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Carter named to new CAFE government relations post

Nicholas Carter has been named county and local government relations director in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. "Relationships with our local, state and federal government partners are critical to the success of the college. Nick brings a depth of understanding of these important partnerships along with a passion for the mission of the college to this position. I am excited to have him in this role," said Dean Nancy Cox. The new position will serve as a point of contact for county and municipal officials on collegewide issues, including such mandated programs as Cooperative Extension, The Agricultural Experiment Station, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and Regulatory Services. In concert with the college's new, as-yet unnamed, director for state and federal government relations, Carter will lead a statewide effort to promote government relations and awareness of UK, as well as advise and represent the dean and the college with various agriculture, food and natural resource leadership organizations. He will also ensure real-time communications between Cooperative Extension leadership and judge executives and extension district boards. "I think Cooperative Extension is hugely important in Kentucky. A lot of times, it's the glue that holds communities together, in my opinion. It plays such an important part in building relationships and in meeting local needs with scientific-based information that we bring from UK," Carter said. I think this position will open up communications both ways to give everyone a voice. I'm looking forward to working with all the counties and their elected officials, as well as the commodity groups, to make the extension service in Kentucky stronger than ever."

USDA, UK, Purdue partnering to provide technical assistance to help build long-term rural economic growth

Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley announced the names of 47 rural communities and regions that will receive technical assistance to help create and implement long-term economic development plans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing the assistance through an initiative called Rural Economic Development Innovation, REDI. USDA’s Innovation Center created REDI to support recommendations identified in the Report to the President from the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity. Each of the 47 communities and regions will be paired with one of four partner organizations that will provide free technical assistance for up to two years to help them create and implement economic development plans. USDA awarded $1.2 million in cooperative agreements to these partners in September 2018, which will help the partners finance the free technical assistance. The partners are the University of Kentucky’s Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky and Purdue University Extension; the National Association of Counties Research Foundation; the Rural Community Assistance Partnership; and McClure Engineering Company. CEDIK and Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development will support eight communities and regions in the South and North Central U.S. to help them build long-term economic development plans by leveraging public and private funding sources. CEDIK will work with regions in Kentucky, Florida, Alabama and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Alison Davis, CEDIK’s executive director, said the assistance CEDIK will provide will be a combination of virtual and face-to-face training and information. “It will entail providing a fair amount of data access describing their current situation, walking them through strategic planning, trying to create formal partnerships and collaborations where they do not presently exist, helping them identify funding sources, as well as implementing something out of the plan that can get them moving in a forward trajectory,” said Davis, who is a professor in the UK Department of Agricultural Economics. “I really like working in our far west counties, so I’m excited that they put forward a good application and were selected.” Western Kentucky generally doesn’t have nearly the number of technical assistance providers that are in Appalachia, Davis said. “They really have bootstrapped themselves and done a lot on their own, so we’re happy to provide support, in partnership with Kentucky’s USDA Rural Development office, in any way we can be useful to them,” she said. The hope is for the region to leverage what they’ve learned from this program to attract private and public investment to the area. Despite the program’s short time window, Davis said CEDIK will be there for them for the long haul.

11 | It Starts With Us

The Ambassador - July 2019