November 19, 2004 | By: Aimee Heald-Nielson

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Department of Forestry is entering a progressive and innovative era. The man recently chosen to lead the department in this mission is Steve Bullard.

Bullard recently made the move to Lexington from Mississippi, where he served as professor and interim department head for the Mississippi State University Department of Forestry. He also was a research scientist in the Forest and Wildlife Research Center at MSU, where he conducted research in the economics of commercial timber production.

“Steve brings experience and leadership in various programs related to this department, including forestry, forest products, and furniture,” said Nancy Cox, UK College of Agriculture associate dean for research and chair of the search committee. “In addition to his leadership skills, he conducted a very successful research program on forest economics. He has expressed both a broad vision and commitment to growth of forestry and natural resource programs for Kentucky, and he has hit the ground running, both in the college and out in the state.”

Bullard received his Ph.D. in forest management economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute after completing a M.S. in the same and a B.S. in forestry from Mississippi State University. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific and technical articles related to forestry and given more than 80 presentations at professional meetings. He also is the author of the text “Basic Concepts in Forest Valuation and Investment Analysis” and has served as editor of three professional journals including Forest Science, the Canadian Journal of Forest Research, and the Southern Journal of Applied Forestry.

Cox said the search process was unique because it included forestry industry professionals, government officials and members of related departments at UK.

“The college wanted to show a commitment to the future of forestry in Kentucky by including some key stakeholders in the process,” she said. “This allowed us to consider candidates from the perspective not only of academic excellence, but also by their ability to contribute to economic development and quality of life in Kentucky.”

Bullard will provide direction and leadership for the Department of Forestry, which means furthering a vision that includes enhancing a strong core program in forestry and developing national prominence in research and graduate education, as well as addressing a broader range of biodiversity conservation, environmental and natural resource issues.

“This state is blessed with very rich assets of natural resources,” Bullard said. “There are many ways to enhance the benefits those resources provide. I see that as a fundamental role of the program. At the University of Kentucky, we need to research ways to increase landowners’ opportunities to market forest products and enhance income opportunities associated with forest production. At the same time, we need to study ways to increase environmental sustainability and keep forest production beneficial not just to Kentuckians, but to the region and to the country.”


Writer: Aimee D. Nielson  859-257-4736, ext. 267