A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

UK Cooperative Extension agents help as Kentucky’s farmers markets open with an eye toward safe sales

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky In the United States, about 40 percent of farmers are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s census. Kentucky reflects that demographic, so when the coronavirus started to emerge in the state, some farmers who were in the elevated risk category and typically sell through farmers markets were a little concerned about how they would...

First-generation students can find support to overcome obstacles during college journey

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky For students returning to school or just starting their college careers, the fall semester may look different than they were expecting. Yet, for many of those students, the first in their families to enroll in college, the opportunities for success are still out there, and professors, administrators, staff and even nonprofits are available to help them succeed. Though...

Late frosts in weekend forecast for much of state could provide challenges for Kentucky gardeners

By Carol Lea Spence UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Unseasonably cold temperatures are putting the kibosh on the spring dreams of many Kentucky gardeners, who are itching to plant young annuals or vegetables or may already have done so. Though it is late in the season for frosts and freezes, especially in Western Kentucky, there is the potential in the short-range forecast for multiple...

KSBDC, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service offices to advise businesses during pandemic

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky If there’s a direct pipeline in Kentucky’s counties for the transmission of research-based, pertinent information to the people who need it, it’s Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Recognizing the ties extension agents have to their communities, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center is working closely with county extension offices during...

UK Extension Homemakers contribute to community safety by making personal protective equipment

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Necessity is the mother of invention. Bourbon Community Hospital in Paris took that old saw to heart when they, like so many other hospitals and medical facilities in the state, were contemplating how to acquire extra personal protective equipment to prepare for a possible onslaught of patients with COVID-19. The solution turned out to be in their own surgical...

Earth Day celebrates 50th anniversary amid COVID-19; UK water specialist gives eco-friendly advice

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Earth Day is 50 years old. It has a distinguished history, contributing to the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and legislation such as the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act. According to the Earth Day website, the day “is marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human...

UK Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development agents partnering with teachers on ‘home work’

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Schools may be shuttered, but instruction goes on, albeit in a nontraditional way. University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development agents, who have worked closely with teachers in their classrooms, have shifted their traditional classroom enrichment programming to provide classes with projects and tools for remote, nontraditional instruction. Mackenzie...

Think before flushing, plus other tips for protecting yourself and Kentucky’s water resources

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The coronavirus has forced people to either retreat into their homes or get out and explore the natural world more. Either way, water is a big part of everyone’s daily lives, and it’s important to protect Kentucky’s most valuable natural resource. For many Kentuckians pushed inside by COVID-19 social distancing practices, sanitizing anything that doesn’t...

UK extension service offering free ‘Horticulture Webinar Wednesdays’ to bring spring into your home

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Stuck in the house and dreaming of spring and gardens? The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is offering free “Horticulture Webinar Wednesdays” on a number of topics. Participants will glean information they will need as the days grow longer and they spend more time “social distancing” outside in their gardens. UK specialists and...

Public-private partnership helps shore up local farms during uncertain times of COVID-19 pandemic

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky When the University of Kentucky sent its students home to continue their classes online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the effects of that decision rippled out beyond campus to the local farmers who supply UK Dining Services with food. Suddenly, producers lost a valuable market for their products. Aramark Corporation, UK’s partner in dining services, The...

Support, resilience could be bright lining to dark cloud hovering about small businesses in Kentucky

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Katie Startzman, owner of Native Bagel Company in Berea, is going to ride out the upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and come out stronger on the other side. She’s sure of it, because of the strength and support she is receiving from her peers, customers and local resources. Mae Suramek feels the same way, as she puts in the long hours to save...

UK’s Rosalind Harris inducted into George Washington Carver Hall of Fame

Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky’s Rosalind Harris recently was presented with the George Washington Carver Public Service Award and inducted into the Hall of Fame during the 77th annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference at Tuskegee University. The award recognizes an individual whose work mirrors the philosophy of George Washington Carver, as reflected...

Statewide climate consortium empowers Kentuckians to be well-informed environmental stewards

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky A new statewide consortium headquartered at the University of Kentucky is developing interdisciplinary climate research and teaching collaborations to empower people to become well-informed stewards of the environment. The mission of the Kentucky Climate Consortium is to act as a catalyst for climate research and education in the state by providing networking...

UK to hold Kentucky Maple Day on Feb. 1; local syrup product dates back to region’s first settlers

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky There’s something sweet bubbling up in the forests of Kentucky: maple syrup production. Through the first Kentucky Maple Day on Feb. 1, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension and the Kentucky Maple Syrup Association want to introduce folks to local maple syrup, with a history that goes back to the region’s first settlers. “We have a long history...

UK Extension Service to offer Woodland Stewards webinar series on how to improve forest health

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will offer a series of free, web-based woodland seminars on five successive Thursday evenings in February and March. The goal of the webinar series, Getting to Know Your Woodlands: Next Steps, is to empower woodland owners to promote environmental and forest health through increased awareness, experience...

For past 25 years, UK Extension Homemakers have spread ‘Joy of Giving’ during Christmas season

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Before the tables were arranged, before the cookies were spread, before the doors were opened, residents of Pine Meadows Post Acute were lined up in the hallways, happy anticipation lighting their faces. Inside the activities hall, Fayette County Cooperative Extension Homemakers were preparing for the annual Joy of Giving, their county-wide gifting project...

UK College of Ag now home to new national center studying economic impacts of rural health care

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The newly formed Center for Economic Analysis for Rural Health has found a home in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Alison Davis, agricultural economics professor and director of the college’s Community Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, will lead the national center. The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy...

UK Gatton Student Center coffee tables preserve heritage of site, reaping benefits of venerable trees

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Generations of students passed beneath the shade of pin oak trees on the University of Kentucky campus, rushing to class, strolling with friends or studying beneath their branches on a warm spring day. But when the new and expanded Gatton Student Center went up, several of the trees had to come down. Their story doesn’t end there, though, because students...

Tree Week 2019: A week of tree-centric activities in Lexington, celebrating trees’ impact on environment

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Tree Week 2019 celebrates Lexington’s trees and the myriad ways they impact everyone’s lives. Venues around Lexington will be hosting family-friendly educational, recreational and community activities for all ages and interests from Oct. 12-19. The free, week-long celebration is coordinated by the Urban Forest Initiative in collaboration with a variety...

Kentucky Wood Expo set for Sept. 20-21 at Masterson Station Park; offers family fun, educational activities

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The Kentucky Wood Expo returns to Masterson Station Park in Lexington from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 20, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will have a big hand in two days of educational and fun activities for the entire family. The biennial event, sponsored by the Kentucky Forest Industries Association,...