October 31, 2007 | By: Aimee Nielson

The Stokes Lecture Series brings outstanding leaders and thinkers to the University of Kentucky to discuss the impacts of agricultural technology and policy. The goal of these lectures is to enhance the general public’s understanding of the importance of the land-grant mission.

For this year’s lecture, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Research Office is hosting the Celebration of Land-Grant Research Thursday, Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the E. S. Good Barn’s Gorham Hall.

Following a welcome by Dean Scott Smith and the Stokes Lecture, Associate Dean for Research Nancy Cox will present three faculty research awards: the 2007 Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award, the 2007 Research-Extension/Impact Award, and the 2007 Prestigious Research Paper Award.

In 2006, the Bobby Pass Excellence in Grantsmanship Award was presented to Peter Nagy, associate plant pathology professor. Donald Hershman, plant pathology professor, won the 2006 Research/Extension Impact Award and Stephen Dobson, associate entomology professor, received the 2006 Prestigious Research Paper Award.

Roger Thomas, executive director of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, is the keynote speaker for the 2007 Stokes Land-Grant Lecture. Thomas’s lecture title is “Support for Land Grant Institutions –TNT– Then, Now, and Tomorrow.” He began working with the Kentucky Dairy Development Council as their first executive director in August 2005.

Thomas is a former Warren County dairy farmer who served nine years in the Kentucky House of Representatives and was chairman of the House Agricultural Committee.

Thomas was the lead sponsor of House Bill 611, the 2000 legislation which earmarked 50 percent of the Kentucky Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) tobacco settlement funds for agriculture diversification in the commonwealth. He also chaired the National Conference of State Legislatures – Agriculture and International Trade Committee and the Southern Legislative Conference – Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

Currently serving on the board for Connect Kentucky, Thomas was co-chair of the Tobacco Settlement Oversight Committee. He is a past president of the Warren County Farm Bureau where he is still an active member. He has also served on many county and regional boards including the Warren County Extension Board. Thomas is a member of the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Thomas and his wife Doris reside in Smiths Grove, Ky. They have three children, Kim, Kathryn and Roger C. 
The Stokes Land-Grant Lecture Series was established in 2000 by Dr. Granville W. Stokes and his late wife, Doris, to provide a forum to capture, retain, and advance the unique land-grant story.

“Land-grant universities are one of this nation’s greatest inventions,” Stokes said. “They take the discovery of new knowledge and make it applicable to the common man as quickly as possible, through teaching, research, and extension programs.”


Lisa Collins, 859-257-3333