The KAC was established in the late 1970s by the Kentucky Farm Bureau's E. W. Kessler and other Kentucky agricultural leaders. Originally it operated as an informal group that met once or twice each year for the purpose of sharing information about common goals, projects and activities of the members.
During the mid-1990s, the KAC incorporated as a 501(c)3 organization and its activities became more formalized with the adoption of Bylaws, a statement of purpose, and creation of an Executive Committee. Its focus was to promote communication among the State's institutions of agricultural education, State and Federal agricultural agencies, and the main commodity groups, working toward common goals.
In partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the KAC helped coordinate activities and served as a forum for the exchange among its members by sponsoring events such as a Governor's Ag Tour, Agriculture Summits, and award programs to recognize outstanding producers and innovative ideas in agriculture.
The KAC also supported and served as a sounding board for major initiatives designed to strengthen the competitiveness of Kentucky agriculture. This focus continued during the 1998–2004 period, when Master Settlement Agreement and the National Tobacco Buyout forever changed the economic and production landscape for Kentucky farmers, and Kentucky's HB 611 establish a new framework via the Agricultural Development Board for funding and supporting innovative initiatives in agricultural production and marketing statewide.
Since 2006, at the request of the Governor of Kentucky, the KAC has taken on a stronger leadership role in strategic planning to help increase net farm income and to improve the quality of life in rural Kentucky, leading to publication of A Pathway for Kentucky's Agriculture and its Rural Communities: 2007 to 2012 Strategic Plan. Continued encouragement by Kentucky's most recent Governor for the KAC to play a facilitator role in implementing this plan led to the adoption of new ByLaws and strengthening the representation of KAC members on its Board of Directors in early 2009.
Along with its quarterly meetings (open to all KAC members), the Board has established six committees centered on the key goals of the strategic plan, that continue to drive forward the implementation of its recommended Actions, provide accountability toward meeting the plan's Benchmarks, and that will help update the plan on a periodic basis. The KAC's strategic planning committees are designed to encourage broad participation by individuals and representatives from all sectors of Kentucky agriculture.