August 17, 2005

The merger of the dairy operations of Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky moved a step closer to reality with the Commonwealth’s approval of $270,000 in funds for the project design phase.

A Memorandum of Understanding calls for the institutions to issue a joint request for additional funding to complete the EKU/UK Dairy Research and Education Center, which will be part of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. The new facility will be located at EKU’s Meadowbrook Farm in eastern Madison County and owned by Eastern, although ownership of cattle and equipment will be retained by each institution.

“It’s a win-win-win situation,” said Dr. Bruce Pratt, chair of EKU’s Department of Agriculture. “UK wins because they’ll be able to continue their dairy research. EKU wins because it will triple the number of cattle available to our students and we will be able to expose them to some basic research. The third winner is the dairy industry, which will have a state-of-the-art facility for field days and demonstrations. By combining resources, we can more effectively serve the dairy industry.”

Dr. Bob Harmon, chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the UK College of Agriculture, called the planned merger “a positive example of combining our existing resources to provide quality educational and research programs that will benefit the dairy industry and our students in the Commonwealth. I am excited about the partnership.”

UK will relocate its dairy employees and all usable equipment and vehicles to the Meadowbrook site. Details of the implementation process will be jointly managed by representatives from the UK College of Agriculture and the EKU College of Business & Technology. The Management Committee will develop procedures for day-to-day operations of the dairy as well as research, teaching and outreach activities.

State Reps. Harry Moberly Jr. and Don Pasley have been instrumental in gaining support for the project, officials said.


Writer: Jerry Wallace, 859-622-1598

Contacts: Bob Harmon, 859-257-2686
Bruce Pratt, 859-622-2237