Behind the AG/Chamber Story


When someone says, “This is not a story,” 95 percent of the time, it really is.


It’s appropriate to mention the randomness of the news cycle since writing about the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce’s committee restructuring 


I was at my desk one morning and someone called me to tell me the agribusiness committee was being taken off the table and that person explained why that wasn’t a good thing – and so my search for what was going on began. 


I talked to my editor to let him know I was walking down to the chamber – and low and behold when I arrived, people got nervous. Some wanted to talk and be all-smiles – others quickly walked by me to avoid having to discuss. Sounded like a story to me. 


It’s at these times that I hit the pavement a little bit harder to find out what is really going on. I don’t take sides but try to see what’s happening from both points of view. 


But when there are closed meetings – people will continue to question and ask even more what the intentions of any entity are- whether it is the chamber, city or county government. 


I have to talk to the chamber almost every day – obviously they’re one of my go-to sources, but when folks in the farm community called me to express disappointment, anger, and a few unmentionables – I listen – that’s my job, and they, too, are a trusted source. 


With that said, as the discussion continues about the chamber’s role in promoting and recognizing agriculture in Warren County and southcentral Kentucky as a whole, here’s a few Warren County agriculture statistics to think about:


—The 2002 Census shows the number of farms has decreased 8 percent from 1997, dropping from 2,048 to 1,881 farms. Despite the decrease, more cropland – about seven percent – has been harvested in that time. 


—Warren County ranks 12th in the state of Kentucky for its cash receipts for crops and livestock, which total almost $75 million, according to the Kentucky Agricultural Statistics and Annual Report for 2006-2007. 


—Warren County places 2nd in the state for its number of cattle and calves (69,800), and beef cows (34,500) as of Jan. 1, 2007, 6th for 2006 milk production (54,500), 4th for its barley for grain crop production (98,000 bushels), 3rd for its “all other hay” crop production (139,200 tons), and 5th for its wheat for grain crop production (almost 1.1 million bushels). 


Not to mention nearby Barren County’s state dominance for its livestock and dairy industry — the ag communities in Logan, Simpson, Todd and Hart are also worth mentioning. 


The Chambers of Commerce in both Louisville and Owensboro have agriculture-related committees, though they’re bigger cities and have more development that Bowling Green for now — but the whole situation with the chamber is wait-and-see. Ultimately, actions speak louder than words. 


One thing is for sure – I will be listening to readers and those in the community who have something to say about it all. 


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