December 16, 2021 | By: Aimee Nielson

When powerful tornadoes ripped through Western Kentucky, vital communication networks went down. To help get the region’s first responders and emergency management officials back online, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service has partnered  with the Starlink team 

Starlink will provide kits which use advanced satellites in a low orbit to enable high-data rate internet, in strategic Western Kentucky locations. Starlink has internet relay satellites around the globe.   

A Kentucky 4-H alumnus reached out to McCracken County 4-H youth development agent Brittany Osborne to facilitate the support with Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service.  

“The UK Cooperative Extension Service has an office in each of the affected Kentucky counties,” Osborne said. “This effort just makes sense and empowers us even more to do what we do best to help our neighbors and communities. 

The Starlink kits will remain in the affected areas for two months. If they are needed longer than thatthe teams will reassess the situation. To maximize reach, UK is working closely with Kentucky Emergency Management and Connected Nation, a nonprofit that provides tools and resources to help local communities, states and federal agencies create and implement solutions for their broadband and digital technology gaps.  

We are so grateful that Starlink has provided this connectivity to our hard-hit communities,” said Laura Stephenson, associate dean and extension director for the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment4-H creates lifelong, servant leaders, and this is a great example of how 4-Hers answer the call to help, even after they leave our system. 


Laura Skillman,

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