The5th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources was held on Wednesday, October 8, 2003, at 10:30 AM CDT, at the Holland Farm in Beaver Dam, Kentucky. Representative James Gooch, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representatives James Gooch, Co-Chair, and Roger Thomas, Co-Chair; Senators David Boswell, Robert Leeper, Damon Thayer, and Elizabeth Tori; Representatives Rocky Adkins, Adrian Arnold, John Arnold Jr, James Bruce, Dwight Butler, Mike Cherry, James Comer, Tim Couch, Mike Denham, Charlie Hoffman, Thomas McKee, Brad Montell, Don Pasley, Marie Rader, Rick Rand, Dottie Sims, Brandon Smith, Tommy Turner, Ken Upchurch, and Brent Yonts.
Guests: Wayne Hunsaker, Ohio County Judge/Executive; Larry Whitaker, McLean County Judge/Executive; David McCollough, Farm Credit Service; Randy Mann, grain farmer; Robin Pharis, Perdue employee; Mary Scott, Con-Agra Foods; and Dr. Anthony Pescatore, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture.
LRC Staff: Dan Risch, Tanya Monsanto, DeVon Hankins, Hank Marks, D. Todd Littlefield, Biff Baker, Sheri Mahan, Rhonda Carter, and Kelly Blevins.
Representative Gooch expressed his appreciation to the Kentucky Poultry Federation and to Mr. and Mrs. Holland for hosting the meeting, the tour of the Holland poultry farm, and lunch. During the tour of the poultry houses, the members heard explanations of the farm operations, including the waste composting and the ammonia air emissions reductions efforts. After the tour, Mr. Larry Whitaker, the McLean County Judge/Executive, Mr. David McCollough, of the U.S. Farm Credit Service Agency, Mr. Randy Mann, a Simpson County grain farmer, Ms. Robin Pharis, a Perdue employee, and Dr. Anthony Pescatore, of the University of Kentucky, each explained how poultry farming has benefited the community.
In particular, Dr. Pescatore pointed out that Kentucky's poultry industry now provides jobs for 7000 people and generates $134 million of wages. Poultry workers are drawn from 40 counties and a significant proportion of the jobs are higher paid technical and managerial positions. He said that the industry directly supports 615 farms, many of which have financially suffered from lost tobacco production. Finally, he said that the growth of the poultry industry has stabilized the financial footing of some rural communities and has provided job opportunities that has led to a reversal of the out migration of the youth of those communities.
The committee next traveled to Cromwell, where Mr. Terry Ashby, General Manager of Perdue Processing, and his staff, conducted tours of Perdue's poultry processing plant. The committee adjourned after the tour at approximately 2:00 p.m. CDT.