I am involved in a number of organizations, from the county level to serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the American Soybean Association. Each organization is unique, but I admit to having a special place in my heart for the Kentucky Livestock Coalition. I think it’s fitting that this organization is thriving here in the Commonwealth, where our state motto is “United we stand, divided we fall.” I can’t imagine an industry in which that motto could be any truer than that of agriculture.
KLC was founded in 2009, because farmers knew they needed to have an entity in place to react quickly to any activist threats. It is managed through the soybean office to this day. Animal agriculture is the soybean farmers’ number one customer, consuming 98 percent of domestic soybean meal, and (as you know) many row crop farmers also raise poultry and/or livestock. Our success as soybean farmers can be directly tied to the success of animal agriculture, so it only makes sense to promote animal ag and protect the rights of those farmers who raise our protein.
I guess here in Kentucky we are so used to working together and getting along that I was surprised that so many folks from other states were shocked when I talked about the Coalition, and the many successful partnerships that exist between Kentucky’s ag organizations. I’ve fielded questions about the Coalition for a while now, and it just strikes me as sad when I hear that ag organizations in other states don’t share the same sense of unity that we do. When I talk about AgLand at our state fair, minds are blown. After I share that AgLand is the result of the commodities, Kentucky Farm Bureau, FFA and 4H wanting to be together to provide a complete ag education experience, I’m often met with remarks like “no way would that happen here,” or “our people could never get along like that.” I really hate to hear those comments.
KLC is currently composed by member organizations Kentucky Soybean Board, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, Kentucky Poultry Federation, Kentucky Pork Producers, Kentucky Dairy Development Council, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Horse Council, Kentucky Sheep and Goat Development Office, Farm Credit Mid-America, and United Producers, Inc. The Coalition also includes some farm family members.
The Kentucky Soybean Board has long had a tagline and logo that says, “soybeans and livestock… we’re in it together.” But really that’s true of all our ag organizations, and the spirit of community and working together for the common good of Kentucky’s farm families is evident in the workings of the Livestock Coalition. Many of you will recognize our campaign that started a few years back – Meat Me at the Table. While “Meat Me” is a clever play on words, the idea of gathering around the table together as a family unit and speaking with one voice really does define what this organization is all about. To learn more, visit KyLivestockCoalition.org or follow us on social media.
Pictures of some of our farm families will be displayed on the Soybean Board’s grain bin in AgLand during the Kentucky State Fair, and the winning partnership of Pork N Beans will make another appearance. If you attend the fair, be sure to visit AgLand in South Wing A. You can see for yourself the way our ag organizations are working together for the betterment of agriculture, while setting a great example of cooperation.