Senator Ridley named to National Legislative Agriculture and Rural Development Committee


FRANKFORT – Senator Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, has been re-appointed to the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) of the Council of State Governments (CSG).

The committee will meet at the 70th Southern Legislative Conference that will be held July 9-13 in Lexington. By serving on the SLC Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Senator Ridley will have access to a range of services and programs provided by SLC and supported by committee staff. He said agriculture is important to the economy of his senatorial district, which is the number one corn and soybean-producing district in the state.

“I am honored to be selected by Senate President and SLC Chair Robert Stivers to serve on this committee,” said Senator Ridley. “The committee deals with issues that have such a vital impact on my district and the commonwealth of Kentucky. This opportunity will allow me to hear ideas on pressing topics with my counterparts in other states, as well as discuss with them the concerns facing the commonwealth. I have always been an advocate for the agriculture industry and my seat on this committee puts me in a position to hear from other states how they are dealing with issues facing the industry today and coping with the changes in agriculture as we have known it.”

Senator Ridley, who earned a degree in business and agriculture from Western Kentucky University, has served on the Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee for more than a decade. He said that the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee focuses on issues critical to the future of farming and farm communities.  “Agriculture constitutes a vital sector of the economies of most Southern states,” he added.

Recent committee initiatives have included rural housing, agriculture education, updates on international trade and agriculture, consolidation in the farm sector, state actions on animal welfare, commodity pricing, immigration, conservation and farmland preservation.  Other issues in which the committee has long-standing interest include red fire ant, the status of the rural South, and food safety and security.  The committee has focused on the changing face of agriculture across America and conditions in the rural South.  The status and future of rural communities is emerging as a major focus for the committee. It works annually with public and private agencies, local and federal officials, and the land grant university system to assure the continued vitality of the region’s farm and rural communities.

“I look forward to continuing to represent Kentucky and being the voice for our state on this committee,” said Senator Ridley. “I am excited to have the chance to hear new ideas and to access information that can help my district and the entire state. Having a seat at the table will allow me to express the concerns I hear from local farmers to people who are influential at the national level.”

The Agriculture and Rural Development Committee is one of six SLC standing committees and is the oldest. SLC’s mission is to foster and encourage intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states.  In large measure, this is achieved through the meetings, publications and policy positions of the Conference’s six standing committees. Their chamber’s legislative leadership appoints committee members and each committee elects its own officers. Through the deliberations of committee members, the issues facing all Southern state legislatures are considered.

Senator Ridley said the SLC committees provide for an exchange of information through dialogue, meeting sessions and networking opportunities.  In addition to the meetings, committees disseminate information through special seminars, websites, a variety of written documents and audio tapes.

Founded in 1947 and located in Atlanta, GA, the SLC is a member-driven, non-partisan organization and the largest of the four legislative groups operating under The Council of State Governments. Along with Kentucky, the SLC is comprised of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

Senator Ridley serves the 4th district, which includes Caldwell, Crittenden, Henderson, Livingston, Union and Webster counties.

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