||Agiculture and Natural Resources||Family and Consumer Sciences|
|4-h Youth Development||Community Resources Development||Small-Scale Farm Grant Program|
Areas of Expertise
Our apiculture Extension program is devoted to the success of Kentucky beekeepers and those who grow bee-pollinated crops. A mobile bee equipment autoclave travels to beekeepers across the state as a free service that sterilizes equipment in order to help eliminate diseases and pesticides from spreading to new colonies. Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension hosts the annual Bluegrass Bee School on its Frankfort campus every March, and we are present to respond to beekeepers’ problems at the Kelley Bee Field Day every June in Clarkson, Ky., and at meetings around the state.
Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension’s animal health program conducts site visits with sheep and goat producers to review and discuss management practices and to offer guidance to producers. Extension visits and consultations are available for livestock producers of small ruminants as well as cattle producers, including advice on preventative care, management, current recommendations and any additional educational questions producers may have. Education on health topics is available for workshops around the state, educational meetings for livestock, at small farms, and for youth programs.
Livestock Nutrition Program
The Kentucky State University livestock nutrition Extension program focuses on increasing the profitability of forage-based beef production systems. The program aims to expand educational experiences of limited-resource and beginning farmers by disseminating research-based information on best management practices in beef cattle nutrition, implementation of optimal supplementation strategies for cow-calf production, and increasing the understanding of the relationship of forage quality, cattle nutrition and health. We achieve these goals through a combination of tools including field days, Extension education fact sheets and bulletins, and presentations at beef cattle producers’ monthly workshops.
Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension serves small ruminant producers across Kentucky. We created a data recording and evaluation program known as the Goat Herd Improvement Program (GHIP) that farmers can use to improve selection practices. Workshops are offered on breed choice, selection, health, and management of meat goats and are held across the state. Additionally, a small ruminant herd health appraisal program is in place to help farmers prioritize health issues and develop plans to improve herd health and survival.
The phasing out of the use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials in food production and the ever-growing demand for low-priced, healthy and high-quality poultry has led to the popularity of pasture-based poultry systems. Our Extension program focuses on using natural growth-promoting feed additives such as phytobiotics (plant and herbal extracts) and symbiotics (prebiotics and probiotics) to maintain and improve the health, performance and immune status of pastured poultry. Results of this research will be extended to local farmers online and through workshops, fact sheets and online resources. Local farmers will be educated and encouraged to embrace pasture-based poultry production in order to diversify their family incomes. Farmers are able to process their pastured poultry at Kentucky State University’s Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm utilizing the university’s Mobile Processing Unit for poultry, fish, and rabbits. This allows them to market directly to consumers.
Kentucky State University’s horticulture Extension provides research-based education and outreach on various fruit and nut crops including pawpaw, blackberry, hazelnut, persimmon and jujube. Specialized areas of focus include pawpaw breeding, variety trials, propagation, orchard management, harvest and postharvest handling of fruit, and value-added product development. Extension activities include farm visits, tours and workshops such as hands-on grafting workshops, orchard tours at the Kentucky State University farm, and fruit tastings. We also assist pawpaw growers of all sizes—from commercial orchards and nurseries to homeowners and hobbyists—with questions about growing and utilizing fruits and nuts. Informational publications, videos, and social media are utilized to disseminate information about the program.
Kentucky State University’s soil science Extension activities focus primarily on educating farmers about improved soil conservation practices that promote soil health. We encourage farmers to incorporate the use of manure, cover crops and crop rotation and other soil conservation practices into their farming systems to reduce soil degradation, increase agricultural resilience and sustainability, and to reduce impacts from anticipated climate variation. Much of this Extension work is accomplished through demonstration days, in which Kentucky State University’s soil scientists engage farmers in an open discussion and dialogue with the aim of increasing awareness, appreciation, understanding and skills needed to protect susceptible agricultural soils from further degradation.