Issues impacting the livestock and poultry industries are at the forefront of Kentucky agriculture's agenda for 2011, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney said in a keynote address at the organization's 91st annual meeting.

Haney, a Pulaski County farmer completing his second year as president of the state's largest farm organization, said the development of federal rules for tracing animal diseases and regulating marketing contracts between farmers and buyers are important to the state's producers. Another issue, he added, is assuring that all farmers have access to a system to remove dead stock from their farms.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the states on a system for traceability of livestock moved in interstate commerce. The aim is to ensure a rapid response to disease outbreaks.

A viable system also will provide consumers with further assurances of a safe supply of food, Haney told the KFB members.

"We cannot afford glitches in the processing and distribution systems," Haney said. "Food safety problems always impact the farm economy. We should support safeguards to ensure that the commodities we produce become safe food products."

In an effort to establish equitable marketing conditions — particularly in the beef cattle sector — the Grain Inspections, Packers and Stockyards Administration is working on guidelines for regulating contracts between producers and buyers.

While those issues are national in scope, Kentucky has a problem with dead stock removal in several areas of the state which do not have access to a hauling service.