July 24, 2014 | By: Carol Lea Spence

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.

The association, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, provides networking and is a source of information about training opportunities for extension professionals who concentrate at least some of their work on community development. Kentucky Cooperative Extension sent eight agents to present at this year’s conference, which focused on the art of reinvention. The agents represent 4-H, family and consumer sciences, agriculture and fine arts.

“We had more non-community development extension professionals than we’ve ever had before. That’s where we think our area of growth is,” Davis said. “We think agents can have the largest impact by incorporating community development principles in the delivery of their programs. Basically, we want agents to feel like they have a home around community development, even though their appointment might be in another program area. My goal is to try to increase membership and to provide other opportunities beyond an annual conference and some trainings to really make NACDEP beneficial to its membership.”

Another of Davis’s goals is to implement a state-level initiative program that would allow states to individualize their programs. She also sees it providing benefits to agents and other county and state professionals to be used for awards, scholarships or in-service trainings.

As part of her responsibilities as president, Davis will sit on the board of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals for the second of three years. Last year she joined the board as NACDEP’s president-elect; the association’s president, president-elect and past president all hold council board positions.

Davis’s term in office will end June 2015. She is the second UKAg extension faculty member to hold the position. Rick Maurer, extension professor of community and leadership development, was the association’s second president.


Alison Davis, 859-257-7260