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College News

University of Kentucky Block and Bridle chapter celebrates 100 years dedicated to animal agriculture 

University of Kentucky Block and Bridle chapter celebrates 100 years dedicated to animal agriculture 

University of Kentucky Block and Bridle chapter celebrates 100 years dedicated to animal agriculture 

Since 1923, a devoted membership of passionate students and alumni dedicated to the field and profession of animal agriculture is continuing to build a legacy based on three founding principles – character, sincerity and morality.


The University of Kentucky Block and Bridle chapter, a student club associated with the Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Department of Animal and Food Sciences, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary connecting current students, faculty, staff and alumni at the E.S. Good Barn.  

Affiliated with the National Block and Bridle Club, current members are college students from across the country and all academic backgrounds interested in animal agriculture. The Block and Bridle membership promotes a better understanding of animal sciences through programming and scholastic opportunities, connecting students to rewarding careers.   

From Monticello, Ky., McKenzie Bell, Block and Bridle student president, Agricultural and Medical Biotechnology and Animal Sciences double major, has observed tremendous growth among members.

“I have seen many members blossom into truly exceptional leaders, develop life-long friendships and create a lasting impact in the animal science industry,” Bell said. “I have never seen such passion and hard work within any group as with this year's members."

The event invited alumni to share in celebrating this momentous occasion. For some, like LeAnn McCuiston, Block and Bridle was about finding a sense of belonging, creating lasting memories and supporting students in continuing the chapter’s legacy.

Block and Bridle alumni and advisors celebrating the 100th year.
Pictured left to right: LeeAnn McCuiston, Amanda Cannon, Saralyn Porter Hite, Dr. Don Ely, Corinne Ferris, Dr. Debra Aaron and Laura Utterback Swango.

"Every college student needs to find a place to belong. Block and Bridle was my place,” said McCuiston, class of ‘93 and current Todd County 4-H Agent at Martin-Gatton CAFE. “I always felt welcomed by fellow members and had amazing advisors/professors who had the same interests as me. So many memories were formed in this club. I returned for the 100th year celebration to see my old friends and encourage current student members to continue making the club the very best at UK."

Shannon and Dale Wolfram (class of ‘73), married and living in Midway, Kentucky, shared what celebrating five decades as Block and Bridle alums meant.  

“What a wonderful honor and opportunity to acknowledge 50 years of comradery and friendship with this year’s pledge class,” says Wolfram. “We will always remember Tot Days, horse shows and the Little North American livestock show. These relationships have survived the test of time and are a tribute to the college and Block and Bridle Club.”  

The Block and Bridle former and current faculty advisors – Don Ely, Debra Aaron and Ann Leed – were special to the members and did more than simply advise.

Original Block and Bridle charter dated December 3rd, 1923.
Original Block and Bridle charter dated December 3rd, 1923.

“They were our ‘parents’ away from home,” said Corinne Ferris, B&B class of ‘93, and Shelby Co. Extension agent at Martin-Gatton CAFE. “When I think of my time at UK, I think about B&B feeds and dances, going to National B&B Conventions, Quadrathlon, Little North American and spending time with some of the best friends I have ever made. Block and Bridle played a huge part in making my college experience amazing.”

The Kentucky chapter received its charter from the National Block and Bridle Club on December 3, 1923. Since the charter, the chapter has initiated approximately 5,000 members. There are currently 60 UK students in this year’s cohort.

“Block and Bridle has always carried a special place in our college,” Debra Aaron, Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Animal Sciences, said. “As former students have shared, it was ‘their place.’ It was, and is, a family and a shared love of livestock has always been at the club’s heart.” 

Aaron reinforces that Block and Bridle will continue to be a home for all students who share a passion for animal agriculture. Its strong legacy will continue.

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The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

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