The Ambassador - December 2019

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THE AMBASSADOR College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

December 2019

BILLY VAN PELT II ‘97 Landscape Architecture

From the Dean

As we find ourselves nearing the end of another eventful year, we are thankful for the support of our alumni family and friends. This support allows us to assist students, serve Kentucky communities and conduct impactful research.

Over the past four years, the college has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships. For the 2019-20 cycle, 369 students received a total of $771,015 in awards and scholarships. That’s a 45 percent increase in total freshman awardees for the 2019-20 college scholarship cycle. Transfer student enrollment is steadily climbing as students recognize their home and passion are within our college. We continue to expand our educational offerings to help students find the career path that best meets their goals and passions. Most recently, we have added two new undergraduate programs - Sustainable Agriculture and Community Food Systems and Consumer Economics and Family Finance. We’ve added two online master’s degrees – Entomology and Science Translation and Outreach – as well as a new online undergraduate certificate in Distillation, Wine and Brewing Studies. Infrastructure improvements continue and a historic icon many of you remember from your time on campus will soon be revitalized. The Cooper House, one of the oldest buildings at UK, will become a state-of-theart facility and our new front door. It will be home to our alumni and philanthropy team. Through a collaboration with Beam Suntory, the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits will be housed in a new facility just behind the Cooper House and will lay the educational foundation for the future of the Kentucky bourbon industry. Research that will map the white oak genome is taking place through the institute to better understand and protect it for the good of the industry and for a species that anchors our forests. Opioids and other drugs have plagued many communities and as the land-grant institution, UK is committed to meeting the challenge of opioids head on – in labs, in hospitals and clinics and directly in communities. It is in communities and through our Extension Service that we have the most impact in this fight. Drug and alcohol addiction can lead to malnutrition and health challenges. Program assistants and agents are teaching life skills to help individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction live healthier lives once they leave treatment facilities. Access to safe drinking water is also critical to some communities around the state and nation. Alison Davis, an agricultural economics professor and director of the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, is part of a Community Development and Health team studying the economics of investing in water and wastewater systems to reduce health inequalities in the rural south. The team will conduct community-engaged research around the importance of access to quality water, particularly in communities of color. This important work is being funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These are just two examples of the work going on across the state to improve lives and support communities. As always thank you for your continued support of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. These are exciting times for our college, and I look forward to sharing more news with you in the future.

Nancy Cox

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College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association


Senior Director of Philanthropy


Elizabeth Vaughn Assoc. Sr. Director of Philanthropy 859-257-8783

Danielle Jostes

Director of Equine Philanthropy


David Kessler

Director of Extension Philanthropy


Jonathan Furnish

Assoc. Director of Alumni Eng.


Tressa Neal


Assoc. Director of Leadership Giving

Cynthia Byars 859-257-4069

Sara Mendoza 859-323-7809

Brooke Stone 859-257-3814

Services Mngr. & Exec. Assistant

Business Officer

Affiliate Network Representatives

Ben Conner ‘16 - Bluegrass Jessica Coffie ‘06, ‘10 - Dietetics & Human Nutrition Cristina Hiten ‘06, ‘10 - Dietetics & Human Nutrition Hannah Niebielski ‘13 - Equine vacant -Forestry & Natural Resources Brian Osterman ‘00 - Fort Harrod Darla Kirkland ‘00 - Green River Chelsey Anderson ‘11 - Lake Cumberland Stephanie Chamberlain ‘99, ‘01 Licking River Jeremy Hinton ‘98 - Lincoln Trail Rick Ryan ‘77 - Lincoln Trail vacant -Louisville vacant -Mammoth Cave Antomia Farrell ‘12 - MANRRS Tiffany Harper ‘17 - MANRRS Danny Bailey ‘68, ‘71 - Northeast Whitney Stith ‘90 - Northern Kentucky vacant -Pennyrile Lena Mallory ‘94 - Purchase Thomas Cravens ‘83, ‘90 - Quicksand vacant -Wilderness Trail

Administrative Assistant

1451 University Drive | Lexington, KY 40546 The Ambassador is published three times yearly by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association.


Student Directors

Gracie Furnish - Ag. Education & Ag. Economics Jesse Neal - Animal Science Lexi Shepherd - Dietetics & Human Nutrition

Faculty Representatives

Will Snell ‘83, ‘85, ‘89 - Teaching Representative Robert Houtz - Research Representative Laura Stephenson - Extension Representative

Committee Members

Diana Doggett ‘75, ‘77 Bart Giles ‘03 Brandon Gilles ‘12 James Gilles ‘10 Kim Henken ‘92, ‘95 Amelia Iliohan ‘19 Brooke Jenkins ‘00, ‘05 Kyle Kelly ‘14 Michaela Mineer ‘18 Martha Nall ‘70 Daniel Smith ‘01 Megan Tennison ‘13, ‘17 Melissa Tomblin ‘02

Administrative Personnel

Nancy Cox - Dean Carmen Agouridis ‘05 - Associate Dean for Instruction Wayne Centers ‘08 - Director of Student Relations Amanda Saha ‘02 - Director of Career Development & Enrichment


The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Philanthropy & Alumni office is located in the E.S. Good Barn on the University of Kentucky campus.

04 06 10 14 17 18

Sue Whitaker ‘64 - President Quentin Tyler ‘02, ‘05 - Vice President Jill Conway ‘00 - Secretary Bill McCloskey ‘84, ‘87 - Treasurer Stephanie Chamberlain ‘99, ‘01 Affiliate Network Representative Charles Canter ‘89 - Past President Michelle McDonald ‘84, ‘93 - UK Alumni Association Liaison


10 CAFE Alumni Association Board Meeting 10 Hall of Distinguished Alumni 11 Winter Event


10 Orlando, FL Happy Hour 13 Atlanta, GA Happy Hour


24 Call To The Post Derby Bash


07 The Graduate Farewell


26 Roundup Visit for additional information.


12 SEC Tournament Happy Hour

STAY SOCIAL @ukcafealumni




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Winter 2020 04 | DECEMBER 2019


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LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE’S INTERNATIONAL STUDY PROGRAM “I had no idea we would experience so many designed landscapes and urban spaces and learn so much about landscape architecture on this trip . . . I expected to just see a bunch of old monuments!”

This was the reaction of a student recently returned from one of the Department of Landscape Architecture’s international study programs. She is like other Landscape Architecture students at the University of Kentucky who are able to get beyond their computer screens and Google searches to partake in genuine experiences in some of the most significant and vibrant urban design, parks, public spaces, and environmental conservation projects around the globe. Landscape Architecture for many professionals is a global practice with project team members working fluidly across international boundaries. American landscape architects frequently practice

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in Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world. Conversely, the competition for the Town Branch Commons project in Lexington attracted multiple landscape architecture firms from Europe, many of whom teamed with firms in the United States. Even landscape architects who practice consistently within a given region benefit from experiencing work informed by other cultures and environmental settings. Historic landscapes have always served as inspiration for American designers, from the renaissance villas of Italy, to the rural estates of England, and the gardens of Japan. In more recent decades, designers look not just to historic precedents, but also to contemporary landscape architecture and urban design

projects from around the world as examples and lessons from which to learn. In this climate of international sharing of ideas, it is essential for landscape architecture students to broaden their education by traveling abroad while in school, and by establishing the confidence to continue traveling throughout their careers. The department considers the learning that occurs with international study to be so important that it is a required part of the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture. In recent years landscape architecture students have traveled to China, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, the United

Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, and France, as well as Canada. A small number of students arrange for international study through programs sponsored by other departments at UK or by other universities, but the majority choose to participate in programs led by UK landscape architecture faculty members. In May 2020, Ned Crankshaw and Carolina Segura will lead a group of students on a program in Spain to experience contemporary urban and landscape architectural design, ancient gardens from the Moorish empire, and the Spanish experiment with a car-free inner city in Madrid. The Spain 2020 group will travel through Barcelona, Madrid, Seville,

and several smaller cities and participate in sketch and photography “crawls” as a way to immerse themselves thoughtfully in the places they are visiting. The department expects students in landscape architecture to return with a body of work suitable for an exhibition of their travels. In the 2020 fall semester, the group will share their exhibit of images and observations with their fellow students and faculty during the department’s annual Thanksgiving feast. Professor Thomas Nieman, until his retirement in 2016, was a leading proponent of international travel in the College of Agriculture, Food and

Environment and among his landscape architecture colleagues across the country. Tom and his wife Jan are traveling even more now that he is free of the academic schedule, with recent trips to Iceland, Germany, and France. They created the Tom and Jan Nieman Education Abroad Fund in 2016 with a major gift supplemented with continuing gifts by alumni and friends of the Department of Landscape Architecture. The fund, at Tom and Jan’s request, benefits all landscape architecture students who participate in the department’s international travel programs by paying a portion of the program’s cost. This generous legacy will positively influence current and future landscape architecture students by helping them to afford that greatest piece of design education: immersing oneself in the real thing. (At left) Tom Nieman and students at the Palais Rohan in Bordeaux, France. (Above) Various landscape architecture sites experienced across the world through the international study program.


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2020 HALL OF DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI INDUCTION CEREMONY Friday, January 10, at 6:00PM Hilton Lexington Downtown 369 West Vine Street | Lexington, KY 40507 To register, call the alumni office at 859-257-3814 Do you know of a deserving College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumnus that should be inducted? Nominations are now open for the 2022 ceremony. For nominating materials, visit and click on Hall of Distinguished Alumni.





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Advocating for farmers, because theyAdvocating bring morefortofarmers, the tablebecause than food. they bring more to the table than food. Since 1919, Kentucky Farm Bureau has been a steadfast advocate for farm families and rural communities across the Commonwealth who are the backbone of our economy and our way of life. As we move forwardhas intobeen our second century of service, we will continue Since 1919, Kentucky Farm Bureau a steadfast advocate for farm families and to ensure the challenges andCommonwealth issues facing Kentucky agriculture by and our rural communities across the who are the backboneareof addressed our economy leaders andmove Washington, our way inofFrankfort life. As we forward DC. into our second century of service, we will continue Why Farm the Bureau? Because Kentucky to ensure challenges and issues facing Kentucky agriculture are addressed by our farmers a strong unified voice. leaders deserve in Frankfort andand Washington, DC. Why Farm Bureau? Because Kentucky farmers deserve a strong and unified voice.


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It Starts With Us

AGOURIDIS NAMED ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR INSTRUCTION Carmen Agouridis has been named associate dean for instruction for the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

A former extension associate professor in the UK Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Agouridis received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural and biosystems engineering from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in that field, as well as a master’s in public policy, from UK. She will receive a master’s degree in business administration from UK in spring 2020. She brings an abundance of experience in teaching, research and outreach to her new role. “Having been a graduate student, staff member and faculty member in our college, Dr. Agrouidis brings a great perspective to this important college

leadership position,” said Dean Nancy Cox. “I am confident that her passion for preparing the next generation of students for meaningful lives and careers will continue to foster the college’s strong educational mission.” Agouridis said she is looking forward to building on the great work of former Associate Dean Larry Grabau and the Center for Student Success. She wants to focus on continuing to improve the undergraduate and graduate education experiences. “Right now I have so many ideas, it’s just a matter of filtering through those ideas to see which ones stand the best chance of making the most impact,” Agouridis said. “I look at our college as part of the wider community. We have such a big impact on the state, and I really want to build on that with our students,” she said. “I want to

help create opportunities for our students, so when they graduate, they leave with the best chances for success and improve our state, our country and the world. I’m really excited about that.”


Antomia Farrell has permanently assumed the role of assistant dean of diversity in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Farrell has served as interim director of the Office of Diversity since March 2018.

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“This position is critical to the overall goals and mission of our college. Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of all our actions, as we shape a more productive college, commonwealth and nation,” said Dean Nancy Cox. “I look forward to new initiatives and advances under her leadership, drivin by her passion for providing enriching experiences and trainings pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

as a human resources specialist for the UK Cooperative Extension Service. She is an advisor to the UK chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences and also is the president-elect for the National MANRRS organization. She also serves on several UK diversity committees including the UK Women’s Forum Board, LGBTQ* Advisory Board, UK Equal Opportunity Committee and the UK Harambee Celebration Committee.

A Louisville native, Farrell earned a bachelor of science in agricultural economics from UK and a master’s degree in human development leadership from Murray State University. She will finish her doctorate in community and leadership at MSU this month.

“I look forward to leading the Office of Diversity as we take an honest inventory of our college culture, work to build necessary supports and create an inclusive community where all feel equally valued,” Farrell said.

Farrell began her career with CAFE in 2011 as a 4-H youth development extension agent in Christian County and later served

and stakeholders across the state,” said Nancy Cox, college dean. “Grain and Forage Center faculty and staff will continue to work with our valued partners to continue to move the agriculture industry forward.” The center became a reality in 2016 when the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board awarded the university $15 million for its completion.


another way we serve our role as the University of Kentucky, and expand the boundaries of what’s possible for our state and beyond.”

University of Kentucky researchers, Kentucky farmers and stakeholders celebrated th official opening of UK’s Grain and Forage Center of Excellence, a facility committed to moving the state’s and surrounding region’s agricultural community forward.

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specialists have a long, storied history of working with producers to make Kentucky an international leader in agricultural innovation and adaptation. One such partnership between the late Don Halcomb, a Logan County farmer, and Lloyd Murdock, UK extension soils professor emeritus, developed the concept for the center. Their vision quickly gained support and momentum with the state’s farmers and commodity groups. “The development of this facility is a strong testament to the wonderful working relationship the college has with producers

“The Grain and Forage Center of Excellence reflects our land-grant mission in the 21st century,” UK President Eli Capilouto said. “Agriculture is a fundamental component of the Kentucky economy, and the innovation underway at this center advances that work. It is

“The Kentucky Agricultural Development Board is a proud partner with the UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence. The research performed here on local soils, all types of crops and methods of production will prepare our farmers to compete globally,” said Warren Beeler, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. “We do not know what agriculture will look like or what we might be growing in 50 years. The UK Grain and Forage Center of Excellence is our investment in being ready for that future.” “The Grain and Forage Center of Excellence came about becuase we have been extremely focused on working with and helping producers grow crops and livestock more sustainably,” said Chad Lee, center director. “This new facility ensures that we have some basic tools to honor that commitment for generations to come.”

NATIONAL HONOR BESTOWED ON HALLWAY FEEDS OWNER Robert Hall Jr. ‘53, who has been dedicated to animal agriculture for more than 70 years and is the longtime owner and president of Central Kentucky’s Farmers Feed Mill and its Hallway Feeds brand, is the 2019 inductee into the Saddle and Sirloin Club, widely considered the highest honor in the livestock industry. Hall’s portrait has been added to the exclusive club gallery, recognizing a lifetime of exceptional service to the livestock business. Fittingly, the oil

portration collection is displayed in the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. “It is extremely humbling,” Hall said. “I have known quite a few members of the club. I worked for one of them, W.P. Garrigus, at the University of Kentucky, and I was close, personal friends with Henry Besuden. I can name a bunch of them that come to mind. This is a mountain peak that you always look at and never think you are going to reach. To get to the top of it, it is something special.”


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Board of Trustees earlier this year accepted a $5 million gift from Beam Suntory, parent company of the James B. Beam Distilling Co., to establish the Beam Institute. The Beam Institute will educate the next generation of distillers through a curriculum that develops the skills needed to succeed in the distilled spirits industry at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels.

COLLEGE CELEBRATES RENOVATION OF HISTORIC HOME, FORMATION OF JAMES B. BEAM INSTITUTE FOR KENTUCKY SPIRITS University officials gathered beside the historic Cooper House to celebrate its rebirth as the new front door for the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and to recognize the establishment of the previously announced James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits, which will lay the educational foundation for the future of the Kentucky bourbon industry. Construction of the facility for the institute will occur pending UK Board of Trustees approval. “These two projects are very exciting, as it is our vision for the area along Nicholasville Road and Cooper Drive, where these two facilities will be located, to be a gathering place for our students, faculty, staff and friends,” said Nancy Cox, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The Cooper House, named for longtime agricultural dean Thomas Poe Cooper, was constructed around 1865 and owned by the university for about a century. Cooper moved into the home in 1918 and lived there throughout his 33-year tenure as

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dean. Currently, the house is vacant. The renovation and restoration project will include reception areas to welcome prospective students, faculty, staff, visitors and industry partners and offices for the college’s philanthropy and alumni staff. Work is tentatively expected to begin in early 2020. Tom Hammond ‘67, UK alumnus, noted sportscaster and grandson of Thomas Poe Cooper, lived at Cooper House with his mother Catherine, Cooper’s daughter, while Tom’s father was away in the Army during the mid- to late-1940s. At the time, the home was surrounded by UK’s research farm. “It was a magical place to grow up. It was like growing up at Disney World, for a young kid to grow up on that farm,” Hammond said. “I’m very excited to see the home that holds so many wonderful memories for me, coming back to life and again playing an important role for the college and university.” Behind the Cooper House will be the future home of the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. The UK

“At the University of Kentucky, we are asking ourselves what’s possible - for our institution and for those we serve,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “And, increasingly, we find that achieving what’s possible is done in partnership with those who share our vision, values and commitment to Kentucky’s future. We look forward to our continued partnership with Jim Beam, as we invision, together, ways to prepare our workforce and support economic development in the Commonwealth.” The facility will include a state-of-theart classroom, conference room and quality laboratory as well as a world-class research-teaching still. “So much of the spirits industry is taught from generation to generation, as I learned from my dad and grandfather. We are exited to partner with the University of Kentucky to document those generational learnings and take them to the next level,” said eighth generation Beam Distiller Freddie Noe. UK and Jim Beam are dedicated to responsible consumption and together will develop and expand successful alcohol awareness programs statewide, including programing already funded by Jim Beam parent, Beam Suntory. The cost of the Cooper House renovation is estimated at $4 million, while the Beam Institute building is also estimated to cost $4 million. The projects also include a green parking lot and miscellaneous equipment, bringing the cost of the two projects to an estimated $9.5 million.

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Alumni Focus


ARCHITECTURE ‘97 By Aimee Neilson


illy Van Pelt’s path through the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment was not traditional, but it was impactful for him and for the thousands he now serves in his career. He is currently the director of external relations for the Southeast at American Farmland Trust. AFT is the only national organization focused on farmland protection, keeping farmers on the land and sound farming practices. After finishing a business degree at Transylvania University, Van Pelt worked in banking and for the Jockey Club Information Systems, but he often felt a pull back to his agriculture roots. He grew up on his grandparent’s farm in Woodford County, near what is now UK’s C. Oran Little Research Farm. There he experienced raising cattle, tobacco, and corn. “I wanted to catalyze the ‘land’ gene in my DNA,” Van Pelt said about going back to college at UK. “The landscape architecture program was the perfect way forward. Because I already had a degree, I was able to work for a landscape/engineering/interior design firm while I was at UK. It was a fantastic learning laboratory because I was able to work on projects with all of the other professional design disciplines. They also allowed me to work almost full-time while in school.”

(Above) Billy Van Pelt greeting College of Agriculture, Food and Environment alumni and talking about his work with American Farmland Trust at the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence in Princeton, KY.

“I consider people like Dean Nancy Cox, Leigh Maynard, Alison Davis, Ned Crankshaw, Horst Schach and Tom Nieman role models,” Van Pelt said. “They continue to be my supporters in my professional career. I’ve been able to serve as adjunct faculty, and American Farmland Trust has collaborated with the college.”

” Van Pelt said he always felt like he had the complete support of the college’s faculty and staff while in school and even as he went to work in Florida after graduation. Van Pelt credits the college with preparing him for his career. His first job after UK was with a landscape architecture firm in Palm Beach, Florida. Van Pelt returned to Lexington to work for the same firm that employed him while a UK student. After that, his focus on private sector land-use planning and his farm background prepared him for a role with Lexington-Fayette County’s Purchase of Development Rights farmland protection program, where he worked for more than 10 years. During his time there, he secured more than $59 million

in local, state and federal funds to permanently conserve nearly 28,000 acres. “I secured that position because I had a business degree and a landscape architecture degree, and I was licensed to practice landscape architecture,” he said. “The PDR program is where I began working with American Farmland Trust. So CAFE really has opened every door for me professionally and as I continue to work in the land-use planning space.” Students now have more opportunities to network via social media platforms than when Van Pelt was at UK. He said they should leverage that reach and take advantage of every opportunity to gain more experiences. continued on pg. 16


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“Go to work for a professional firm while you’re in school,” he said. “You will gain reallife experiences working with professionals, interacting with clients and working on projects. Study for licensure exams as early as possible. Keep an open mind about where you can work and how you can contribute to your profession.” In October 2013, he formed his own consulting and government relations firm, Billy Van Pelt Consulting. He specialized in the equine, agriculture and health care industries; and economic development and land use planning. He currently serves as vice chair on the Transylvania University Board of Regents. He previously served on the Commerce Lexington Central Kentucky Regional Public Policy Group. Van Pelt has also served on the boards of directors of Lexington-Frankfort Scenic Corridor Inc., Bluegrass Tomorrow, God’s Pantry Food Bank, Fayette County Farm Bureau, Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center Foundation and the Community Trust Bank advisory board. He also serves on Visit Horse Country’s membership and sponsorship committee. He previously chaired the development committee of the LexArts board of directors.

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He is a member of the Thoroughbred Club of America and the Harbour Town Yacht Club on Hilton Head Island. In his spare time, he enjoys running marathons and half-marathons with the Midway Runners Club and the Covington Woods Striders. To learn more about Billy’s work with American Farmland Trust, visit their website at

Student Spotlight


HOMETOWN: Loudon, Tennessee ACTIVITIES: +University of Kentucky Chapter President of the American Society of Landscape Architects +ASLA Government Affairs Committee +Kappa Delta Sorority +Undergraduate Research Assistant for the Department of Landscape Architecture +University of Kentucky Horticulture Club Q: What led you to choose the

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment?

A: My upbringing in a small farm

town taught me the value of interacting with the natural world. Landscape Architecture attracted me because it allowed me to combine my passion for the environment and people with scientific research, technical design, and creativity.

Q: What does the college mean to you? Describe your overall experience.

A: My most memorable experiences

have been the ones beyond the classroom doors. The college has provided countless opportunities for me to travel and encouraged me to experience new spaces and connect with people nationwide. I’ve dedicated time to projects here in the University’s backyard, but also had the chance to explore innovative cities such as Vancouver, San Diego, and New York. These experiences have helped me to grow as a student, improve as a professional and better myself as a person.

Q: How is the college preparing you

other side of the desk.

for your future?

A: W.B. Yeats said, “Education is not

the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is brimming with experienced faculty and staff that embody this ideal. They have tirelessly encouraged my passion for my field at every turn through handson experiences and opportunities. I am incredibly grateful for the solid support of the college and know they’ve succeeded in preparing me to take on any challenge I’ll face.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 15 years?

A: I hope to be well established in

Q: Why would you recommend the college to future students?

A: I would recommend the college to

future students because it has made UK’s huge community feel intimate. The strong relationships I have made here have led to friendships, jobs, internships, and professional networking experiences that are already shaping the future of my life and my career. This program has brought out the best in me, showing me that I can use my skills and strengths to change the world we live in for the better. This college has served as my home and my support system for the past four years, and I’m proud to be a future alumna.

a firm, designing ecological systems that advance restoration of landscapes within the urban fabric. It is important to me that I continue to advocate for pressing environmental issues and the landscape architecture profession, while also focusing on continuing education and travel. Ultimately, I’d like to find myself sharing my knowledge and experience with other college students one day from the


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1,963 Attendees 68 4-H/FFA Chapters 200+ College of Agriculture, Food & Environment Students 24 Competitive Events


In the spring of 1970, 4-H clubs and FFA chapters from the Bluegrass region and surrounding counties met to sharpen their skills in a variety of production agriculture trades, many through academic competitions. This field day not only allowed students to grow their skills but provided an opportunity to meet firsthand with students and professors at the University of Kentucky. Capitalizing on the networking opportunities, Kentucky youth gained valuable assets and contacts that could assist them with their future academic endeavors.

nearly 600 interviewees, 47% identified themselves as first-time attendees of the UK 4-H/FFA Field Day. Over 80% of those first-time guests had never stepped foot on the University of Kentucky campus. The impact of walking on the campus of the Commonwealth’s flagship university is instrumental in guiding student career objectives as well as lessening fears of a large university campus.

Since then, the UK 4-H/FFA Field Day has grown and expanded its opportunities. In 2016, they broke a UK Field Day record with over 2,000 students in attendance, representing nearly 60 schools from three states (Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio).

Daniel Mattingly, chapter advisor from Marion County High School said the following of the event: “The College of Agriculture, Food & Environment provides a phenomenal Field Day event...Students can meet with college professors and college students. It lowers their anxiety about college and plants seeds in their head that they could be successful at the University of Kentucky.”

In 2014, a random sample of student attendees were interviewed. Of the

To make UK Field Day possible, every department in the College of Agriculture,

Food & Environment provides support through financial investment, physical resources, and volunteer time. Annually, more than 200 undergraduate students assist with the learning experiences of the 4-H and FFA youth. This great work coupled with the support of external corporate partners and investors assures that each Field Day is a success. Now approaching its 50th Anniversary, Field Day is an established opportunity for the college to serve the Commonwealth but we cannot do it alone. The presence and support of agricultural partners and industry leaders is key to the continued growth and success of the College of Agriculture, Food & Environment’s 4-H/FFA Field Day. If you are interested in learning more or getting involved with the 2020 UK 4-H/ FFA Field Day event, please contact Tressa Neal at


With the end of the year right around the corner, this is the perfect time to plan your year-end giving— and here’s a helpful tip: If you make an outright gift of appreciated stock that you have held more than one year, you can save more on taxes than you would by making a gift of cash. In addition to earning a charitable deduction equal to the fair market value of the donated stock, you may also avoid some or all of the capital gains tax that would have been due had the stock been sold.


Congress has made the provision for IRA charitable rollover gifts permanent. If you are 70 ½ or older, you can give a gift of up to $100,000 without any penalty. This way, a gift to the University enables you to: • • • •

Satisfy your minimum required distribution. Exclude the distribution from your gross income. Fulfill an annual gift or outstanding pledge to UK. Support your favorite passions at UK, including establishing an endowed fund or scholarship.

Our philanthropy team is here to help you with your plans. Please contact the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni with questions at 859-257-7200.

Presorted Standard US Postage Paid Permit 51 Lexington KY College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Philanthropy & Alumni 1451 University Drive Lexington, KY 40546-0097



REGISTER ONLINE AT The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization.