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THE AMBASSADOR College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

December 2020

SARAH MARSHALL ‘08 Community & Leadership Development


From the Dean

Dear Friends,

As a land-grant institution, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment upholds the values of learning, discovery, and engagement in all that we do. These values and our work are recognized at the highest level at the university and in every corner of the Commonwealth. The integral nature of our land-grant mission was, in part, why I was honored to be asked by President Eli Capilouto to serve as vice president for land-grant engagement for the University of Kentucky. This opportunity represents an acknowledgment of the important work we do in food, fiber, forestry and community systems. It is also an opportunity to build upon our integrated approach to community engagement and bring new campus partners and external stakeholders into that system. We describe ourselves as “hard-wired” and “high touch” within communities across the state. Cooperative Extension is a key mechanism for our successful outreach. Kentucky Small Business Development Centers are in 13 regionally diverse communities. The college works with around 250,000 volunteers and has established partnerships with other UK colleges, Kentucky State University and signature industries. As I often tell others, “This is not our grandparents’ Extension!” We remain one of the best supported states for Extension, and we are admired for the degree of county support we receive. In recent years, we have expanded programs in economic development, family health, financial well-being, community and environmental health, food safety and security, and arts. Our work with youth through 4-H remains critical to the development of the next generation of leaders. Agriculture remains an important economic engine for this state. We are developing technology platforms designed for Kentucky and think we have good standing for being a leader in agricultural research and development for mid-sized farms. We have seen large growth in local food systems, especially driven recently by COVID-19. In the weeks since my appointment, I have talked to many campus leaders about how we can expand engagement. Today, Extension is finalizing changes that came about after an extensive review of the system. With the review came new leadership, a new organizational structure and an expansive needs assessment involving more than 30,000 people and 500 focus groups. The assessment concluded three statewide focus areas: substance use and mental health; economic and workforce development; and community leadership, engagement and pride. To further expand our service, we need to conduct research that reflects the university’s globally competitive advantage and is relevant to Kentucky and we need to develop creative access to educational opportunities. As we work to expand our outreach across an even broader set of programs, we must do so thoughtfully and always with the citizens of Kentucky at the forefront. We will look to deepen and expand partnerships who share our goals of engaging with and being part of communities. We must remain present and relevant in communities and we must confront the questions on which we should lead at Kentucky’s flagship university. I am excited to begin this new role and look forward to championing engagement and outreach in new ways and with new partners for the college and university. My goal is for UK to be known as the land-grant university that does the most for its state, and I appreciate President Capilouto for catalyzing and supporting that vision. Thank you again for your part in supporting this college and university.

Nancy M. Cox Vice President for Land Grant Engagement Dean, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment University of Kentucky

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE BOARD

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

AFFILIATE NETWORK REPS

PHILANTHROPY & ALUMNI Elizabeth Vaughn 859-257-8783

Danielle Jostes 859-218-1176

David Kessler 859-323-7912

Jonathan Furnish 859-257-7211

Tressa Neal

859-257-2146

Cynthia Byars 859-257-4069

Assoc. Sr. Director of Philanthropy elizabeth.vaughn@uky.edu

Director of Equine Philanthropy

danielle.jostes@uky.edu

Director of Extension Philanthropy david.kessler@uky.edu

Assoc. Director of Alumni Eng.

jonathan.furnish@uky.edu

Assoc. Director of Leadership Giving

tressa.neal@uky.edu

Services Mngr. & Exec. Assistant

cynthia.byars@uky.edu

Sara Mendoza

Business Officer

859-323-7809

Brooke Stone 859-257-3814

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

sara.gardner71@uky.edu

Administrative Assistant

brooke.stone@uky.edu

The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Philanthropy & Alumni office is located in the E.S. Good Barn on the University of Kentucky campus. 1451 University Drive | Lexington, KY 40546 The Ambassador is published three times yearly by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association.

Bluegrass Ben Conner ‘16 Dietetics & Human Nutrition Jessica Coffie ‘06, ‘10 Cristina Hiten ‘06, ‘10 Equine Hannah Niebielski ‘13 Forestry & Natural Resources Michael Shearer ‘74, ‘76 Fort Harrod Brian Osterman ‘00 Green River Darla Kirkland ‘00 Lake Cumberland Chelsey Anderson ‘11 Licking River Stephanie Chamberlain ‘99, ‘00 Lincoln Trail Jeremy Hinton ‘98 Rick Ryan ‘77 Louisville Keith Jeffries ‘85 Mammoth Cave H.H. Barlow III ‘72 MANRRS Tiffany Monroe ‘17 Northeast Danny Bailey ‘68, ‘71 Northern Kentucky Whitney Stith ‘90 Pennyrile Nancy Kelley ‘81 Purchase Lena Mallory ‘94 Quicksand Thomas Cravens ‘83, ‘90 Wilderness Trail vacant

STUDENT DIRECTORS

Ag. Education & Ag. Economics Gracie Furnish Individualized Ag. Emma Heimlich Dietetics & Human Nutrition Lexi Shepherd

FACULTY REPRESENTATIVES Teaching Research Extension

Will Snell ‘83, ‘85, ‘89 Robert Houtz Laura Stephenson

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

Dean Nancy Cox Associate Dean for Instruction Carmen Agouridis ‘05 Assistant Dean for Diversity Antomia Farrell ‘12 Director of Student Relations Wayne Centers ‘08

STAY CONNECTED NOT RECEIVING OUR DIGITAL, MAIL OR TEXT COMMUNICATIONS? Don’t miss out on event information and special opportunities. Update your contact information today by visiting www.ukalumni.net/update

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COMMUNITY & LEADERSHIP DEV. THE FOOD CONNECTION IT STARTS WITH US ALUMNI FOCUS STUDENT SPOTLIGHT PHILANTHROPY

@ukcafealumni

@ukyagriculture

@ukagriculture

THANK YOU

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE

FOR THEIR SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.


Department

THE ROLE OF UK’S COMMUNITY AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM IN LEXINGTON’S COMMUNITY-LED FRESH FOOD MARKETS

Lexington, Kentucky, like many other communities across the United States, is a place where food insecurity is a serious problem in many neighborhoods. While various programs (food banks, community meal servings, and federal programs, etc.) exist to help lessen the impacts, there are often barriers to people accessing these programs, and the foods provided are not always fresh or nutritious. Moreover, these programs often rely on anchor institutions, such as the government, to provide access, instead of building toward community ownership and sustainability. As a response to these needs in Lexington, an alternative model has been introduced to combat food insecurity: cooperative, community-driven fresh produce markets. These bi-weekly, popup markets are run by volunteers in food insecure neighborhoods, and operate on the basis of a cooperative economic model. This means that resources are pooled across households for the purchase of bulk produce, from local farmers. The markets also serve as community meeting places, where neighbors and friends can gather and share stories and recipes. This alternative model for confronting fresh food insecurity in Lexington was co-founded by Heather Hyden, a 2017 graduate of the UK-Community and Leadership Development (CLD) Masters Program. Ms. Hyden currently holds a position as an Extension Research Coordinator in CLD. Based on her experience working with a similar market model in Louisville, she helped organize partnerships with neighborhood members, farmers and community based organizations in Lexington, even as she began her studies in the CLD graduate program in 2014. According to Hyden, “What is so unique about the model is the deep commitment to the community organizing approach. This looks like working alongside neighbors in disinvested communities to point out their leadership qualities and power

04 | DECEMBER 2020

(and ours too), and building solidarity with our farmers in more rural areas. This approach weaves collective power into our regional food system that can be hidden underneath dusty food desert maps.” From the start, Hyden has collaborated with Dr. Rosalind Harris, a faculty member in CLD, to help build capacity within the markets for long-term sustainability. This has been accomplished primarily by training CLD graduate students in community and leadership development practices through immersion in the markets. While enrolled in the CLD

graduate seminar on community engagement, the students partner with community members in organizing and operating the markets. During this time they are also learning about the scholarship of community engagement. Dr. Harris notes that “students find this to be a deeply meaningful experience. Working in the neighborhood markets they focus on relationship building. Through deep listening and sharing food stories, they get to know people and come to understand how the geography of inequality has segregated people across


Lexington historically, by race and class and frayed the institutions and sustainable ways of communal living their parents and grandparents had nurtured and depended on.” Further, she notes that, “students also learn the fundamentals of operating the markets guided by the cooperative economic model and about participatory action research methods that help them to tender partnerships with community members in assessing the markets’ strengths and challenges.” With successive cohorts of students working with the markets, CLD has placed an emphasis on building longterm relationships with grassroots market organizers and shareholders. This approach is guided by the lived experiences of neighbors who are directly impacted by systemic barriers to food security. By working alongside the community, a stronger understanding of how to build capacity for the sustainability of the markets is developed. Moreover, taking this holistic, long-term approach to engaging with communities, students then learn to work collaboratively, and enhance their understanding of the broader dynamics operating within communities. This helps in paving the way for work on related challenges such as access to affordable housing and health care. To learn more about the Community and Leadership Development department, visit their website at cld.ca.uky.edu.

CLD Graduate Students working at Market.


THE FOOD CONNECTION BRINGS TOGETHER FARMERS, CONSUMERS, STUDENTS AND SCIENTISTS By Aimee Nielson A little more than five years ago, the University of Kentucky began to work toward sustainability in its dining services, envisioning ways to include local food. A $5 million investment by Aramark and UK Dining created the Food Connection in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to connect farmers, community partners, consumers and students. “There was an unprecedented interest in local foods on and off campus,” said Scott Smith, dean emeritus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the first faculty director of the Food Connection. “We began to build projects and partnerships to expand opportunities in local foods for farmers and consumers.” At the time, Lilian Brislen was finishing up her doctorate in rural sociology and she was very keen on the idea, but she had no idea how the vision would grow. Smith tapped her to lead the Food Connection. “It was an incredible opportunity to bring the land-grant mission to UK Dining,” she said. “We really take that mission to heart—research, education and extension

empowers everything we do. We work directly with farmers to help them ramp up to serve institutional markets through the Cultivate Kentucky partnership, a cooperative initiative between us and the Kentucky Horticulture Council, Bluegrass Farm to Table and a number of other partners.” Smith said the first few years it was challenging for Aramark to obtain the contractually required Kentucky-grown and produced food. “We worked closely with Aramark personnel to meet that challenge,” he said. “Through that work, we were able to develop standards and programs which are becoming a national model for university food service.” In February 2020, the Food Connection hosted its second annual Kentucky Local Food Summit to connect food system leaders with practitioners and talk about innovative approaches to local food system development. Before the pandemic, the Food Connection hosted free monthly First Friday breakfasts to highlight local food and hear from farmers

and local food systems leaders. Brislen said of all the programs, the learning kitchen is the most visible and well-known part of the Food Connection’s work. Chef Tanya Whitehouse runs a wide variety of culinary programs for a wide-range of participants including 4-H clubs, college freshmen, UK Cooperative Extension Service agents and others. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the kitchen has gone virtual. While it has been frustrating to not be able to do in-person lessons, Brislen said Whitehouse did an innovative, train-the-trainer program where she taught more than 50 extension agents how to do virtual food demonstrations. “We are used to being able to sit down and eat together after a food demo,” Brislen said. “During the pandemic, we haven’t been able to do that, but knowing that those agents were able to learn ways to maintain connections with their clientele is valuable. We can still nourish all the parts of the land grant mission, even in a pandemic.” The COVID-19 pandemic also created an opportunity for scientists and students to study how the pandemic is nationally impacting food systems. Brislen is teaming up with Tim Woods, UK extension agricultural economics professor, and 16 trade association partner organizations around the country. They will seek to answer how sectors of local and regional food systems are responding to the pandemic, what successful adaptations they have implemented and the obstacles they have encountered. The yearlong study will create a national platform that will bring together resources for local and regional food systems stakeholders in the form of online webinars, guides, fact sheets, case studies and more. Student involvement is critical for the Food Connection. In a normal year, the

06 | DECEMBER 2020


kitchen has a crew of student workers, and Brislen works with graduate students on research projects. Current undergraduate student Jordan Hinton has been involved with the Food Connection since 2019. “Working at the Food Connection has been an incredible gateway to appreciating the value of local food,” she said. “Chef Tanya and Lilian’s passion are obvious in their work, and even the most unlikely students end up engaged and excited to learn in the kitchen. As a dietetics major hoping to promote culinary medicine, working at TFC has shown me that the best way to share your passion with others is to be enthusiastic and attentive to your work.” Bethany Prekopa earned a bachelor’s degree of business administration in management in spring 2020. She was not a CAFE student, but her work at the Food Connection led her to pursue a career in agriculture. She now manages the Kentucky Horticulture Council’s direct market program. “Getting the job at the Food Connection was the absolute, best thing to happen to me as a UK student,” she said. “The people I worked with were amazing and genuine humans. Chef Tanya and Dr. Brislen were and still are the most amazing mentors to me. And getting to cook every day for a variety of events/situations was my idea of heaven. If I could’ve stayed cocooned in that kitchen forever, I would have. The Food Connection provided me with a community, the chance to make incredible connections in the Lexington food scene, and with lifelong friends in Chef T and Lilian. Their guidance helped launch me into the adult world and feel supported as a woman in agriculture.” The Food Connection offers grants through a student opportunity fund each year. Brislen said they distribute $40,000 each year for projects that directly impact students.

ABOVE: Left is Jordan Hinton in the Food Connection kitchen on the UK Campus. Right is Bethany Prekopa. LEFT: Chef Tanya Whitehouse teaching young students in the FC kitchen. BELOW: Lilian Brislen preparing fresh ravioli. food pathways of our region and campus food security,” she said. To date, the Food Connection has facilitated more than $9 million in local food purchases for UK and Brislen hopes to see that increase. This summer, they received an award of excellence from the University Economic Development Association in the category of Innovation+Place. “All we knew at the beginning was that we were going to have a kitchen venue, a local food procurement requirement in the UK Dining contract and that we would have guaranteed funding,” she said. “We’ve built a lot in the past years, and the future possibilities are very exciting.” To learn more about giving to UK programs and initiatives like the Food Connection, visit the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni website at alumni.ca.uky.edu or call at 859-257-7200.

“Past student opportunity grants have included a variety of interesting projects like extruded cereal from spent grains, an archeological dig exploring the ancient

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It Starts With Us

UK’S JAMES B. BEAM INSTITUTE RALLIES INDUSTRY PARTNERS TO PROVIDE VITAL SANITIZER

The COVID-19 pandemic has created shortages of vital sanitizer for everyone. The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky has rallied during the crises and gathered industry partners to make sure UK HealthCare and the entire UK campus has enough sanitizer. “Early on in the pandemic, we made about 300 gallons of sanitizer product, thanks in part to a donation of high-proof ethanol from Beam Suntory,” said Seth DeBolt, direct of the Beam Institute. “Our production methods evolved, and we began to seek out ways to greatly increase production in a way that could benefit the entire university.” The Beam Institute gathered generous support from industry partners Four Roses Distillery, Buffalo Trace, Castle and Key, Alltech and Beam Suntory. Within

JA’MAHL MCDANIEL TO LEAD UK MLK CENTER The University of Kentucky has chosen Ja’Mahl McDaniel to be the new director of the UK Martin Luther King Center. McDaniel has served as interim director for the majority of 2020. Prior, he had served as associate director of the center since 2018. Originally from Louisville, McDaniel came to UK in 2011 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in community leadership and development in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “I found a sense of community at UK through campus involvement, the support offered from student affair mentors, and services provided by the Martin Luther

08 | DECEMBER 2020

UK, collaboration among the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Pharmacy, Arts and Sciences, and Engineering put the project in motion. “The James B. Beam Institute has worked tirelessly to ensure our community has what it needs to heal, and we are grateful for the remarkable effort of everyone involved,” said UK president Eli Capilouto. “As an industry leader, the institute has united key partners and proven, once again, that we are better when we work together. It is innovative thinkers and collaborators like them who help us uphold our promise to the Commonwealth as the University of, for and with Kentucky.” “Beam Suntory has been committed to Kentucky for the past 225 years and helping the Beam Institute produce hand sanitizer was just one way we could help ensure our community and our essential workers stayed protected during this time,” said Kevin Smith, vice president of Kentucky Beam Bourbon Affairs. “It’s been very inspiring to see our industry come together, setting aside competitive differences, and working with the Beam Institute in finding ways that we can

King Center,” McDaniel said. “I hope to enhance the overall sense of belonging for students of diverse backgrounds and facilitate enrichment experiences for the campus at large,”he said. “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is and should be everyone’s job, but I am glad that through this role I will be able to help lead the charge towards providing spaces for dialogue, education and opportunities to dive deeper in this work.” Working from the most state-of-the-art inclusion-focused center in the country, the MLK Center director regularly interfaces with and contributes to national social justice dialogues. With the vision and temperament to collaborate effectively and efficiently with other institutional diversity directors and key stakeholders

support each other to meet this urgent need.” The Beam Institute aims to produce 10,000 gallons of finished product over the next year. The finished product will help health care workers continue their vital work and allow faculty, students and staff a safer campus. “We are very grateful that all of these partners saw the need for this valuable product and decided to join with us to continue this fight against COVID-19,” said DeBolt. “The bourbon industry is really coming together to help Kentucky when we need it the most.”

across the campus and Commonwealth, the director fosters new and expanded intercultural and cross-cultural dialogues.


UK ALUMS LEAD EFFORT IN KENTUCKY MILK PRODUCT GIVEAWAYS Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Kentuckians have adapted to temporary food and supplies shortages. Many have also become food insecure for the first time in their lives due to unexpected furloughs, layoffs and general unemployment struggles. Similarly, dairy farmers have taken a big hit during the pandemic, seeing some of the lowest milk prices in their lives, a near-total collapse. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provided $3 billion to purchase food, including dairy products. Between $300$500 million of that went to southern states like Kentucky. H.H. Barlow, a 1972 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is the executive director of the Kentucky Dairy Development Council. He’s a longtime dairy producer in Barren County with 140 cows, who produce more than 750 gallons of milk each day. He saw a wonderful opportunity to bring hope to producers and consumers.

“One of the things I have always loved about being in the dairy business is I am producing a very nutritious product. It is nature’s most perfect food. It’s got calcium, protein, energy, and all of those things in our product and we are excited to give this product away,” he said. “the government actually awarded contracts to different companies to process the milk and distribute it to mainly food banks.” Food banks quickly began to overflow with dairy products because they had no place to store them. Barlow said it was at that time, the council began to work with

farmers to give away products through Prairie Farms and Borden to the general public. Other products were added to the giveaways such as flavored milk, sour cream, cream cheese, cottage cheese and more. “To see the look on people’s faces when they get that free milk is really good because there are some people out there who are really needy and that is food for them,” Barlow said. The KDDC held product drives throughout the summer across the Commonwealth.

KNOTT NAMED DIRECTOR OF UK RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER Carrie Knott, a researcher with deep roots in Kentucky agriculture and longtime ties to the University of Kentucky, is the new director of UK’s Research and Education Center in Princeton. As director, Knott will facilitate and support the efforts of the center’s faculty and staff in establishing innovative programs and projects and developing a team-oriented, mission-centered agenda. She will serve as the liaison between the college administration and the center’s faculty and staff and will represent the interests of the center to stakeholders. Her responsibilities include

budget oversight, long-term planning, strategic programming and shorterterm prioritization. She will continue her extension appointment in applied agronomic research in small grains and soybeans. “I hope to engage students early on in their academic careers by bringing them to the center and showing them that there are numerous career opportunities for them in agriculture,” she said. An Owensboro native, Knott was always interested in agriculture. From a young age, she worked on her family’s farm,

which at the time, primarily produced tobacco. She received her bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Western Kentucky University. She then earned her master’s degree from UK in crop sciences.

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CANCER, COVID AND THE KENTUCKY ECONOMY: HOW ‘SWEET ANNIE’ COULD MAKE AN IMPACT With the morning sun rising in the sky at the University of Kentucky’s sprawling Spindletop Farm, Patrick Perry is in high spirits, smiling behind his reflective shades as his tractor roars to life. His student workers, UK seniors Chris Bankes and Tyler Miles, take Styrofoam float beds loaded with tiny seedlings of the plant Artemisia annua and attach them to a mechanical transplanter hitched to the tractor. It’s just another day at the farm for the crew, taking these freshly sprouted baby plants from the greenhouse to their new home out in the fields. With its wispy, feathery leaves, the Artemisia annua seedling resembles one of the more lanky herbs you’d find in a backyard garden, like parsley or cilantro. Gently rub its leaves between your fingers, and the aroma it produces would be at home in any candle-making factory - “like a really sweet, minty Christmas Tree,” says Perry, research coordinator for the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center (KTRDC), part of UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Originating in southeast Asia, Artemisia annua has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries and is commonly brewed as a drink. But beneath its unassuming appearance, this plant - more commonly

CEDIK CELEBRATES A DECADE OF HELPING RURAL COMMUNITIES THRIVE For 10 years, rural Kentucky communities looking to build dynamic, sustainable economies have turned to the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky for support. With research-based data, targeted publications, leadership development, coalition-building and networking support, CEDIK has made a difference for many small communities

10 | DECEMBER 2020

known as Sweet Wormwood or even “Sweet Annie” biosynthesizes two potent malariafighting compounds called artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, discovered in 1970 by Chinese scientist Tu Youyou. The popular malaria drug artesunate was developed from those compounds and is still used as a first-line treatment for the disease today. It was a blockbuster discovery, one that earned Youyou a partial Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015. Now researchers in Kentucky and across the world are hoping to build on that once-in-a-lifetime breakthrough: could this little plant also hold the key to treating not only several types of cancer, but the devastating disease that’s swept across the globe for the past year: COVID-19? For those working with Artemisia annua at UK, the excitement around its potential is palpable. The phrase “it’s our dream” comes up frequently in regards to the best-case scenario: taking the Kentuckygrown plants from our fields to our labs and then to our patients, all while boosting the state’s economy.

them something that not only could help with their profit margins, but also really make a difference in our community and the world.” For Perry, the project is also personal. As a sixth-generation Kentuckian, the Versailles native is well-versed in tobacco farming, as his father’s family grew tobacco for most of their lives. He earned both his degrees from UK - a bachelor’s in agriculture biotechnology and master’s in integrated plant and soil sciences - and has used his personal experience and education to carve out a career that continues his family’s legacy by “thinking outside the box” when it comes to the Kentucky tobacco industry. “It’s my dream to make this work,” he said. “And to be honest with you, I haven’t really believed in something as much as I believe in this in a very long time.”

“Hopefully, with the work that we put into this project, we’ll be able to offer tobacco producers another alternative to tobacco,” Perry said. “And we would like to offer

For the entire article visit: news.ca.uky.edu

struggling to recover from job losses and an outward migration of residents looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

the people of this state. We recognize that vibrant rural communities are essential for the health of the state’s economy as well as for maintaining a strong agricultural sector,” Dean Nancy Cox said.

“CEDIK exemplifies the continuing relevance of our land-grant mission,” said Barry Barnett, chair of the UK Department of Agricultural Economics. “They connect with rural communities to address local challenges using research-based knowledge.” “CEDIK is one of the many valuable, allencompassing services the college offers

As the program celebrates its 10th anniversary, CEDIK personnel look back with pride and forward with determination that Kentucky’s future will shine brightly and serve as an example to other states. For the entire article visit: news.ca.uky.edu


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Proudly supporting the next crop of Kentucky farmers. Farming in Kentucky has seen dramatic changes over the past century. New technologies. New practices. New ways of bringing products to market. In the midst of these changes, the future of Kentucky agriculture demands that tomorrow’s farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau proudly supports giving young farmers the tools, skills and knowledge they need

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THE AMBASSADOR THE AMBASSADOR

| 05 | 09

farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau

technologies. New practices. New ways of bringing products to market. In the midst

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farmers be educated in the field and in the classroom. Kentucky Farm Bureau

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technologies. New practices. New ways of bringing products to market. In the midst

Farming in Kentucky has seen dramatic changes over the past century. New

all Kentuckians.

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ASSROOTS

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for success. Why Farm Bureau? Because education ensures a brighter future for


College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Alumni Association

TO OUR 2020 SPONSORS

Thank You!

12 | DECEMBER 2020


Scovell & Erikson Society MEMBERS OF THE UK COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Mr. Bruce Addington Mr. David W. Alexander Mrs. Shirley Ammon Mr. Gregory L. Ammon Mr. and Mrs. Terrance K. Ashby Mrs. Nadine Barker Dr. and Mrs. Freddie L. Barnard Dr. and Mrs. Barry J. Barnett Mr. and Mrs. Marcus G. Barnett Mrs. Betty M. Barton Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Barton Dr. Sandra and Mr. Ronnie Bastin Mrs. Ann Bolton Bevins Drs. Sue and Phil Billings Mr. and Mrs. John T. Bondurant Ms. Eleanor A. Botts Mrs. Paula R. Boyd Ms. Carolyn S. Breeding Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Brown, Jr. Dr. and Mrs. Mark R. Brown Dr. Ray A. Bucklin Mr. and Mrs. George J. Budig Drs. Elizabeth and Michael Burns Dr. Charles W. Byers Mrs. Joyce L. Calvert Mr. Dennis L. Cannon Mr. Shane T. Carlin & Ms. Annie Sit Mr. and Mrs. Michael Reed Celsor Mr. and Mrs. Mike Chalfant Mr. Guy L. Chappell II Hazel W. Chappell, MSN., RN Mrs. Shirley J. Chatfield Mr. Paul R. Claiborne Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Coates Dr. and Mrs. Glenn B. Collins Dr. Leslie M. Collins Dr. Donald G. Colliver Mr. and Mrs. Brad H. Combs Dr. Maurice G. Cook Mr. and Mrs. William E. Cooke Mrs. Sandy Copher Mr. J. William Corum Dr. Joanne D. Corum Mr. Charles T. Cotterill Dr. Charles M. Coughenour Mrs. Harvey J. Crowe Dr. and Mrs. M. Ward Crowe Mrs. Anna B. Culton Mr. Larry A. Dame Mr. and Mrs. Joe B. Davis Mrs. Sylvia C. Davis Dr. and Mrs. John A. Deacon Mr. William B. Delker Dr. and Mrs. Joe B. Dixon Mr. Frank K. Downing Mr. and Mrs. Henry Durham Mr. and Mrs. Pat A. Dwyer The Honorable and Mrs. Robert W. Dyche III Ms. Julia D. Eastin Mr. and Mrs. Charlie B. Edgington Mrs. Norma J. Ellington Ms. Clay Ford Ellis Mrs. Helen H. Evans Mr. John C. Everett III Mr. Larry W. Frederick Dr. and Mrs. Richard S. Gates Mr. and Mrs. Raymond D. Gentry Mr. Robert Gilfoil Mr. and Mrs. Leonard E. Gilkison Mrs. Gale M. Glenn Mr. and Mrs. Brian R. Gorrell

Mr. and Mrs. Drew Graham Mr. Russell Gray Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Griffith Mrs. Donna L. Griggs Mr. and Mrs. Robert K. Grigsby Dr. Joy H. Gwin Mr. and Mrs. J. Monroe Hall Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Hall Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hall, Jr. James M. Hall IV Mr. Blair P. Hall Mr. Steve L. Hamilton Mrs. Amy C. Hamlin Mr. Frank Hammond Mrs. Ruth M. Hammons Dr. Robert Shelby Harp Mr. and Mrs. Arthur F. Hathaway, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Marion Kenneth Hayden Dr. and Mrs. Darrell R. Hazle Dr. Claudia J. Heath Dr. Linda M. Heaton Mrs. Ann C. Henderson Mrs. Faye Elizabeth Henning Mr. and Mrs. Stephen F. Hillenmeyer Mrs. Beverly O. Hillenmeyer Dr. Anna E. Hitron Dr. Susan and Mr. Kevin Hobbs Mr. and Mrs. Steven L. Holley Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Holloway Ms. Susan I. Holman Horseman’s Financial Group, Inc. Mrs. Rebecca Hubble Mrs. Caroline L. Hunt Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Hutchens Mrs. Sue B. Hutson Dr. and Mrs. Steven G. Isaacs Dr. Charles J. Issel Mr. Casey A. Jetton Ms. Sue Jetton Mrs. Mary Doyle Johnson Mr. Steve Johnson Dr. and Mrs. William H. Johnstone Mrs. Helen W. Kemp Kentucky Dairy Development Council, Inc. Kentucky Forest Industries Association, Inc. Mrs. Dwaynetta C. King Mrs. Margaret L. Sensel-King and Dr. Kyle J. King Mr. Jonathan S. King Ms. Kristen Kirby Mrs. Phyllis T. Koch Mr. Benjamin K. Koostra Mrs. Gillian M. Kummer Lion Group, Inc Dr. and Mrs. Dennis O. Liptrap Mrs. Myrtle M. Little Ms. Linda J. Little Dr. Ashli Nicole Collins and Dr. Paul Joseph LoHeide Ms. Marianne E. Lorensen Mrs. Deirdre M. Lyons Mrs. Judith B. Mahan Mr. Michael D. Meuser Mr. Michael L. Miller The National H.B.P.A., Inc. Mr. Kenneth W. Overhults The Honorable and Mrs. Dennis L. Parrett Mrs. Ann R. Pass Mrs. Toni R. Ray Ms. Barbara J. Redman Mr. and Mrs. John B. Reynolds Mrs. Barbara S. Rice

Mrs. Toni W. Riley Dr. John C. Robertson Mr. Rick Robey Mrs. Carey H. Robinson Ms. Julie Ann Ross Mr. Tony S. Royalty Dr. and Mrs. Lee J. Saindon Mr. and Mrs. William K. Sharp Mr. Ronald L. Sheets Ms. Annie Sit and Mr. Shane T. Carlin Drs. Diane and Webb Smathers Mr. W. Gerald Smith Mr. and Mrs. James T. Smith Mr. and Mrs. William A. Smith Dr. M. Scott Smith and Ms. Susan Smith-Durisek Dr. and Mrs. William M. Snell Mr. Jack H. Snyder Mr. and Mrs. Kyle C. Sparrow Mr. and Mrs. William R. Sprague Mr. and Mrs. Stephen B. Sullivan Mr. and Mrs. Daniel B. Sutherland Swedish Match North America Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas L. Tomas Mr. Edwin C. Thomas Mrs. Dorothy S. Thompson Mrs. Margaret G. Thrasher Mr. Charles S. Tichenor Mrs. Linda T. Tichenor Dr. and Mrs. Lee T. Todd, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Billy Toombs Mr. Paul and Mrs. Virginia Tucker Dr. Charlotte R. Tulloch Dr. Ann Vail Mr. Thomas C. Wade Mr. and Mrs. Herman R. Wallitsch, Jr. Dr. and Mrs. Linus R. Walton Mr. Wayne Wesley Mrs. Lona L. West Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Wheeler Drs. Donald R. and Sue H. Whitaker Dr. John R. White Ms. Gail Bass Wilcher Ms. Julie Allen and Mr. C. Judson Williams III Mr. and Mrs. F. Edward Williams Mrs. Linda Jo Williams Mr. Jonnie Williams Mr. Donald W. Winters Dr. Franklin E. Woeste Mr. and Mrs. Harry Young

To be part of the Scovell & Erikson Society, one must donate $12,500 or more to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Your support of our college and our alumni association does not go unnoticed.

Thank you! THE AMBASSADOR

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Alumni Focus

SARAH MARSHALL

COMMUNITY & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ‘08 By Aimee Nielson


S

arah Marshall knew from a young age that her path would lead to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, but she didn’t realize that would be the springboard for a life of global agriculture service and adventure. Growing up on a farm in Eastern Kentucky’s Fleming County, Marshall was involved in 4-H and later in FFA. She first visited the UK campus as part of 4-H Teen conference and then later at a Kentucky Farm Bureau Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders. “I always knew I wanted to either educate farmers or educate the public about farming,” she said. “Agricultural communications seemed like a natural fit. At the time, it was my goal to work in Cooperative Extension.” Once at UK, Marshall studied agricultural communications and community and leadership development.

Sarah standing on bags of sorghum from the United States. These bags will help feed over 1 million rural Zimbabweans between harvest seasons.

“I loved being a UK student,” Marshall reminisced. “The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment was like a second family to me. I was involved in many student activities, on the student council, and I served as an Ag Ambassador, where I made many lifelong friends and memories and began to understand who I was and who I wanted to be.” After graduating from UK, Marshall earned a master’s degree in agricultural education at Oklahoma State University and began to realize her desire to take her skills worldwide.

“I didn’t grow up traveling internationally, but the minute I did while in graduate school, I felt a pull,” she said. “I was prepared for it. My classes and extracurricular activities in college had equipped me with the skills I needed to work with diverse populations to build community capacity, and you can take those skills anywhere.” After graduate school, Marshall joined the U.S. Peace Corps and dedicated the next 3.5 years to volunteering in Jamaica. Most of her days were spent in rural villages, facilitating farmer field schools on topics like agroforestry and hillside conservation. She also learned how to speak the local language, Jamaican Patwa and used her communication and community building skills to bond with farmers and community leaders in a true cultural exchange. While in Jamaica, Marshall gained an understanding of United States development and diplomacy efforts overseas and solidified her desire to work in that space. Currently, Marshall works in Zimbabwe as a deputy director for the Office of Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience in the U.S. Agency for International Development. She is responsible for managing the United States’ humanitarian efforts and disaster response in Zimbabwe, including emergency food assistance. “Our program also supports longer term resilience building efforts for smallholder farmers,” she said. “We

assist communities in establishing communal resources like small dams, gardens and livestock dip tanks, help them access markets and financing, and promote better nutrition using local foods. Our primary goal is to increase food security and promote resilience and self-reliance.” Since moving to Zimbabwe in 2018, Marshall has experienced two consecutive droughts and an ongoing economic crisis making her job interesting and challenging. “I love working in a constantly changing environment where my team can brainstorm and quickly implement solutions,” she said. “I appreciate that Zimbabweans have welcomed me into their country and community; I’ve made lifelong friends.” She has also had the opportunity to see the local wildlife and learn of the conservation efforts to prevent wildlife trafficking. Marshall will depart Zimbabwe in 2022. Looking back at how UK prepared her for her career, Marshall said she received scholarships each of the four years she was at UK and that enabled her to graduate without being in debt. She also built a network through her activities and relationships with alumni from across Kentucky that helped her plan what to do after graduation. She said she still feels support from the UK faculty and staff and has just committed to funding a scholarship for the next five years. Even though it hasn’t been too long since she was at UK, continued on pg. 16

THE AMBASSADOR

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Marshall said she senses a change in the current students. She sees them being more aware of the world around them than she remembers about her college years. “Today’s students have had social media and advanced technology their entire lives,” she said. “When I talk to young people today, I am impressed by their ability to think critically and to consider other viewpoints. I came from rural Kentucky, and when I got to UK, the internet was just becoming part of our daily lives. The college experience opened my eyes. Today’s students have their eyes open long before they step on campus.” As for what she believes students today can learn from her journey, Marshall said she hopes they will take advantage of all the available opportunities to expand their knowledge. “I recommend to all students to travel during college,” she said. “Learn a foreign language. I regret not doing that sooner. Never be afraid to ask questions and reach out to people who can provide advice and guidance. Jump at any opportunity to learn a new skill and recognize that people of the world are more alike than they are different.”

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Above: Sarah working with locals and the US Ambassador to Zimbabwe on a garden. Below: Sarah is pictured with the US Ambassador to the United Nations talking about their chicken program. Photos courtesy of USAID Zimbabwe and Sarah Marshall. All photos taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Paid in part by the KY Department of Tourism Paid in part by the KY Department of Tourism


Student Spotlight

MYLES L. MINNIS COMMUNITY & LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT | MAY 2021 HOMETOWN:

Nashville, Tennessee

ACTIVITIES:

+TN Department of Transportation Civil Rights Division Intern +Nashville Mayor’s Office Intern +Community Innovation Lab Ambassador +Former Resident Advisor +Former National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Associate Director of External Relations +Church Youth and Young Adult Group Leader +MANRRS

Q: What led you to choose the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment? A: Growing up in Nashville, I was always deemed a natural-born leader. This title was never self-proclaimed, but I knew that I would have to embrace it at some point. As I entered high school, I found myself gaining much success serving in leadership roles in and around my high school and local community. During my junior and senior years of high school, I had the opportunity to serve as an Academy Ambassador which provided practical leadership and community development knowledge in the classroom and real-world application at a young age. As an ambassador I gave tours, answered questions and provided applicable knowledge to our high school’s stakeholders. This opportunity sparked a profound interest that I wanted to continue as I started my journey towards the college application process. When I was researching schools, my main objective was to find an institution that did not limit me in my academic and professional career, but rather challenged me to unlock my hidden potential and interests. I applied to the University of Kentucky and took a visit during fall break of my senior year of high school. During my visit, I met with an advisor who thoroughly went through the majors and as soon as I heard CLD, I felt a connection. My confidence in majoring in Community and Leadership Development was heightened when I found out that I would be in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment because I knew that I would gain and contribute to the diverse perspectives of CAFE students and faculty. Q: What does the college mean to you? Describe your overall experience. A: CAFE is filled with fresh innovators from all backgrounds. The best part about the college is the personable sense of connectivity and community that you get when you open the doors of Ag North. It’s a beautiful culture we have at the college. From the professors and students, to the employees who keep CAFE running, I have built long-lasting relationships with great people that I would’ve regretfully missed out on knowing if I had chosen another college. My experience in the college has been exciting, challenging and spontaneous as I have worked and collaborated with classmates on meaningful projects, grabbing lunch together, and meeting with thoughtful professors who genuinely push me to strive to bring my best self in every circumstance. From my perspective, the college means: relatability, perspective and perseverance. The best way to learn about communities and leaders is by surrounding yourself with a community of leaders and learning how to follow when necessary. I am blessed to say that the college is filled with a community of servant leaders who bring an array of heartwarming stories and help each other overcome obstacles in and outside of school. Q: How is the college preparing you for your future? A: The college has prepared me by creating and implementing curriculum that provides real-world application for career and internship opportunities. One of my most pressing assignments were the same as the first tasks assigned to me during an internship experience. Without those assignments and the professors there to guide me through

those processes, I may have struggled in some of my early professional endeavors. The college has also expanded my knowledge of how to engage with stakeholders. In several classes, we have focused on gaining repoire with individuals, using the right terms for different professional settings and conducting interviews. Young students and professionals need this experience in any career field. The college has also given me the confidence not to settle, but to aim for the best available experiences to further my academic and professional opportunities and connections. I am a strong believer that closed mouths don’t get fed, so my professors have rightfully held me accountable in my academic performance, in reaching out to constituents, in applying and receiving the best internship opportunities, and in applying to the best graduate programs alongside my interests. An example of this accountability was when my professors helped me apply for and receive an internship on the local government level to gain that experience, and then I received internship experience on the state government level the following summer. Q: Where do you see yourself in 15 years? A: I am currently preparing to graduate soon and getting accepted into graduate programs that are based in the public policy and administration sectors. In 15 years, I envision myself serving communities as a public official and or government employee on the local, state or federal level. I envision myself working alongside other leaders to find solutions that best benefit the people in the communities where I am called to serve. I also envision myself returning to the University of Kentucky with my future wife and children to give back to my CLD community and speak to future students about my journey so that they can be encouraged to bring their best selves every day. Q: Why would you recommend the college to future students? A: CAFE is a place that allows me to be my authentic self, allows students to be heard, and to contribute to the many conversations going on in the local community. CAFE is not an overwhelming college but rather a place where college becomes community and community becomes home. Students need a safe space to recharge, connect, and engage in experiential learning, and CAFE has done that for me and for many other students during my time here. Student success is very important to any parent, student or professor. Our professors provide every opportunity for student success in and outside of the classroom. CAFE professors have positive relationships with their students and remind themselves to keep the students’ professional interests at heart within every assignment. CAFE provides applicable experience and opportunities for growth because of its size and family feel. Not many other colleges can say that they invest in their students’ future while investing in their present. My advising experience has been top notch. Future students become future graduates as the advisors keep us on track to graduate at our expected time while keeping us accountable to maintain academic excellence the first time around.


Philanthropy

‘ONE DAY FOR UK’ RAISES MORE THAN $2 MILLION FOR UNIVERSITY, $47K FOR COLLEGE, DURING 24 HOURS OF GIVING

For 24 hours on September 16, more than 50 colleges, programs and causes at the University of Kentucky participated in the second annual university-wide giving day, “One Day for UK.” Donors contributed 3,539 gifts for a total of $2,644,378, including a $1.75 million transformative gift. Gifts came in from 47 states. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment collected 195 gifts for a total of $47,275.65. These numbers are an increase from 2019. Gifts this year were made to the ‘CAFE General Undergraduate Scholarship Fund,’ the ‘Building Extension Professional Development Fund,’ as well as numerous other areas of interest in the college. Giving activities throughout the day drove excitement on social media as donors made gifts and posted photos to compete for additional dollars for the area they felt passionate about at UK. Of the college, programs and causes participating, 20 of them won a challenge or place on the giving day leaderboard and 20 had matching gifts that doubled the impact of gifts all day long. UK faculty and staff also played a crucial role in “One Day for UK” - many made a gift online or through ongoing payroll deduction giving to contribute to the success of giving day. “We were so impressed with the turnout and excitement among our colleges and programs at UK and all their supporters - alumni, friends, fans, parents, student,

18 | DECEMBER 2020

faculty and staff took part in the day. After postponing from April to September, we were not sure what to expect,” Katie Sanders Vogel, associate director of annual giving, said. “‘One Day for UK’ 2020 took place as we all continue to navigate challenges, but it was a testament to the important work that continues at UK and the donors who make an impact by supporting that work.” Beyond the excitement of challenges and matches, all of the day’s funds supported Kentucky Can: The 21st Century Campaign, the university’s comprehensive campaign to increase scholarship support, to fund innovative research, to advance health care, to strengthen the alumni network, to enhance UK’s athletic programs and to grow the university’s endowment.

“The Kentucky Can campaign continues to be very successful with $1.5 billion raised to date,” D. Michael Richey, vice president of philanthropy and alumni engagement, said. “‘One Day for UK’ is an important component of our comprehensive campaign effort - each giving day opens the door for more alumni to participate and get involved in making an impact at UK through giving.”

We are thankful for the donors to our college. Thank you for showing the world what the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment can do, on this day and every day.


2020 COLLEGE PHILANTHROPY IMPACT REPORT

$106.5 MILLION raised so far of our

$137.5 million goal

$3,160,821 $11,067,450.49 PHILANTHROPY DOLLARS RAISED FISCAL YEAR 2020

DOLLARS AWARDED IN STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS IN THE LAST 3 YEARS

2%

AREAS OF SUPPORT

13%

12%

40%

Building & Equipment

Faculty Support

Research

Other

Student Aid

33%

ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FIFTY ONE DONORS

DONOR BREAKDOWN

8%

Alumni

13% 53% 26%

INTRODUCING THE

JAMES B. BEAM INSTITUTE FOR KENTUCKY SPIRITS

JAMES B. BEAM INSTITUTE FOR KENTUCKY SPIRITS CELEBRATION

Organizations/ Foundations

Friends Corporation

OPENING OF THE

GRAIN & FORAGE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE, PRINCETON KY

GRAIN & FORAGE CENTER RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY


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

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization.

www.ukfcu.org | 859.264.4200 *

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THE AMBASSADOR

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*FREE CHECKING INCLUDES PERSONAL, STUDENT AND SENIOR CHECKING. MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY REQUIRED. SAVINGS ACCOUNT WITH $25 MINIMUM BALANCE REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH MEMBERSHIP. FOR FULL DETAILS, CALL 800.234.8528.

The Ambassador - December 2020