(Clinton, KY - August 1, 2013) - Agriculture Secretary Jamie Comer told FFA (Future Farmers of America) members that he credits his FFA involvement with where he is today.
Comer spoke at a meet and greet at Hickman County High School in Clinton on Thursday afternoon. In attendance were students, school teachers, administrators, local officials, bankers and local farmers.
In addition to brief remarks, Comer toured the school's ag department and greenhouse. He complimented the school on its strong FFA program and promised more involvement with FFA by the Agricultural Commission.
Comer was asked about the fate of the Farm Bill, which languishes in Congress during the August recess. The Senate passed the Farm Bill, the House stripped out the food stamp program (known as SNAP) and vowed to pass the bill in parts.
Kentucky farmers depend on the Farm Bill as do 47 million Americans who use the SNAP program. Comer expressed confidence that the bill would pass - hopefully by the end of 2013. He said that Congress would have to work together for the benefit of all concerned.
Comer touted his agency's creation of marketing programs for agricultural crops. The newest "Udderly Kentucky" is a program to sell Kentucky milk. A logo and ad campaign convinced Walmarts in central and southeastern portions of the state to stock dairy products. Comer said the products would be showing up in West Kentucky soon.
Comer called Western Kentucky the "epicenter" of agriculture in the state. He said that much of the billion dollars that come in from farm products are from Western Kentucky.
The Agricultural Commissioner is in West Kentucky to take part in the Fancy Farm Picnic and surrounding hoopla. He urged those who had not attended the Picnic to go "at least once."
Then "you'll never want to go back" he joked.