The theme for the 2013 Kentucky Ag Summit is a subject of extraordinary and growing importance to us all: Farming – Stewardship of Our Resources. The Summit took place on Thursday evening, November 14, and Friday morning November 15, at the Louisville Marriott East (Hurstbourne and I-64) in Louisville.
In order for farmers to farm, they need land, clean water, and healthy soil. From the pioneering of no-till farming in the 1960s, through today’s many and varied farm sustainability efforts to leave this place better than they found it, Kentucky farmers have a proud tradition of feeding, clothing, sheltering and fueling our nation and our world.
This year’s summit brings the Leopold Conservation Award east of the Mississippi for the first time! The finalists and the winner of Kentucky’s inaugural award were honored at our gala Thursday evening dinner. This was a great opportunity to showcase the outstanding work that has taken place across the state, to celebrate, and to learn from the examples of Kentucky farmers who have taken a thoughtful approach to conservation and stewardship of our natural resources.
The Kentucky Agricultural Council is proud to be part of the Leopold Conservation Award program. Given in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Leopold Conservation Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation. It inspires other landowners through these examples and provides a visible forum where farmers, ranchers and other private landowners are recognized as conservation leaders.
In the spirit of Aldo Leopold’s thinking, we had a fresh view from an irrepressible spokesperson for these values – former Chief of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Dave White. We were honored to have Chief White visit Kentucky at this singular moment. A panel discussion with other national, regional, state and local leaders about conservation policy, programs and practices was held on Friday morning. We continue to build on key issues featured in the KAC’s strategic plan for 2013-2018, and the theme of 2012’s Ag Summit: Next Generation Farming.
Tony Brannon, 2013 Chair
Kentucky Agricultural Council