Land Grant and Extension

Making a difference in the lives of Kentucky citizens through researched-based education


Much of the agricultural success of the bluegrass and surrounding areas is credited to the horse industry. However, the horse industry owes much of its success to the phosphorous rich limestone formed soils which provide the fodder for
the beautiful horses. Because of the history of agricultural research in the area, not only are horse farms but all farms are benefitting from the research extended to the community. The University of Kentucky, an epicenter for agricultural and social research provides resources to its students and the citizens of Kentucky as a land grant institution.

What is a Land-Grant Institution?

Land-Grant institutions are a result of the Morril Act of 1862. The aim of this was to make education accessible to all, including the working class. Such a public education would be practical for each citizen by including subjects such as liberal arts and agriculture. A special emphasis was placed on agriculture, requiring each institution to have an agricultural research station.
The Morril Act and Land-Grant Colleges

What does this mean for the University of Kentucky?
The University of Kentucky was established in 1862 as a Land Grant Institution. The foundation of UK is its College of Agriculture(hyper link to c of ag website). To fulfill the land grant mission, it has several agricultural experiment stations all over the state that serve as research centers (link to show where stations are) . Part of the mission of the university is to educate, research, and extend knowledge to not only the students but to the community. Such a mission contributes to the sustainability of the university and the ethical mandate of the university itself.
University Mission Statement
The University of Kentucky, as a land grant institution, Strives for excelence. Excellence in Acadamia, Excellence in sports, But most importantly, excellence in research as the bases for its foundation. As this is a number one priority to the university its ethics a steered to a research way of thinking. This is good for the community that surrounds this University and also the state that it provides this research to as this can be a major source of knowledge which can help in the ethical reasoning of the public. As a land grant institution U.K. focuses on the ethical mandates of the community within campus, Provides throughput to fayette county, and extension agencies to the entire state. That is a lot to think about when it comes to ethics. This means when looking at the ethical mandates that it foloows it has to consider that in its entirety, all the people it influences within its ethics. The office of sustainability is one faucet of this ethical mandate the university has to implore.

Overall Critique:
- keep in mind that not all definitions of sustainability are the sameā€¦
- practices of the university as a land grant that are not sustainable

Education: UK is a public university offering # of majors, with two specifically emphasizing sustainability (link to their page).

Research: not just directly ag, emphasis on research for students and employees, discuss current research-- gneral overviwe

What is Extension?

Extension is the mechanism by which research is translated into education for students and the community. Multidisciplinary research is conducted, then published and made accessible to the public. Every county in the state has an extension office, with agents to foster relationships between academia and the general public. This relationship allows the general public access to not only university published research, but any necessary information to better the lives of citizens of Kentucky. Such resources include but are not limited to extension publications, grant assistance, and helpful information to enhance the quality of life of citizens. Examples of information include economically, social, and environmetal consultation.
An example of this program is EQUIP recommendations made by extension in the name of best managemnt practices; state funded prgram that awards farmers for rsponsible management of their land. Such a program encourages farmers to conserve thier land by rewarding them financially.
UK Extension Services
Extension agents throughout Kentucky work hard to strive for a common goal of sustainability. This common goal may not have the same definition as situations can vary but sustainability is an important aspect of being a extension agent. The extension agents jobs are to help farmers become eco-friendly, economically viable, community supporting people. This is why the university was created and this is what it strives to do. Interviews with extension agents reveal that the definiton of sustainability is never the same to anyone they talk to but the heartfelt emotion and gumption of these farmers to reach the goal of sustainible is the very source of thier worries.Cooperative Extension agent of Agriculture and Natural Resources from Casey County, Will Stallord says, "that it is important for farmers to become sustainable. If a farmer loses his soil to erosion, then he loses everything." This is an important aspect to figure in to the equation when talking about sustainability. The ethical mandates of the university are at odds with each other within the colleges but the overall process ultimately can effect the community to extreme measeures.+-
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