The Kentucky Corn Growers Association (KyCGA), along with several other state commodity associations and agricultural businesses, recently joined the Kentucky Livestock Coalition (KLC).

The KyCGA believes support of this coalition and Kentucky's livestock producers is vital for all involved in Kentucky agriculture.

"We are excited to be able to work with the other livestock and commodity organizations in the state to promote and protect our animal agriculture industry," said Philip McCoun, KyCGA president and grain and livestock farmer from Shelbyville. "It seems that we are having to expend more effort these days to defend our operations, our products, and our way of life, and working together will help us do that more effectively."

The mission of the coalition is to protect and promote the image of Kentucky's livestock industry and its positive contributions to the state through education. The coalition is committed to advancing environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable livestock farming practices, while providing safe and affordable food.

It is also the goal of the coalition to help disseminate information and recommendations of the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission which was named last month by Governor Steve Beshear. The commission was formed to advise the state Board of Agriculture on standards governing the care and well-being of on-farm livestock and poultry.

Founding members of the Kentucky Livestock Coalition include the Kentucky Soybean Association, the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, the Kentucky Poultry Federation, the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association, the Kentucky Farm Bureau and the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.

Officers of the KLC were elected at the September meeting. Davie Stephens, a farmer from Wingo, Ky., is the KLC president. Dr. Steve Wills, a veterinarian from Owensboro, is the KLC vice-president. Michael McCain, a farmer from Springfield, is the KLC secretary/treasurer. An executive committee was also named, and Bob White, a farmer from Sturgis and KyCGA board member, was elected as an at-large committee member, along with Maurice Heard, a farmer from Rockfield.

Any agricultural commodity association or organization, corporation, or individual may apply for membership with the Kentucky Livestock Coalition. Board seats are limited to representatives of commodity organizations and associations and up to two corporate member representatives contributing at the association level.

More information about the Kentucky Livestock Coalition can be found at www.kylivestock.org.