The2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources was held on Thursday, August 26, 2004, at 10:00 AM, in the VIP Suite of the Kentucky State Fairgrounds, in Louisville, Kentucky. Representative Roger Thomas, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representative Roger Thomas, Co-Chair; Senators David Boswell, Dan Kelly, Robert Leeper, Vernie McGaha, Virgil Moore, Joey Pendleton, and Damon Thayer; Representatives Royce Adams, Adrian Arnold, Scott Brinkman, Dwight Butler, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, James Comer, Mike Denham, Jimmy Higdon, Thomas McKee, Charles E. Meade, Brad Montell, Fred Nesler, Don Pasley, Marie Rader, Rick Rand, Dottie Sims, Brandon Smith, Jim Stewart, Tommy Turner, Ken Upchurch, Robin L. Webb, Susan Westrom, and Brent Yonts.
Guests: Paul Rothman, Jim Villines, Jim McKenzie, Department of Surface Mining; Michael Judge, Department of Agriculture; Tony Sholar, Weyerhaeuser; and Debby Spencer, West Kentucky Cooperative.
LRC Staff: Tanya Monsanto, Lowell Atchley, Hank Marks, D. Todd Littlefield, Biff Baker, Rhonda Carter, and Kelly Blevins.
Representative Thomas thanked everyone for attending the annual Kentucky State Fair meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. He asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the July meeting of the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee. The motion was seconded and minutes were approved. Rep. Thomas stated that the annual state fair meeting is conducted in joint with the Kentucky State Fair Board. It provides a unique opportunity for the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee to showcase Kentucky agriculture.
Then, Rep. Thomas asked Mr. Lanny Greer, chairperson of the Kentucky State Fair Board to conduct the meeting of the State Fair Board. Mr. Greer thanked everyone for their attendance, and then asked the members of the State Fair Board to introduce themselves. Mr. Greer then asked Mr. Harold Workman, President and CEO of the State Fair Board to provide an update to the committee on the construction and promotional activities of the State Fair and Exposition Center.
Mr. Workman explained that 2004 is the one hundredth anniversary of the Kentucky State Fair. He described the various exhibits at the Kentucky State Fair and the construction of additional Class A space in the South and East wings of the Exposition Center. Mr. Workman stated that the additional Class A space will make it possible for new venders to participate in the Kentucky State Fair and for the space to be utilized non-fair related shows, conventions, and expositions. Mr. Workman then asked for questions for the members of the committee.
Rep. Adams asked about the progress of construction in the South Wing. Rep. Brinkman then asked for updated information about the East Wing. Mr. Workman responded by describing the overall plan for the Class A space. He said that they will eventually construct a hotel and connect the hotel to the South Wing through a pedestrian walkway. An request for proposals will be put forth by the State Fair Board soon.
Senator Boswell commended the State Fair Board's work and asked about fair attendance this year. Mr. Workman said that the Kentucky State Fair always has very good attendance. Last Saturday, attendance was in the area of 94,000 persons.
Rep. McKee described his experiences in attending the Kentucky State Fair. He said expansion of the facilities is dramatic, and in particular, the farm machinery show describes how Kentucky agriculture has changed over time. Mr. Workman replied the National Farm Machinery show is the best in the nation.
Rep. Thomas thanked Chairman Greer and Mr. Workman for their testimony. He then recognized the members of the Agricultural Development Board in attendance of the meeting. Rep. Thomas then recognized Senator Pendleton who gave an update on Rep. Bruce who was unable to attend the meeting due to illness.
Rep. Thomas stated the next meeting would be held on September 8, 2004 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Rep. Thomas then recognized a motion to adjourn which was seconded. The meeting adjourned.