Goal 5 - Improve the Quality of Life for Kentuckians through Extension, Outreach and Service
Issues in the animal and food industries have created an unprecedented demand for knowledge- and research-based educational programs applicable to the needs of all Kentuckians. Economic development, leadership development, nutrition and health issues, opportunities for youth, and a rapidly changing agricultural landscape in Kentucky require a vital, progressive and responsive Animal and Food Sciences Cooperative Extension Service.
Most Significant Challenges
1. Ag Development Board funds have been critical to the success of Animal and Food Sciences Extension programs for over 5 years. These funds have become increasingly more limited and may expire in the near future. Alternative funding, alternative delivery methods or selective downsizing of programs will likely become necessary.
2. Adapting to new technologies available in the college for delivery of programs. This challenge is two-fold: difficult for Extension personnel to adapt to new technology; acceptance by some clientele audiences is not evident.
3. The college has implemented a requirement that newly hired Extension agents must complete their Master’s degree. There are currently few opportunities for agents to take graduate level courses in Animal and Food Sciences and there are no graduate level distance learning courses in Animal and Food Sciences.
4. Operating funds for Extension and applied research becomes increasingly limited. Reliance on extramural sources necessarily increases. Opportunities for these alternative funding mechanisms are limited and extremely competitive.
5. In some species, increased concentration has led to sparse producer populations within individual counties. As a result, county level programming efforts are not effective use of resources in many cases. Regional programming increases travel distances for clientele and requires more coordination.
1. Continue the pursuit of extramural funding from a variety of sources. In particular, the USDA-AFRI integrated extension and research grants provide new opportunities.
2. Sustain traditional Extension strengths while offering innovative new programs to serve increasingly diverse stakeholders.
3. Maintain and establish new Extension and outreach partnerships within and outside UK.
4. Increase the deployment of new information technologies such as eXtension, YouTube, electronic distribution lists, and enhanced web effectiveness.
5. Enhance training and support for outreach personnel statewide.
6. Work to develop courses/opportunities in Animal and Food Sciences for county educators to pursue graduate degrees.
7. Establish clearly understood measures to assess and communicate the impact of Extension programs.
8. Engage key constituencies – including commodity groups – to help the department achieve its objectives.
Key Indicators, by 2014 the Department will have:
1. Enhanced and refined Extension section of the Animal and Food Sciences website; tracked users through online tracking device.
2. Sustained current level of Extension educator training sessions and number trained.
3. Increased grantsmanship from sources other than the Ag Development Board. This will be evidenced by numbers of proposals submitted and funded and total funding amount.
4. Sustained departmental contacts at or above the current level.