A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

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,...

Design Studio Winchester is visionary collaboration; combines design, community development

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Design Studio Winchester, a collaboration between the University of Kentucky and the City of Winchester, seeks to address the question: Is a town made up of its artifacts or its citizens? The new studio, which combines design and community development in one space, respects the artifacts and empowers citizens. A place-based satellite studio where students...

UK stream restoration project to improve water quality, provide outdoor classroom for students

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky The first phase of a stream restoration project on the University of Kentucky campus has begun. When all phases of the project are completed in late fall, water runoff from the fields and adjacent parking lots will be controlled, which will result in improved water quality, area beautification and an outdoor learning laboratory for UK students. If all that...

Cold weather doesn’t chill enthusiam, as nearly 2000 FFA, 4-H members attend UK’s 48th annual Field Day

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Nearly 2,000 FFA and 4-H members from Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana gathered on a cold April day on the University of Kentucky campus for the 48th annual UK Field Day. Throughout a busy day of competition and networking, they also learned about the many educational opportunities available in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The field day attracts...

Nature is putting on her autumn colors — plan your driving trip around peak times in October

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Every year around this time, nature puts her greens to bed and awakens her autumn colors. That array of reds, yellows and oranges painting the landscape is part of a very important ecological process. Throughout the growing season, chlorophyll, the green pigment in leaves, photosynthesizes sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugars trees need to survive and thrive....

Owners of ‘backyard woods’ can get landscaping tips during upcoming Kentucky Wood Expo

Though the word “woodland” or “forest” often brings to mind vast tracts of trees, more than six million people in the United States own between one and 10-acre parcels. Owners of these “backyard woods” who wish to learn more about keeping their landscapes healthy and managing wildlife in their yards will get many of their questions answered by University of Kentucky College of Agriculture,...

UK Ag Biotech Day provides high school students opportunity to explore careers in fast-growing field

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward One of the burgeoning fields of the 21st century is biotechnology, which draws from many scientific disciplines to study living organisms. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting UK Ag Biotech Day, a free event for high school students to introduce them to the vast array of career opportunities in agriculture the field...

Out of the box, into the future — UK workshop introduces middle school girls to a STEM career

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Sometime during the transition from middle school to high school, girls often find their early interest in science and math steered in other directions, often toward careers that fit comfortably into a box of more “traditional” women’s roles. A recent day-long workshop at the University of Kentucky sought to stem that tide by introducing 120 Kentucky...

More than a pretty face, UK study demonstrates agriculture’s impact on Woodford County’s economy

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Very few would dispute the beauty of Kentucky farmland in the lushness of spring. But a study by the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky shows that agriculture is more than just a pretty face. In Woodford County, agriculture and the businesses that support it are responsible for one out of three jobs and $565...

UK Ag News: Updated snake ID website sheds old skin for new, more informative one

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Love ‘em or hate ‘em, people are fascinated by snakes. The University of Kentucky’s updated snake ID website has enough information to satisfy just about any question a person could have concerning the slitherer cutting across their patio or field. The new website, updated by Steven Price, assistant professor of stream and riparian ecology in the UK Department...

Veteran mountain storyteller Steven Hollen adds coda to substance abuse prevention lesson

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward In the first row, a young boy sat, round brown eyes glued to the presenter who paced a few feet in front of him. His gaze never wavered. The message he was listening to seemed to be sinking in. That’s what Steven Hollen was aiming for. Hollen, a storyteller with a musical, rolling accent that reflects the Eastern Kentucky hills in which he grew up, recently...

UK study helps bats come home to roost — and recover from white nose syndrome

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward Thousands of bats lie, heaped high on cave floors, sometimes as many as 10,000 at one site. Fragile, winged mammals that have succumbed to the ravages of white nose syndrome and dropped, flightless, from their roosts on cave ceilings. Biologists report coming upon this tragic scene and finding, among the piles of tiny corpses, living bats, struggling to survive...

UK College of Agriculture receives $1.5 million grant for work to revitalize southeastern Kentucky towns

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward A $1.46 million grant awarded to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will help revitalize the downtowns of economically challenged southeastern Kentucky. The funds are part of $38.8 million in federal grants awarded to 29 entities as part of an effort by POWER, Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization,...

UK pledges ‘bottoms-up’ approach in offering help to eight state ‘Promise Zone’ counties

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward   When President Barack Obama named eight counties in Southeastern Kentucky as one of the first Promise Zones last week, two University of Kentucky programs stepped up to help.   The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and its Small Business Development...

Agriculture’s carbon footprint decreases even while production increases, UK scientist says

Corn harvest (Photo by Matt Barton)   By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward   When it comes to producing greenhouse gases, it turns out agriculture is not the bad guy some think it is.   Greenhouse gases derive from a number of sources, with the top three being electricity production, transportation and industry. Food production has not been found to be a leading source of greenhouse...

From soil to supper: Arboretum throws open gates to chefs for Ultimate Kitchen Garden

By Carol Lea Spence Special to KyForward   The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has long encouraged both ends of the food spectrum—growers and consumers—to meet in the middle, the middle being that moment when good food at its peakgoes from soil to supper.   In keeping with that philosophy, the college invites Kentucky chefs to pick their favorite heirloom varieties of vegetables...