March 8, 2019 | By: Aimee Nielson

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks centered around the convergence of Technology, Entertainment and Design. TEDx events bring the organization’s mission to local communities. TEDx Corbin on March 9 is the first such event in Appalachian Kentucky. Two of the speakers are connected to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Melissa Bond and Logan Bechanan will join 15 other speakers to talk about overcoming personal hardships and share visions for a more vibrant, economically viable Eastern Kentucky.

Bond is extension specialist for UK’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky. A former county extension agent, her expertise is in arts programming and farmers markets.

Bond has a master’s degree of arts in social responsibilities and sustainable communities. Her thesis research focused on the women of Appalachia. She will speak about what she has learned from being a goat, hog and cattle producer in Whitley County.

“There are funny and challenging stories we can take away from observing animals,” Bond said. “I hope to help people realize they don’t have to try so hard to have a crafted public persona while keeping all their real feelings and challenges bottled inside. We’re all experiencing the same highs and lows, and we should work to find community in those things.”

Logan Bechanan is an 18-year-old Carlisle native and scholarship student in the college’s agriculture and medical biotechnology program. He is using educational experiences and personal relationships to form a vision for Kentucky. Bechanan is a nationally recognized speaker in youth organizations, a Kentucky Governor’s Scholar and has served as an aide for a political candidate.

When he’s not in school, Bechanan operates a chrysanthemum farm with his sister Fielden, enjoys the outdoors with friends and family and seeks ways to better himself and enhance his message.

TEDx Corbin highlights a three-year season of thriving revitalization in downtown Corbin. It allows the community to join a global conversation about what it means for diverse voices to move forward together. For more information, visit


Melissa Bond, 859-218-4285; Logan Bechanan, 859-473-5553