Kentucky Cooperative Extension System Training Project

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1997: $50,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2000
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $79,250.00
Region: Southern
State: Kentucky
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Marion Simon
Kentucky State University

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: corn, rye, soybeans, sunflower, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: apples, berries (other), cherries, grapes, melons, berries (strawberries)
  • Nuts: walnuts
  • Vegetables: beans, broccoli, cabbages, peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: tobacco, herbs, native plants, ornamentals, trees
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, rabbits, sheep, fish, ratite, shellfish
  • Animal Products: dairy
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, housing, parasite control, animal protection and health, grazing - continuous, feed additives, feed formulation, feed rations, free-range, herbal medicines, implants, inoculants, manure management, mineral supplements, grazing - multispecies, pasture fertility, pasture renovation, preventive practices, range improvement, grazing - rotational, stockpiled forages, vaccines, watering systems, winter forage
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, networking, on-farm/ranch research
  • Farm Business Management: new enterprise development, budgets/cost and returns, cooperatives, community-supported agriculture, marketing management, feasibility study, agricultural finance, market study, risk management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, hedges - grass, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, hedgerows, indicators, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, soil stabilization, wetlands, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, competition, disease vectors, economic threshold, eradication, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mulches - killed, mulches - living, physical control, mulching - plastic, row covers (for pests), sanitation, trap crops, traps, mulching - vegetative, weather monitoring, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: transitioning to organic, agroecosystems, holistic management, permaculture, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: composting, earthworms, green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, urban/rural integration, analysis of personal/family life, social networks, sustainability measures


    The Kentucky Cooperative Extension System Training Project, "The Third Thursday Thing," successfully developed multidisciplinary teams of farmers, 1890 and 1862 professionals and paraprofessionals, NRCS and USDA agency professionals and technicians, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and state agencies, state and private universities and colleges, Heifer Project, Intl., agribusinessmen, and consumers to address sustainable agriculture issues in Kentucky. Nearly 85 people regularly attend the monthly workshops with over 1,200 farmers and over 250 agricultural professionals attending throughout the period. Eighteen minorities and nearly 40 women regularly attend. Topics covered many subjects areas in production, marketing, value added, policy, and human issues. The training provided continuing education through monthly, hands on workshops and biennial statewide sustainable agriculture small farm field days at the Kentucky State University Research Farm. These monthly workshops at the same location allowed trainees to see the natural progression of crop and livestock activities; the impacts of weather, multiple cropping systems and innovative cropping practices, gave them the opportunity to identify plants and insects in different stages of maturity: and provided the opportunity to recognize plant diseases, beneficial insects, and the timeliness/growth cycle of the different crops and enterprises. The shared learning experiences were designed by Extension and research professionals and paraprofessionals (1890 and 1862), agricultural industry personnel, farmers, state and federal agency personnel, non profits, and veterinarians.

    Project objectives:

    1. To educate 1862 and 1890 Extension professionals and paraprofessionals about sustainable agriculture. Behavior change: An increased awareness and acceptance of the practicality of sustainable agriculture.

    The Kentucky State University Research Farm has been developed as a demonstration of sustainable agriculture. The Research Farm will host monthly mini field days and statewide field days to show and educate the participants about the sustainable agriculture practices that are utilized on the farm. The funds will also cover partial costs of continuing training and education for Extension staff (and research staff who are involved in fanner education projects) in the area of sustainable agriculture travel to training meetings both instate and out of state.

    2. To educate 1862 and 1890 Extension professionals and paraprofessionals about practical uses of organic agriculture. Behavior change: An increased awareness of the practicality of organic agriculture for selected farming practices with a particular emphasis on limited resource farms.

    The Kentucky State University Research Farm has developed several projects that are certified organic. The Research Farm will host monthly mini field days and statewide field days to show, tell and educate participants about the use of organic agriculture and reduced use of pesticides.

    3. To educate farmer leaders (members of the Kentucky Agricultural Advancement Council and Area Agricultural Advancement Councils), NRCS and agency employees and farmers about sustainable agriculture and organic agriculture and the need for leaders to share this information throughout their local communities.

    Selected mini field days and statewide field days (described in 91 and #2) will include the above clientele. This project will also include three on farm demonstration projects for use in field days. Funds will also cover the costs of a meeting of the Kentucky Agricultural Advancement Council which will focus on continuing needs for (progress of) sustainable agriculture as identified by the statewide focus groups during the development of the Sustainable Agriculture Plan for Kentucky which was developed in 1995 and discussed at the first statewide Agricultural Advancement Council meeting in 1996.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.