KSA welcomes Comer

The Kentucky Soybean Association was proud to welcome James Comer. Pictured is Kentucky Soybean Association Legislative Chairman Shane Wells, Congressman (1st-district) James Comer, and KSA President Brent Gatton.

Kentucky soybean farmer-leaders were pleased to meet with Congressman James Comer in the Kentucky Soybean State Office in Princeton on Friday. A portion of Anderson County was recently added to Comer’s district. Comer said that he’s always happy to stop by and visit members of the agriculture community.

Comer, who served as a representative at the state level for six terms beginning in 2000 and was named National Republican Freshman Legislator of the Year during his first term, was elected as Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture in 2011. After a concerted effort to restore confidence in the agency, Comer spearheaded initiatives to grow Kentucky’s rural economy and increase opportunities for Kentucky farmers.

After his election to Congress in 2016, Comer got right to work on a topic of great interest to farmers: the 2018 Farm Bill. Comer is the only formerly elected state Commissioner of Agriculture in Congress, and he remains actively engaged on policy matters facing the agriculture community. In addition to serving as Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, he is also a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor.

When Kentucky Soybean Association farmer-leaders visit Washington, D.C., Congressman Comer and his staff take time to listen to their thoughts and concerns, and it’s not uncommon for Comer to reach out to KSA leadership to get grassroots, boots-on-the-ground feedback on topics that can affect agriculturalists at the farm gate level. Both Comer and his staff are accessible to his many constituents, and the farm families of the First District appreciate both the accessibility and agriculture background that Comer brings to Congress. The farm safety net was a topic of conversation, with farmers recounting their experiences with the current growing season’s drought and (in many parts of the state) tornado damage, and how important and effective crop insurance is as an affordable component of that safety net. Kentucky soybean growers were relieved earlier this year to see USDA announce that its Risk Management Agency (RMA) has expanded double-crop insurance opportunities in more than 1,500 counties where double-cropping is an option. According to the map released in July, almost all of the soybean-growing counties in the Commonwealth now have coverage available under this new expansion.

Other priorities the group discussed included conservation, trade, energy (including bioenergy), rural development, research, and nutrition.

Congressman Comer didn’t leave empty-handed. Kentucky Soybean Association Legislative Chairman Shane Wells and President Brent Gatton presented him with a contribution from the Association’s Political Action Committee (PAC) to help further his re-election campaign.