Kentucky Ag News

Pratt named general manager of Burley Tobacco Growers Co-op

 

Special to Kentucky Agricultural News

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association (BTGCA) has announced that Steve Pratt has been hired to serve as general manager for the organization.

"I am proud to have a person in the office with the experience that Steve has working with the farmers and office staff," said Pat Raines, president of the BTGCA. "This selection was a long time in coming, but I feel we have made a good selection."

As general manager, Pratt will focus on expanding the market for burley tobacco and continuing the tradition of the Burley Co-op's service to the farmers. His goal is to expand the number of grower contracts with members in 2013.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to work with farmers and look forward to serving the greatest burley tobacco producers in the world," Pratt said.

Pratt comes to BTGCA from the Kentucky Farm Service Agency, where he served as a district director for 17 years. In this role, he was the agency representative between the Kentucky FSA office and 13 local service centers covering 41 counties in central, northern, and eastern Kentucky. Pratt worked for 18 years as a county supervisor with the USDA Rural Development/Farmers Home Administration before accepting the position at FSA, giving him more than 35 years of experience at the United States Department of Agriculture.

"I have been involved in farming and working with farmers my entire life, and I look forward to getting out to the farm and meeting our members to hear their concerns," said Pratt. "Today's tobacco farming has to be competitive in a global market, and I want to work to meet those demands."

Pratt resides in Lexington with his wife of 38 years, Lorena, and five of their 10 children. He is proud to still be active in the agriculture community, helping to maintain his family farm in Hindman, Kentucky.