January 22, 2020
Lexington, Ky.

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has hired three regional directors. This is the first step in a new administrative structure announced last fall after a comprehensive review of the service was completed.

Natasha Lucas, of Beattyville, has been named the Central Region director. Lucas currently serves as one of seven district directors and has more than 20 years of experience in extension at the county and district levels. She has a bachelor’s degree in home economics education and a master’s degree in vocational education from UK. She also is a graduate of the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute. Lucas’ office will be on UK’s Lexington campus.

Anna Porter, of Louisville, has been named the West Region director. Porter currently serves as one of seven district directors and has more than 30 years of experience at the county and district levels. She focused on youth organizations in her bachelor’s degree in recreation from Western Kentucky University. She earned a master’s degree in vocational education with an emphasis on agriculture from UK. Porter’s office will be at the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton.

Daniel Wilson, of Tyner, has been named the East Region director. He currently serves as one of seven district directors and has more than 13 years of experience at the county, district and state levels. He has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in career, technical and leadership education from UK. Wilson’s office will be at UK’s Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability.

“We were fortunate to have an outstanding candidate pool, and we extend our sincerest thanks to all who applied,” said Laura Stephenson, associate dean and extension director in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Throughout the process, we have had valuable feedback from staff and stakeholders. I am looking forward to working closely with new regional directors.”

The three regional directors will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of extension operations within their respective regions and will report to Stephenson. Each will oversee nine to 10 area extension directors. The 28 areas comprise between three to five counties each. Hiring of these positions will take place throughout 2020.

The goals of the new administrative model are to increase the time that county agent available have for programming; increase supervisor mentoring opportunities; streamline fiscal accountability and compliance; and reduce staff-to-supervisor ratios.

All three regional directors will start their new roles on Feb. 1 but will continue to oversee their current districts until area extension directors are hired.

Contact: 

Laura Stephenson, 859-257-4302