Call to Order and Roll Call
The3rd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture was held on Thursday, August 21, 2014, at 10:00 AM, in the VIP Room, Kentucky State Fair, Louisville, Kentucky. Representative Tom McKee, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Representative Tom McKee, Co-Chair; Senators Walter Blevins Jr., Stan Humphries, Dennis Parrett, Dorsey Ridley, Damon Thayer, and Robin L. Webb; Representatives Lynn Bechler, Jim DeCesare, Mike Denham, Myron Dossett, Derrick Graham, Richard Heath, James Kay, Kim King, Martha Jane King, Michael Meredith, Suzanne Miles, Terry Mills, David Osborne, Sannie Overly, Ryan Quarles, Tom Riner, Bart Rowland, Steven Rudy, Jonathan Shell.
Guests: Speaker of the House, Representative Greg Stumbo; Speaker Pro Tem, Representative Larry Clark; Majority Floor Leader, Rocky Adkins; Minority Whip, Representative John “Bam” Carney; Representative Dwight Butler; Kentucky State Fair Board members; Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, President and CEO, Kentucky State Fair Board; Louisville Mayor, Greg Fischer; Heather French-Henry, Commissioner of Kentucky Veterans Affairs and Ramsey Carpenter, Miss Kentucky 2014.
The July 9, 2014 minutes were approved by voice vote, without objection, upon motion of Representative Steven Rudy and second by Representative Ryan Quarles.
Louisville/Jefferson County Farm to Table and other Food Market Programs
Louisville/Jefferson County Mayor, Greg Fischer, talked about the Farm to Table and other food market programs. Demand for locally grown food products is steadily increasing and is greater than what can be grown and sold. There are plans to build a processing center in order to take advantage of locally grown products. Louisville is part of the Bourbon Trail, which has had a positive economic impact on the community.
Report of the Kentucky State Fair Board
Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, President and CEO, stated that entries for 2014 State Fair totaled 57,600. The board has issued an RFP for renovations to the downtown Convention Center, but there are no funds to raze the old Cardinal Stadium. Negotiations to build a hotel across from Gate 1 are continuing. A Master Plan study for the campus will be conducted to determine the future needs of the Fairgrounds. Over 300 events are held each year between the Fairgrounds and the Convention Center, creating an enormous economic impact. It is imperative to the financial well-being of the Fairgrounds and the Convention Center to retain the North American International Livestock Shows and the Farm Machinery Show.
In response to Representative Terry Mills, Mr. Rippetoe stated that the re-opening of Kentucky Kingdom has brought great energy to the grounds. The owners of Kentucky Kingdom and the Fair Board are working together, which is beneficial to both.
In response to Representative Bechler, Chairman McKee said that issues surrounding the comment on the Waters of the United States will be discussed at the October meeting.
Chairman McKee invited Heather French-Henry to make a few comments on her role as the Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.