November 5, 2001 | By: Haven Miller

A 23-year veteran of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has been chosen to lead the state's 400-agent Cooperative Extension Service.

Larry W. Turner, 46, is UK's new Associate Director and Associate Dean for Extension effective Jan. 2, 2002, pending UK trustees' approval. The announcement was made by Scott Smith, dean of the College of Agriculture.

"I'm extremely pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Turner to this vitally important leadership position," said Smith. "He has the experience, the understanding of the issues, the communication skills, and the vision necessary to lead our state's Cooperative Extension Service into the 21st Century."

Turner joined UK in 1978 as an Extension agricultural engineer and faculty member in energy management and conservation. Since 1999 he has chaired UK's Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department, administering an annual budget of more than $5 million. He views Kentucky's Cooperative Extension system as the combination of three critically important parts: people, programs and partnerships.

"Extension's primary goal should be improving the lives of Kentucky's people," he said. "Our programs for agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H/youth and community development are needed now more than ever."

Turner said effective programming requires support for the people who deliver those programs.

"This means supporting our county agents and staff, our specialists and state staff, and all the people who assist their efforts," he said. "We should clearly define our programs with consensus from our local councils and other interest groups, and enhance the development of partnerships."

Raised on an Indiana farm, Turner earned bachelor's and master's degrees in agricultural engineering from Purdue University. He earned a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering from UK in 1984. In addition to his Extension and applied research activities, Turner has taught courses in the dynamics of biological systems and in design of ventilation and environmental control.

He led multi-state, multi-disciplinary efforts in development of a swine growth computer model now used in four states. Turner's Extension program focused on cattle-forage systems such as geotextile pads, fencing, water supply and paddock layout, as well as cooling systems for dairy and swine. As a visiting scientist at Silsoe Research Institute in Great Britain, he conducted research on air quality effects on swine.

Under Turner's leadership, the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department increased external research and Extension grants from an annual level of $250,000 in 1999 to more than $ 4 million in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.


Dean Scott Smith, (859)-257-4772