Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stephen Kennedy Smith Meets with Wayne Hunt & AG Leaders

When I was asked to help Stephen Kennedy Smith and Tim Youmans come to West Kentucky to talk about vertical and sustainable agriculture I will admit that I was a little skeptical about how this would go over with the agriculture community. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was scheduled to come and introduce his cousin Stephen and Tim Youmans but had to deal with some family matters and did not make the trip. Yes, there were a few who were disappointed with that but this event was not about the Kennedys it was about new technology and the agriculture community.

Hopkinsville Community College and its president, Dr. Jim Selbe, hosted the event at the community college auditorium. Smith provided a video presentation that was produced by NASA and later explained this new concept called vertical agriculture. This event was put on with just a few days notice and I'm proud to say that per Stephen Kennedy Smith, this was the largest audience they have had anywhere in the United States. Locally, it was our hope and desire to explore what economic development possibilities there might be for West Kentucky.
After the presentation and Q&A session, Smith and Youmans adjourned to have a private meeting with Wayne & Steve Hunt, Don Henderson and other agriculture & financial leaders in the community. Wayne Hunt is known as the "God Father" of agriculture in Western Kentucky and the case might be made for all of Kentucky. Hunt founded Agri-Chem which has locations in Christian & Todd Counties and also in the communities of Clinton and Bardwell. The Hunts also have a bulk liquid and dry fertilizer plant river terminal in Lyon County. H & R Agri-Power belongs to the Hunts which is a farm equipment and supply company(Kubota, New Holland & Case) that boast locations in Christian, Todd, Logan, Daviess, Union, Graves and Vergennes, IL.
I think Smith and Youmans were impressed with the knowledge and expertise of our local agriculture leaders. Christian County has historically been a leader in innovations to the agriculture community. In fact, "no till" farming was invented in Christians Co. and the first "no till" crops were planted in 1961. Christian Co. is home to the ethanol plant which produces ethanol from corn.
All agreed that there is a place for vertical agriculture and that with some more information, planning and partnerships- vertical agriculture could become a reality in Christian County. My thanks to Mary John Celletti for bringing this possible economic opportunity to the Pennyrile. I'm very proud and thankful that all involved were able to put aside labels and political differences to come to the table to discuss something that could be beneficial to our farmers and our environment. Much credit goes to Christian County Attorney Mike Foster and Rep. John Tilley (H-8) who helped promote and nurture this meeting.
Rep. Myron Dossett (H-9) along with Rep. Martha Jane King (H-16) pictured above,were also present to learn more about vertical agriculture. I'm very thankful to the staff at Hopkinsville Community College for providing a great venue and wonderful hospitality for all those who participated.
{Pictured above: Evelda Stearsman,Shirley Haines, Rep. King, Stephen Kennedy Smith, Mary John Celletti, Rep. Tilley, Rep. Dossett, Dr. Selbe}
Picture provided by Rena Young, Director of Marketing & Communication at Hopkinsville Community College.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great event! Emerging economic opportunities are starting to sprout in the Pennyrile and agriculture continues to be the backbone of this community. I didnt notice Dr. Dunce, Murray's worst president in modern history taking part in this event which further shows the lack of respect this moron has for agriculture and opportunities for the hardworking and dedicated folks in Hoptown. When are you going to man up and call this moron out?