April 7, 2005

When the national Priester Extension Health Conference gets under way in Lexington this month, rural health and agricultural safety are among the many topics that will be explored by the conference’s 200-plus participants.

“While the Priester conference covers a wide range of contemporary health issues, including disease prevention and health literacy, certainly the linkage of health issues with rural environment and agriculture will be the main focus of several sessions and special presentations,” said Larry Turner, associate dean for Cooperative Extension in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

UK Cooperative Extension educators are helping plan the national meeting, which is named for former U.S. Department of Agriculture administrator Jean Priester. Other planners represent the UK College of Public Health; USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service; the National Association of State and Land Grant Colleges and Universities; the National Institute for Agricultural Safety; and several land-grant universities.

Conference participants are university, state and federal government employees from across North America whose jobs involve health care, occupational safety, environmental health, and extension education. Several conference panelists and discussion leaders are specialists with UK’s Cooperative Extension Service.

Session topics include Agricultural Rehabilitation for Occupational and Physical Therapists, Legal and Regulatory Responses to Bio- and Agri-Terrorism, Addressing Rural Health Care Shortages, Health Literacy in Rural America, Farm to School and Physical Activity Legislation, and Food Security.

“We’re fortunate to have a number of speakers who are widely recognized authorities on topics related to rural health and agricultural safety,” said Turner. “One of our speakers, Dr. Terry Nipp, is executive director of the national institute that addresses biosecurity and homeland security issues as they may impact food systems and rural communities.”

Other speakers include Dr. John Nelson, president of the American Medical Association; John Perkins, senior policy advisor for food and nutrition at the Texas Department of Agriculture; Dr. Paul Gunderson, former director of the National Farm Medicine Center; Dr. Richard Jackson, California State Public Health Officer; and Dr. David Mathews, chief executive officer of the Kettering Foundation.

The National Priester Extension Health Conference begins April 12 and ends April 15, 2005. For registration and program information, visitwww.nnh.org and click on “The 2005 Priester Extension National Health Conference.


Writer: Haven Miller 859-257-4736, ext. 272

Contact: Larry Turner 859-257-4302