Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, House Speaker David Osborne, and Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy Warren Beeler were highlighted speakers at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s first meeting of its newly formed Agriculture and Equine Policy Council on Thursday.
Co-chaired by Vince Gabbert, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Keeneland in Lexington and Adam Hinton, Vice President of Hinton Mills in Flemingsburg, the Agriculture and Equine Council looks to bring together two signature industries in the Commonwealth with the ultimate goal of making policy recommendations in Frankfort.
“Behind manufacturing, agriculture is the second biggest industry in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Commissioner Quarles said in his opening remarks to the council. “We absolutely consider the equine industry to be in this category as well. Farming is critical to our economy here in Kentucky, and I appreciate the Kentucky Chamber bringing these groups together.”
The policy council meeting was attended by representatives of universities, livestock farms, horse farms, feed mills, ag-tech business, racetracks, and more.
“Legislators in the Kentucky General Assembly make up all walks of life,” Speaker Osborne said at the meeting. “Not all of us are going to be familiar with every industry, especially ones that are specific to one region of the state. So when one sector has a lot of inner-industry fighting going on like the horse industry has been known to do, it makes it tougher for legislators to take a side and advance that industry forward through policy. I’m hopeful that this council will help unite us and move Kentucky’s horse and agriculture industries forward.”
“We have several policy councils within the Kentucky Chamber, but we really felt we were missing the mark when it came to some of our signature industries,” said Kentucky Chamber President and CEO Ashli Watts. “This was an idea to bring leaders together in two unique sectors of our economy and see what we could achieve legislatively to make sure these industries enjoy continued success in the Commonwealth.”
Kentucky Chamber members interested in joining the Agriculture and Equine Policy Council should email John Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.