November 28, 2001 | By: Haven Miller

As we move farther into the 21st century, the needs of Kentucky's people will continue to be a driving force behind agricultural research at the University of Kentucky.

That's the opinion of Nancy Cox, UK's new associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture. Her comments came during taping of a television interview for UK's "Extension Today" video magazine program.

"The early land grant concept of finding solutions for problems and using the Cooperative Extension system to deliver those solutions to the people will continue to be our central mission," said Cox. "But we should remember that the world is more complex now, and while the Extension- Experiment Station partnership is at the core, research complexity is such that we may be doing research today that won't have application until 20 or more years from now."

Cox, who has been on the job since October 1, said that without practical application and communication of results to the people who need it, research loses its value.

"I think most ag researchers get the greatest satisfaction when they can see their discovery actually put into practice by the people of a state in partnership with the Extension Service," Cox said. "And we've also learned that science itself does not insure that a product will be accepted. It has to be the basic scientific discovery coupled with the social science and behavior studies so we can find out what consumer preferences are."

In addition to her appointment as associate dean, Cox also serves as director of UK's Agricultural Experiment Station. Her responsibility includes agriculture research activities at west Kentucky's Research and Education Center in Princeton, and east Kentucky's Robinson Station in Quicksand.

"These research units allow us to conduct research that is specific to the region of the state in which they're located," she said. "They are vitally important to their communities and to our state, and our support for them will remain strong."

Prior to her new position at UK, Cox was an animal science professor and administrator at Mississippi State University. The South Carolina native earned her Ph.D. in animal physiology from North Carolina State University in 1982.


Nancy Cox, 859-257-3333