Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources


Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 2nd Meeting

of the 2007 Interim


<MeetMDY1> August 23, 2007


The<MeetNo2> 2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources was held on<Day> Thursday,<MeetMDY2> August 23, 2007, at<MeetTime> 10:00 AM, in<Room> the VIP Suite at the State Fairgrounds. Representative Tom McKee, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.


Present were:


Members:<Members> Representative Tom McKee, Co-Chair; Senators David E. Boswell, Ernie Harris, Bob Leeper, Vernie McGaha, Joey Pendleton, Dorsey Ridley, and Damon Thayer; Representatives Royce W. Adams, Dwight D. Butler, Mike Cherry, Hubert Collins, James R. Comer Jr, C. B. Embry Jr, Keith Hall, Jimmy Higdon, Charlie Hoffman, Reginald Meeks, Brad Montell, David Osborne, Don Pasley, Tom Riner, Steven Rudy, and Robin L. Webb.




LRC Staff:  Tanya Monsanto, Biff Baker, and Lindsey Murphy.


            There was not a quorum at the meeting, so the minutes were not approved.

The first item on the agenda was an introduction of the fair board members. Mr. Thomas Schifano, Chair of the fair board, welcomed the members of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee to the fair, then had the board members introduce themselves to the committee. Next, Mr. Schifano introduced Commissioner Farmer, who thanked the committee members for their support of Kentucky agriculture.


            Mr. Schifano then introduced Commerce Secretary Ward, who thanked the committee members for considering the energy bill. Secretary Ward commented that the energy bill will bring opportunities to Kentucky agriculture.


            Secretary Ward talked to the committee members about the new downtown arena, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2010. He then talked about the other amenities in downtown Louisville that make it an attractive place for conventions and other activities. He also discussed the fairgrounds and the proposed additions that it will undergo such as a new hotel.


            Next, Mr. Harold Workman addressed the committee members. Mr. Workman is the President and CEO of the fair board. He was happy with attendance at this year's fair despite the hot weather.


            Mr. Workman commented that the state fair has approximately 1.2 million square feet of air-conditioned space, with 800,000 designated as Class A space. He emphasized that the fair is about youth, and he described the youth-related activities that take place at the fair.


            Mr. Workman then discussed the upcoming 2008 Session. He said he expects that the fair board will recommend tearing down Cardinal Stadium and building an amphitheater that can seat 6-7 thousand initially, and eventually seat 12,000 people.


            After questioning, Mr. Workman discussed the concert attendance at the fair and commented at how well the concerts were doing. He also informed the members of the intentions of the fair regarding the future use of Freedom Hall once the new arena is built. He stated that even without basketball, they host over 200 events per year. Not having basketball at Freedom Hall will open up some very attractive dates for other activities.


            Chairman McKee then asked the members of the committee to introduce themselves, which they did.


            Next on the agenda was a presentation on the Kentucky Agriculture Heritage Center by Ms. Virginia Flanagan, Executive Director of the Center. The Center will contain 300,000 square feet and will utilize state-of-the-art sustainable practices such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. In fact, Ms. Flanagan told the members that the Center will produce all its electricity and will be a zero carbon-emitting facility. The Center will have interactive exhibits, a working farm, meeting facilities, and an auditorium.


            Ms. Margaret Lane, chair of the Center board, thanked the committee members for supporting the concept of the Center.


            Chairman McKee then asked Mark Marraccini of the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to give a brief overview of the Step Outdoor program. The department is going to have the program for the committee members at the September meeting of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.


            Representative Royce Adams notified the members that there was going to be roast of Chairman McKee in Cynthiana on Friday, August 24.


            There were some informational items on the agenda for which no action was required: a report from the Auditor of Public Accounts on the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and four administrative regulations that had been referred to the committee.


            There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.