kfb-mcconnell-grimmesMark Haney, President of Kentucky Farm Bureau, center, moderated "Measure the Candidates" forum with U.S. Senate candidates Alison Lundergan Grimes (D), and Mitch McConnell (R). (Photo courtesy Kentucky Farm Bureau)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (8/21/14) — Kentucky Farm Bureau's Board of Directors met with U.S. Senate candidates Mitch McConnell and Alison Lundergan Grimes to discuss positions on issues affecting the state's agriculture industry, farm families and rural communities.

Senate Republican Leader McConnell (R) and Secretary of State Grimes (D) fielded questions from the KFB leaders and explained their positions during the 90-minute meeting at the farm organization's state office. It marked the first time the two have appeared jointly at an issues forum during the general election campaign.

KFB President Mark Haney said the meeting gave the organization's leadership an opportunity to gauge the differences between the two on key issues.

"Although we do not endorse candidates, we inform our members as to where candidates stand on our key issues," Haney said. "Forums such as this enable us to determine how our policies mesh with the philosophies of those who seek to represent us. We appreciate the cooperation of Senator McConnell and Secretary of State Grimes."

Among the issues discussed were farm policy, international trade and marketing, fiscal policy, health care, immigration and farm labor, environmental issues and education. In addition to fielding questions on those issues, the candidates gave opening and closing statements.

McConnell, the five-term incumbent, told the KFB leaders "this is a big race about big things." He said if the Republicans take control of the Senate, he would be head of that chamber and "in a position to take us to a new place."

Secretary Grimes, meanwhile, blamed McConnell for the gridlock in Washington and vowed "to be a Senator who can work on a bipartisan basis to get things done." She described herself as "a strong, independent Kentucky woman who will fight for our farm families."

Secretary Grimes spoke first in the "opening remarks" segment and went on the attack, criticizing McConnell for not getting a farm bill enacted in 2013 and for repeated absences from Senate Agriculture Committee meetings. "Mitch McConnell can no longer deliver," she said.

McConnell, meanwhile, detailed his many achievements for Kentucky agriculture, including the tobacco buyout program, a reduction in the estate tax, funding for state agricultural colleges and clearing the way for a pilot project on hemp production. He also noted that he is the only current Senator who has received two "Golden Plow" awards from the American Farm Bureau Federation in recognition of supporting the organization's policy.

The candidates expressed disagreement on handling immigration reforms and the Affordable Care Act. McConnell said immigration reform should be addressed "on a piecemeal basis" because that looms as the most feasible political approach. Secretary Grimes said she would push for a comprehensive bipartisan package.

McConnell repeated his oft-heard call on the new health care law. "It ought to be pulled out root and branch." Secretary Grimes said the new law has given more Kentuckians access to affordable health care, but later added: "We have to work to streamline the Affordable Care Act."

The two agreed on opposition to a controversial EPA proposal to expand regulations on streams and other small bodies of water under the Clean Water Act.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Kentucky Farm Bureau

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

WHE Academic Team Wins District Governor’s Cup

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/17/15) — The West Hopkins Elementary Academic Team competed in the District 13 Elementary… Read More

Children's Advocacy Benefit Rally on Target for Tomorrow

OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/17/15) — The Owensboro Police Department is pleased to announce the third annual Children’s Advocacy… Read More
1 DOW 17,826.30
-279.47 (-1.54%)    
2 S&P 2,081.18
-23.81 (-1.13%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,931.81
-75.98 (-1.52%)    

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6135

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 14, 2015 4750

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 3321

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 11, 2015 2951

Juvenile Injured When Struck by Vehicle

by Madisonville Police
April 17, 2015 2905

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks

Most Read This Month

March 18, 2015 10040

UPDATE: Hanson Man Located in Henderson, Taken to…

by Trooper Stu Recke
April 02, 2015 8422

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 17, 2015 2905

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 17, 2015 954

Madisonville Police Reports Released

by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 17, 2015 932

Two Charged in Connection with Powderly Firearms…

by SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 804

Police Officers Building Up Community by Helping…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 728

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
April 18, 2015 528

Man Charged with Attempting to Coerce Minor for…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 17, 2015 510

'The Bidding is On' at Annual Library Auction

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 423

Brown Pitches Baseball to Series Opener over…

by UK Athletics
April 17, 2015 411

Free Seedling Plantings Available While Supplies…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News