Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear names Jackson to group committed to agriculture technology
MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University President Dr. Bob Jackson has been appointed to the Kentucky AgriTech Advisory Council, a group tasked by Gov. Andy Beshear with establishing the Commonwealth as a leader in agriculture technology.
Jackson will join a group of other leaders across farming, industry, education, labor and civic life in growing Kentucky agriculture, with the governor serving as chair.
“I am extremely pleased to assist Gov. Beshear and the Commonwealth with AgriTech initiatives as we work to enhance economic development,” Jackson said. “Murray State University has a great deal to offer in this area with outstanding academic programs, research, faculty expertise, among other resources in order to assist our region and state move forward.”
“AgriTech is the future of agriculture, and Kentucky is uniquely positioned to embrace and deliver on it,” Beshear said. “Being the global leader in the AgriTech industry not only will make Kentucky’s farms more productive and efficient, but also will benefit every citizen and every region of the Commonwealth in creating industry and jobs.”
The council’s initial members include:
- Ryan Quarles, Kentucky commissioner of agriculture
- Warren Beeler, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agriculture Policy
- Aaron Thompson, president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
- Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, secretary of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
- Mike Berry, secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
- Larry Hayes, interim secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
- Rebecca Goodman, secretary of the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet
- Eli Capilouto, president of the University of Kentucky
- Robert L. (Bob) Jackson, president of Murray State University
- M. Christopher Brown II, president of Kentucky State University
- Linda Gorton, mayor of the Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government
- Laura White-Brown, mayor of the City of Morehead
- Mason Barnes, Simpson County judge-executive
- James Kay, Woodford County judge-executive;
- Ashli Watts, president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Bill Finn, state director of the Kentucky State Building and Construction Trades Council, representing Kentucky labor and trade
- Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, representing Kentucky labor and trade
- Mark Lyons, president and chief executive officer of Alltech, representing Kentucky businesses related to agriculture and agricultural technology
- Jonathan Webb, founder and chief executive officer of AppHarvest, representing Kentucky businesses related to agriculture and agricultural technology
- Shubin Saha, chief operating officer of Kentucky Fresh Harvest, representing Kentucky businesses related to agriculture and agricultural technology
- Trevor Claiborn, co-founder of Black Soil, representing Kentucky businesses related to agriculture and agricultural technology.
Last week, Beshear signed an international agreement with 16 other partner organizations, including the Dutch government, to grow Kentucky’s AgriTech footprint. The governor has established the AgriTech Advisory Council to guide the Commonwealth’s increased focus on this industry, which will expand the state’s economy and create jobs for Kentuckians.
The governor also announced the launch of a new website dedicated to the emerging industry, located at agritech.ky.gov/Pages/index.aspx.