2020 Model State Program- Kentucky State University

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2020: $11,111.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2022
Grant Recipient: Kentucky State University
Region: Southern
State: Kentucky
State Coordinator:
Dr. Marion Simon
Kentucky State University


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, aquaculture, feed/forage, grazing management, rangeland/pasture management
  • Crop Production: cropping systems, high tunnels or hoop houses, organic fertilizers, varieties and cultivars, water management
  • Education and Training: decision support system, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, new enterprise development, risk management
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, organic certification
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, quality of life

    Proposal abstract:

    Our SARE funds cover the costs of hosting Third Thursday Thing (TTT) educational meetings. Third Thursday Thing features monthly sustainable agriculture training sessions. The sessions take place at the Kentucky State University Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm on the third Thursday of every month with no session in December. Agricultural Professionals and farm leaders throughout the commonwealth and surrounding states are the target audience for the trainings. These trainings are structured for multiple learning types, with lecture style presentations followed by hands on demonstration/activities. We have also added a Fourth Wednesday program based on requests from the agricultural community.

    Third Thursdays have become an institution in Kentucky professional development educational programming. The broad range of topics (listed in a later section) ensure that agricultural professionals and producer leaders have training in the skills necessary on a diversified small farm. TTT also serves as a space for synergies in small farm education. Many conferences and educational meetings are planned around “Third Thursdays” including:
    • Annual Small, Limited-Resource/Minority Farmers Conference (TTT’s programming is one of the conference’s days of programming)
    • International Pawpaw Conference (This conference is hosted alongside the TTT on Pawpaws)
    • Regional SARE Goat Project’s Collaborator Conference (This conference is hosted alongside the TTT on Goats)
    • SRRMEC Regional Conference on the “Risk-Assessed Business Planning for Small Producers” curriculum, and many others. (This conference is hosted alongside the TTT on Risk Assessment)

    Project objectives from proposal:

    • Provide specific professional development activities for non-university ag outreach providers (associated with University of Kentucky funding)
    • Evaluate more clearly how these activities translate into grower outreach (associated with University of Kentucky travel funding)
    • Build a broad base of interest and skills in agricultural sustainability among extension agents and other professionals in the state (associated with Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky funding)
    • Increasing support of professional development for NGO service providers (associated with Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky funding)

    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.