance benchmarks that respond to the key themes and issues that had been identified. These form the building blocks around which the new plan is being finalized.

February 21, 2012
Agenda |  Summary Notes |
Yellow Sheet Responses|
Flip Chart Notes

May 30, 2012
Agenda Summary Notes |

June 14, 2012
Lexington FFA / 4H
Youth Focus Group

In addition to formal Task Force
meetings, the strategic planning
process reached out to this youth
audience to get fresh views on the
future of agriculture from the
next generation of farmers and
agricultural leaders.
Youth Focus Group responses

July 11, 2012
AgendaSummary Notes |
Committee summaries of goals, objectives, actions, benchmarks (see the following section on Committees)

August 16, 2012
AgendaSummary Notes |

[ back to top ]

Following the identification of key “Themes” at the May 30 meeting, Task Force members divided themselves among committees, and began to develop in-depth recommendations for Goals, Actions, and Benchmarks (outcomes) under each theme. At the July 11 meeting, Task Force members primarily worked within their respective Committees to further develop this material. The Committee-defined topics have been further refined to reflect input from the KAC Board of Directors, and to ensure that issues and goals that were part of the original 2007-2012 strategic plan receive continuing attention where needed.

Notes from the meeting:

[ back to top ]

Public Forums
Throughout August and September 2012, the KAC’s strategic planning process included a series of public forums held at seven locations across the state, to which the public and all those interested in the future of Kentucky agriculture were invited. These forums provide important input to the new strategic plan for Kentucky agriculture and the state’s rural communities for the 2013-2018 period.

[ back to top ]

2007–2012 Strategic Plan: History and Process

Prior to the federal tobacco buy-out in October of 2004, Kentucky agriculture as a whole has not had a unifying focus or strategy to guide its future growth and development. Various organizations and agricultural sectors had established plans for their respective interests, but no plan existed for the industry as a whole.

In the fall of 2006, Kentucky’s Governor Ernie Fletcher secured the support of key agricultural leaders to address this need by developing a bold and broadly inclusive strategic plan. On March 15, 2007, over 450 Kentucky agriculture leaders attended the first Governor’s Summit on Agriculture, where then-Governor Fletcher personally issued this challenge to the assembled leaders. The day-long event at the Kentucky Exposition Center featured nationally known business and economic experts, as well as representatives from all segments of Kentucky’s agricultural industry. Governor Fletcher called on the Commonwealth’s agricultural organizations, agribusiness and farmers to develop an action-oriented strategic plan which would build on Kentucky’s agricultural strengths and propel all of Kentucky agriculture into the future.

The Plan needed to:

      • address state, federal, and non-governmental components
      • prioritize issues facing the industry
      • establish action plans
      • set benchmarks for accountability

A major strategic intent of the new plan was to assess how the public views the agricultural sector, including their perspectives on the use of technology and on farm policy. Governor Fletcher emphasized the importance of securing strong public support for farm programs and for environmental and resource use issues important to agriculture’s success. Finally, he encouraged the State’s agriculture leaders to complete the plan before the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2008 Legislative Session, in order for it to be timely and actionable.

State Agriculture leaders including Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Marshall Coyle and University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith accepted the governor’s challenge on behalf of Kentucky agriculture. Because of its broad representative base and its independent status, the Kentucky Agricultural Council (KAC) was asked to lead the plan’s development. During the Governor’s Summit, Dr. Tony Brannon, Dean of Agriculture at Murray State University and Chairperson of the Council, kicked off the initiative by presenting a project roadmap, including steps through which input would be obtained from all sectors of agriculture and agribusiness, and from the public at large. Over the next 45 days, agricultural organizations and entities across Kentucky nominated representatives, alternates and staff members to serve on the Council’s Task Force. The Task Force met for the first time on May 2, 2007. Reflecting the sense of urgency that agricultural leaders brought to this initiative, a goal was set to complete the plan before the end of the year.

Five additional Task Force meetings, as well as six Regional Public Forums held around the state to solicit and incorporate input to the plan drafted by the Task Force, were held from July through December.

A Pathway for Kentucky’s Agriculture and its Rural Communities, 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan, was adopted in December 2007. For more information download complete plan, which includes:

Chairman’s Letter
Priority Policy & Legislative Actions to Advance Kentucky Agriculture
Section One: Core Strategies and Recommended Actions to Drive Kentucky Agricultural Progress

      • Agricultural Production and Consumer Marketing
      • Agri-Energy Development
      • Education
      • Public Awareness and Advocacy
      • Rural Communities: Quality of Life, Conservation and Community Leadership Development
      • Agricultural Development Fund and Supporting State Government Actions
      • Conclusions and Next Steps Beyond 2008


Section Two: Overview of the Strategic Planning Process

      • The Planning Process at a Glance
      • Historical Context for a New Strategic Plan
      • Competitive Position of Kentucky’s Agricultural Economy Today
      • Task Force Membership


On August 20, 2009, the Kentucky Agricultural Council released its first Progress Report, that tracks efforts made to implement A Pathway for Kentucky Agriculture and its Rural Communities: 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan. The Progress Report was presented to representatives of the Executive and Legislative branches of Kentucky government, as well as to the agriculture community at large.
Click on the image to download The Progress Report.

[ back to top ]