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Coffey named chair of UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Coffey named chair of UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Coffey named chair of UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences

Richard Coffey is the new chair of the department.


The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has named Richard Coffey chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

Coffey is the current director of the UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, a longtime swine extension specialist and leader of the youth livestock programs for the college. He will begin his new administrative role by April 1.

“The department is on a forward-moving and successful trajectory and is positioned for a bright future,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the college. “It must sustain faculty excellence, enhance the already great undergraduate teaching program, support the diverse animal agriculture economy and successfully transition to the university’s values-based budget model. The overall consensus was Dr. Coffey is well equipped to lead the department to face these challenges.”

Because the department’s work is critical to Kentucky’s animal agricultural economy, representatives from the animal agriculture community participated in the interview process and provided valuable input, along with college administration, faculty, staff and students, during the selection process.

“I’m excited to work with our department’s outstanding faculty, staff and students to maintain our excellence in research, teaching and extension,” Coffey said.

Coffey received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University and his doctorate from UK. After completing his doctorate in 1994, he became the UK swine extension specialist in Lexington and eventually moved to center. He will return to Lexington as chair.

Coffey replaces Bob Harmon, who has chaired the department since 2000. Harmon will remain in the department as a professor.

“I would like to thank Bob Harmon for his valued leadership,” Cox said. “He was trusted by the administration for his ability to transmit department concerns in a strong and effective way. He is appreciated throughout the state and beyond for his contributions to Kentucky’s animal agriculture. He is leaving the department in great shape.”

The college will soon be looking for new leadership for the center and for swine extension programming.

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