Commissioner Quarles statement on override of Governor Beshear's Senate Bill 3 veto
FRANKFORT (March 11, 2021) – Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles praised the Kentucky General Assembly today for overriding Governor Andrew Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 3, which moves the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (KADF) from the Governor’s Office to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA).
"With Senate Bill 3 now law, we will strive for a smooth and steady transition of the KADF’s functions from the Governor’s Office to KDA,” Commissioner Quarles said. “This idea has long been a subject of discussion in agriculture circles and consensus emerged in the last year that this is a reform whose time had come. Our office is committed to ensuring these changes are done in a way that does not disrupt the function of the boards, the regularly scheduled meetings, or any of the services the staff have provided so well over the past decades. With hundreds of millions of dollars invested over the lifetime of the fund, Kentucky agriculture has been transformed and it is more important than ever we continue to work together to make life better for Kentucky’s farm families.”
Senate Bill 3 will attach the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board (KADB) and the Kentucky Agriculture Finance Corporation (KAFC) to the KDA. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Paul Hornback was the lead sponsor for the bill, which had first been proposed several years ago during the Bevin Administration. Kentucky Farm Bureau members adopted policy supporting the movement of KADF at their annual meeting last year.
The KADB was created by the General Assembly in 2000 and serves to distribute 50 percent of the state monies received from the Master Settlement Agreement for the general purpose of agricultural development in the commonwealth. KADB invests these funds in innovative proposals that increase net farm income and affect tobacco farmers, tobacco-impacted communities, and agriculture across the state by stimulating markets for Kentucky agricultural products, finding new ways to add value to Kentucky agricultural products, and exploring new opportunities for Kentucky farms.