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Inside the La Grange YMCA, mothers and grandmothers bounced their babies to quiet them, while people of all ages sat in chairs, along walls and stood in the adjoining gym to watch Christine Duncan cook corn and zucchini.

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The National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals recently installed Alison Davis as their new president. Davis, professor of agricultural economics in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, took over the position at the national conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Davis is also the executive director of the college’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.

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This past winter was a hard one for many Kentucky farmers, with long periods of below normal temperatures and above normal snowfall. A short walk through the University of Kentucky Horticulture Research Farm’s vineyard revealed that the grape and wine industry might have taken the brunt of the winter blow, especially if vineyard owners planted a majority of vinifera grape varieties.

Vinifera are primarily European varieties that do not tolerate the cold. Some damage is very apparent now, but the full extent may not be realized for months or even years.

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Who would have thought of mosquitoes being put to work to help decrease and control the mosquito population? University of Kentucky professor and researcher Stephen Dobson and his former graduate student, Jimmy Mains, that's who.

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Specialists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host the Corn, Soybean and Tobacco Field Day July 31 at the UK research farm in Princeton.

The field day begins at 7:30 a.m. CDT and features tours of UK research plots of the three crops. A total of four tours, three of which center around grain crops and one for tobacco, will run concurrently, but producers will have opportunities to visit all.

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Due to the overwhelming success of a spring grazing program, the University of Kentucky Master Grazer Program is hosting a one-day grazing school in Morgan County.

The event will be from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Morgan County extension research farm in West Liberty. Specialists with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will cover topics related to fall pasture management.

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In efforts to continue to provide affordable counseling services to families, couples and individuals of Lexington, the University of Kentucky Family Center is now offering a divorce support group for children, as well as free parenting consultations.

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 University of Kentucky Department of Forestry Professor Jeffrey Stringer has been awarded funding by the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) for a pilot research project that is developing a web-based application that identifies the closest emergency personnel for those injured in the logging industry. He is one of five recipients of research funding from CARERC.

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Mother Nature threw some curve balls to the wheat crop over the growing season. Now at harvest time, some growers are finding out their crop safely weathered the season, while others are discovering they struck out.

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Woodland owners who are wondering how to get the most from their property should think about attending one of three Woodland Owners Short Courses being offered around the state this summer, said Billy Thomas, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension forester.

When woodlands are managed properly, their health improves and they can produce a cash crop of valuable timber, as well as attract more wildlife and provide a place for family recreation. The 2014 Woodland Owners Short Course will cover all those aspects—for both novice and experienced landowners.

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Many parts of Kentucky have settled into a dry pattern the past 30 days, and it’s starting to stress out some of the corn crop.

“The week before and the week after pollination is the time when corn is most susceptible to the weather,” said Chad Lee, extension grain crops specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “We really need rain right now in Central and Eastern Kentucky for successful pollination.”

In the past month, the state has averaged 3.36 inches—more than an inch below normal.

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For most Americans, a good pair of shoes is a given, but that’s not the case for individuals born into poverty in Africa.

4-H’ers attending Teen Conference on the University of Kentucky campus worked diligently to trace and cut pieces of denim, cotton and plastic to make African children’s feet and lives a little more comfortable.

The young leaders from across Kentucky were taking part in a shoe party organized by Danielle Hutchins, Nelson County 4-H youth development agent with the UK Cooperative Extension Service, for the organization Sole Hope.

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Animals are especially vulnerable during natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and winter storms, because they have to rely on humans for help. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is hosting the Multi-jurisdictional Animal Resource Coordination Exercise, a virtual exercise for animal responders across the United States. The exercise will take place July 9-10.

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Everyone agreed; the approach to W.P. Garrigus Building had seen better days. Well, better days are here again, with the completion of the new College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Plaza.

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A University of Kentucky professor is studying the environmental impacts of Nicaraguan crop production and what the Latin American country is doing to make their farming practices more environmentally friendly.

Paul Vincelli, extension plant pathologist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is spending a six-month sabbatical in Managua, Nicaragua, the capital city of the poorest country in Latin America. Poverty is an important reason environmental regulations weren’t enforced in the past.

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Cattle numbers in the United States are the lowest they have been in more than 50 years.

“There has always been variation in cattle inventory from year to year,” said Kenny Burdine, agricultural economist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “There was an upward trend from the 1930s to the 1970s, followed by a sharp and then more gradual reversal that has continued through today.”

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The website fashion-schools.org recently ranked the University of Kentucky Department of Retailing and Tourism Management as a top 5 fashion merchandising school in the South.

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Cody Rakes grew up on a Marion County farm and quite naturally found a home in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment three years ago. As a freshman, he joined his peers on a very successful team that built the national champion quarter-scale tractor that year. The next year, they took second, and now in 2014, they’ve reclaimed the top spot at the recent American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

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The bitter cold winter was hard on bermudagrass, a warm-season perennial used extensively in sports fields and golf courses

“Reports have surfaced from all over Kentucky about winter-damaged bermudagrass,” said Gregg Munshaw, extension turf specialist with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “Low lying and wet areas, north facing slopes and high traffic areas have resulted in the greatest losses, but losses have certainly been found in almost all situations.”

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They focused on reaching out to the young in Kentucky’s Promise Zone. They analyzed the market potential for a farm-to-office company in California and a new smartphone app for a large grain shipper, helped a credit company find ways to grow a successful lending program for beginning farmers and developed a marketing plan for a new locally-produced blueberry-oatmeal bar. That was just their homework.

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Eastern Kentucky livestock and forage producers who are interested in learning about making their pastures more profitable should consider attending the East Region Grazing Field Day.

The University of Kentucky Master Grazer Program field day will be Saturday, June 21 at the Morgan County Extension farm, rain or shine. Registration begins at 8 a.m. EDT. Presentations begin at 9 a.m.

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With summer drawing near, it’s a good time to start thinking about protecting livestock from inevitable heat stress conditions on the way.

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Beginning this fall, students enrolled in the University of Kentucky’s equine science and management undergraduate degree program will have the ability to better customize their college experience to match their interests and career aspirations.

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The University of Kentucky Ag Equine Programs will host the 6th Annual Equine Farm and Facilities Expo from 4 to 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 3 at the Kentucky Equine Humane Center in Nicholasville, Ky. The event is free and open to the public and a meal will be provided.

“The expo is a great opportunity for any equine owner on any size farm to learn some of the latest information from all of the various equine industry companies and UK specialists,” said Nick Carter,Fayette County agriculture and natural resources extension agent.

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