April 3, 2007

LaJuana Wilcher, attorney and former state secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, will be evaluating various opportunities for the University of Kentucky’s Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment to increase coordination among UK faculty and staff and to increase its effectiveness and relevance to Kentucky residents.

In this advisory capacity, Wilcher will meet with selected UK faculty and staff and business leaders in the state.

”This move will allow LaJuana to build upon her outstanding record of service to the Commonwealth,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “As one of this state’s top environmental leaders, LaJuana will add great value to our Tracy Farmer Center.” 

“As a biologist, lawyer, farmer and professor, LaJuana brings a unique, broad-based background to this effort and will be a strong advocate for environmental programs that make a difference to Kentucky,” said Nancy Cox, UK College of Agriculture associate dean for research.

Under the stewardship of the College of Agriculture, the Tracy Farmer Center is UK’s interdisciplinary center for comprehensive integration of research, education, and public service. This arrangement affords opportunities to build upon a variety of existing synergies in research, outreach, and education, while presenting the Center with a leadership role in such projects as the Kentucky Wildlife Institute and the Groundwater Research and Education Program. The Center’s AWAKE project (All Wild About Kentucky Environment) provides adults and youth information about the state’s native plants and wildlife as well as the ecosystems that support them. 

Wilcher served as secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection from 2003-2006 and practices environmental law with English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley in Bowling Green. She is a summer professor at Vermont Law School, a nationally recognized leader among environmental law schools in the United States. Past federal and state jobs have given her valuable experience in strategic planning and organizational architecture. Wilcher also serves on Gov. Ernie Fletcher's Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) task force, Salmon P. Chase Law School Board of Visitors, and the Vermont Law School Environmental Law Center Board of Advisors. 

The Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment was established in 2000 with a $2 million gift from Tracy W. Farmer, Lexington-area horseman, entrepreneur and business leader, and former member of UK’s Board of Trustees. Farmer is a well-known advocate of environmental preservation and natural resources education. Carol Hanley is the Center’s education and communications director.


Haven Miller, 859-257-4736, ext. 272, Nancy Cox, 859-257-3333