ANOTHER GOLDEN AGE IS AHEAD
KENTUCKY AGRICULTURE has come a long way since 2000 when House Bill 611 was signed into law, creating the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (ADF).
It has only been three-and-a-half years since the first projects were approved, but in that short time over $165 million has been invested in Kentucky agriculture. This historic investment in the agricultural economy has made us the envy of other tobacco producing states.
Kentucky farmers have opportunities to diversify today that agricultural leaders never imagined were possible 10 to 15 years ago when we began asking, "What will we do when tobacco is no longer the mainstay on our farms?" No one at that time could have imagined the financial resources the ADF has provided to change the face of rural Kentucky.
The recent passage of the tobacco buyout will bring unprecedented challenges and opportunities in the years to come. The ADF has laid a foundation for a life without a tobacco program, but we have only begun on this journey to rebuild Kentucky's agricultural economy. It will take strong leadership, growth of entrepreneurship in rural Kentucky, invaluable financial resources provided through ADF, and buyout payments to move forward without a tobacco program.
It is comforting to know that the College of Agriculture and the
UK Cooperative Extension Service will be
with us on this journey. It goes without saying that the successes
we have achieved in recent years in many ways would not have been
possible without this leadership and cooperation. I want to take this
opportunity to thank Dean Smith and all of those involved from the
The golden age of tobacco may be over in Kentucky, but I believe the golden age of Kentucky agriculture is in front of us.
Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy