University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Welcome to the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service

The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is the most comprehensive outreach and engagement program at the University of Kentucky.

Our mission, simply stated, is to make a difference in the lives of Kentucky citizens through research-based education. Jointly with our other land-grant partner, Kentucky State University, we take the University to the people in their local communities, addressing issues of importance of all Kentuckians.

Connecting Farms to Local Markets

Connecting Farms to Local MarketsExtension Agents facilitated a workshop for farmers to be introduced to regional and state opportunities and markets for local food, such as state parks and schools. Over 80% of purchasing representatives are pursuing contracts with district farmers.

As consumer demand for locally grown food has continued to grow, so has the need for farmers to learn about marketing. The “Connecting Farms to Local Markets” workshop provided an opportunity for producers to meet with wholesale and retail buyers and school food service directors from the urban Louisville to Bowling Green regional markets. [more]

Beef Basics: Guiding New Farmers in the Beef Industry

Beef BasicsAs part of the Extension KyFarmStart Program, Beef Basics supports beginning farmers as they map a business plan that is conscious of the environment, laws and liabilities for beef cattle operations.

KyFarmStart is an intensive education program targeting those individuals who have ten years or less farming experience. The program is designed as a whole farm management education program for beginning farmers, providing a basic foundation of production, marketing, management, and networking which are necessary for beginning farmers to succeed in today's dynamic agriculture environment. [more]

Accessing Nutritious Foods

Accessing Nutritious FoodsGrowing community gardens, promoting farmer’s markets and local foods, demonstrating healthy choices, and stretching the food budget.

Cooperative Extension improved access to healthy food through home and community gardens, promoting farmer's markets and local foods, and demonstrating recipes and food preservation techniques. [more]

Emerald Award Winner Targets Obesity in Russell County

Emerald Award“4-H taught me to be organized, prepared me for college and created opportunities that I never could have imagined!”  —Marketta Lawless, 2013 Emerald Award Winner

The 4-H Achievement Program is a national program for members from sixth grade through high school, with the Emerald Award being the highest honor for 4-H members. Youth are recognized and awarded points for participating in activities and events, completing projects, and serving in leadership roles. [more]

Engaging Youth in Veterinary Science

Vet Science“Female 4-H participants are 2 X more likely to pursue science careers over their peers.”
—Tufts University 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development

Hart County 4-H members have the opportunity to experience the science of veterinary medicine. Dr. Kevin Vance provides the leadership to conduct a six week introductory course to youth, 9 to 19 years of age. Members recognize the commitment to education, examine animals (i.e. heart and respiration rate, temperature), classify animals as they study the anatomy and organ systems, and differentiate bacteria and parasites as they examine the fecal samples from their pets. The 4-H members tour a dairy farm where reproduction and immune response are discussed and observe routine procedures such as immunizations and dehorn of cattle. [more]

Kentucky 4-H Dairy Judging Team Takes National Honors

Kentucky 4-H Dairy Judging Team Takes National Honors4-H livestock members present at local fairs, the Kentucky State Fair, as well as, regional and national competitions where youth apply their critical thinking skills and communication skills.

The 2013 Kentucky 4-H Dairy Judging Team had an exceptional year!! The team members; Caleb Fulkerson, Tyler Goodlett, Drew Krueger and Shelby West are from Spencer County. [more]

Northern Kentucky Beef Reproductive Efficiency Program

Northern Kentucky Beef Reproductive Efficiency Program Improving farm profitability of beef herds in Boone, Campbell, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton Counties as part of a five year research project.

The Beef Reproductive Efficiency Program is in
the first of a five year project and has served 175 beef producers in Northern Kentucky. The goal of the program is to improve the reproductive efficiency and farm profitability of beef herds. The instruction was conducted by University of Kentucky specialist, and area Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agents. [more]

Extension Connects Urban Communities to Local Agriculture

Extension Connects Urban Communities to Local AgricultureAnnual farm tours invite urban residents to explore farmland and discover a wide variety of agricultural operations, taste local farm products, and promote land stewardship.

Cooperative Extension works with community partners, such as the Conservation Districts, to preserve farm land and maintain the economic viability of the land base by conducting farm tours. Self-guided tours allow families to meet farmers, learn where their food comes from, taste the local products, and learn about stewardship. [more]

Boyd County Horticulture is Transitioning Gardeners to Producers

Boyd County Horticulture is Transitioning Gardeners to ProducersBoyd County Extension Horticulture programs are teaching residents, training volunteers, and developing skills to attain jobs through Master Gardeners, the Vegetable Academy, testing and diagnostic services, and other workshops

Extension Horticulture provides educational programs, train leaders who provide valuable community services, teach skills to increase employability, and encourage environmental stewardship. [more] 

Extension Equine Expo Supports Horse Owners and Farm Managers in Kentucky

Extension Equine Expo Supports Horse Owners and Farm Managers in KentuckyExtension demonstrates the benefits of rotational grazing, diversified operations, weed and grass identification, animal health, and improving farm safety at the Equine Expo.

University of Kentucky Extension Specialists and Agents conducted an Equine Farm and Facilities Exposition. Horse owners and farm managers participate in demonstrations on drainage and footing options for exercise areas, temporary fence, water system establishment, and hay production testing. [more]

Bell County Extension Improving Access to Healthy Foods

Bell County Extension Improving Access to Healthy FoodsBell County Extension is a partner in the GROW Appalachia project providing gardening expertise and nutrition education to participants at Henderson Settlement and inmates at the Bell County Forestry Camp.

The GROW Appalachia project has been made possible by funding from John Paul Mitchell Systems who has a desire to address hunger in Appalachia. Being deeply sensitive to the challenges facing Appalachian families, the objective is to teach people to grow their own food. [more]

4-H Circuit Training Program Builds Strength, Endurance and Self-Esteem

4-H Circuit Training Program Builds Strength, Endurance and Self-EsteemTodd County 4-H conducts a 12-week physical activity program for teens as part of the 21st Century After School Program.

Youth physical fitness and healthy lifestyles are a priority in Todd County. The 4-H program collaborates with the Youth Service Center to present Circuit Training to middle school youth participating in the 21st Century After-School Program. [more]

The Junior Minority in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Youth Program Inspires Jefferson County Youth to Pursue Higher Education

The Junior Minority in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) Youth ProgramMANRRS teens learn that agriculture goes beyond crops and livestock to economics, biosystems and agricultural engineering, communications, dietetics, family sciences, human nutrition, community development, and entrepreneurship.

The agriculture industry is the foundation of any society; however, in the United States, ethnic minorities’ and women involvement in agriculture has been limited. Various demographic estimates indicate that ethnic minority populations are steadily increasing, and more minority students will need to be recruited into agriculture-related careers in order to sustain the agriculture industry for the future and to help ensure that the United States remains competitive in the global economy (Mitchell, 1993). [more]

Taking Ownership of Your Diabetes, Improved Diabetes Management and Prevented Complications in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes

Taking Ownership of Your Diabetes Extension conducts diabetes education and empowers participants to achieve measurable behaviors in planning and preparing healthy meals, monitoring blood glucose, and setting and accomplishing personal goals.

One out of every 10 people living in Kentucky has diabetes and many others are at risk of developing the disease (CDC, 2012). Taking Ownership of Your
Diabetes is a curriculum developed by a College of Agriculture, Food and Environment faculty member who is a Licensed Diabetes Educator. The series of programs are presented by Extension Agents with local health professionals and community partners. The program addresses healthy nutrition practices, regular physical activity and working with a team of health professionals to manage diabetes. In the first two years, Extension has reached 1,980 adults in 51 counties. [more]

Extension Provides Leadership to Develop Healthy Local Communities with the Merchant Mile

Extension Provides Leadership to Develop Healthy Local Communities with the Merchant MileGreen County Extension initiated the Merchant Mile program that encourages physical activity, provides opportunities for free health screenings during summer months and stimulates local businesses.

According to the Center for Disease Control, over 66% of Kentucky adults are overweight or obese with more than 29% reporting they had NO physical activity in the past month. Physical inactivity leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases. Being physically active can be a challenge in rural area where sidewalks are limited. [more]

Extension Provides Driver Safety Program for Teens and Their Parents

Extension Provides Driver Safety Program for Teens and Their Parents“[Teens on Wheels] has changed people’s lives in many different ways from opening up communication between parents and teens to adults re-evaluating their own driving habits.
This program has become a model for other driving programs throughout Kentucky and surrounding areas. In my years as a police officer and my 12 years as a firefighter, I haven’t saved as many lives as I have being involved in this program.”
-Lt. Thomas Stubbeman, Highland Heights Police Department (Retired)

Teens On Wheels was created by the Campbell County Family & Consumer Sciences Agent after experiencing a family tragedy. The program
addresses the need for teen driver safety in the community. [more]

Extension Utilize Natural Resources to Engage Youth in Physical Activity

Extension Utilize Natural Resources to Engage Youth in Physical ActivityThe Hike McCreary County program was designed to increase youth physical activity but has impacted the intellectual, social and emotional development of the participating youth.

The McCreary County Extension Service developed an educational hiking program for selected trails and providing information about the natural surroundings for the trails. In collaboration with the McCreary County Middle School Youth Service Center and Gifted and Talented Program, the program addresses the educational competencies in science, technology and life skills. [more]

Extension Sparks the Next Generation of Young Scientists

Extension Sparks the Next Generation of Young ScientistsCampbell County Extension Environmental Education Center conducts school programs where youth experience the interdependent relationships of ecosystems.

The Campbell County Cooperative Extension Service’s Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) Program educates diverse people to make decisions and take action to improve the quality, productivity, and sustainability of natural resources. NREM programs focus on soil, water, air, plant and animal life, forests, aquatic and other ecosystems. The Extension office provides a front door to the research-based expertise and inspires youth and adults to act on environmental concerns. [more]


UK College of Agriculture
S-107 Ag Science Bldg. North
Lexington, KY 40546-0091
Phone: 859-257-4302
Fax: 859-257-3501