College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Advancement 2012 Annual Report

Horse Capital

If you ever doubt horses are important to Kentuckians, look at the findings of the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey, which counted 242,400 horses in the state—nearly six horses for every 100 people. The total value of equine and equine-related assets in Kentucky is estimated at $23.4 billion.

The statewide survey of all breeds of horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules was the first one done since 1977. Conducted by the Kentucky field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, with support and assistance by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Kentucky Horse Council, the survey identified 35,000 equine operations and 1.1 million acres devoted to equine use.

The value of Kentucky’s equine and equine-related assets is significantly larger than other states for which we have data,” said Jill Stowe, project lead and director of UK Ag Equine Programs. “It serves to underscore that Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World.”

—Carol Lea Spence


The Mission is Stewardship

The UK Department of Forestry is all about stewardship, and its alumni prove that every day.

After graduating with a degree in forestry, Dave Leonard, ’74, never left Lexington. Maybe that is why he so passionate about the stately old trees that dot the city’s landscape. For 39 years, Dave Leonard Tree Specialists has been preserving those trees; “not just cutting them down,” Leonard emphasizes.

Before UK demolished Haggin Hall to make way for new dorms, University officials contacted Leonard about saving some trees near the building. Leonard was able to save a male gingko and a red oak, using a new technique to combat compacted soil and aerate the ground 18 inches deep around the trees. He also injected a tree-growth regulator to slow their growth over the next three years, diverting energy from the treetop to promote a healthier root system. A pin oak that already had some root-decay problems couldn’t be saved, however.

“We took extra-special care to do the job,” Leonard said. “We have worked on several projects at UK, and it is good to do that, whenever we can preserve more shade.”

Preserving trees fits into the Department of Forestry's mission to be effective stewards of natural resources. Some forestry alumni are banding together to be different kinds of stewards, by ensuring the education of prospective forestry students. Sally Browning, Al Freeland, John Perry, John Redmon, Jim Ringe, Kate Robie, Mike Shearer, and Gary Wilmhoff are alumni from five forestry graduation classes in the 1970s; they have formed a committee to raise $25,000 for an endowed scholarship in forestry.

“We thought it would be cool if we older grads took the lead in raising the money and setting an example for involvement and support with the department,” Robie said.

They hope to meet their initial goal by the end of 2013 and award the first scholarship in 2014. If you would like to contribute to the Forestry Alumni Scholarship, an on-line donation form is available here.

“Foresters are family,” Robie said.

A family that takes stewardship seriously.

—Jeff Franklin


Doggett-ly Supporting UKAg

Diana Wells Doggett, ’75, MS ’77, knew early on Cooperative Extension was the place for her. A daughter of a third-generation farmer and heavily influenced by the late Laura Colvin, Pendleton County home economics agent, she saw first-hand the positive impact Extension has on the lives of others.

Doggett attended the University of Kentucky and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocational education. After graduation, Doggett became the Woodford County family and consumer sciences extension agent. With the exception of a brief stint as a teacher at Southern Middle School in Lexington, Doggett has built an 18-year career in Extension; she is now the FCS agent in Fayette County. Along the way, she has received numerous college, local, state, and national awards.

“Regardless of where I have lived, rolling green hillsides or manicured urban neighborhoods, I have found that Kentuckians are genuinely interested in making good choices for their families,” she said.

After her college graduation Doggett joined the UK Ag and HES Alumni Association. She saw the association as a key way to stay connected to the College’s vast collection of research, knowledge, and expertise and also as an opportunity to build and strengthen connections with the network of College alumni. Over the years, she’s held many leadership positions in the association including committee member, officer, executive secretary, and an earlier stint as president.

Doggett hopes to further build and strengthen the association so more College graduates can access the association’s network of knowledge, camaraderie, and support that’s been invaluable to her.

“A goal I have is to connect with more UK graduates, especially the most recent and those dispersed nationally as well as globally,” she said. “This College has some amazing people, and we need to identify and provide an alumni base for them.”

— Katie Pratt



Married to Their Work

The Probsts, Adam, ’05, and Tracy, ’04, showed cattle at the same county fair when they were younger, but their paths didn’t cross until they became students in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Adam was in FarmHouse Fraternity. Its members volunteered to work as Safe Cats, a student safety escort service. As Tracy tells it, she would be on campus at night pretending to study, which was really just a ruse to get Adam to walk her home.

They dated through their UK years and married in May 2005. Then their lives took off in different directions. Tracy taught vocational agriculture at Anderson County High School while Adam farmed in Scott County and worked on a master’s degree at UK.

“We always used to say, ‘We feel like we are flying, when are we going to land?’” Tracy said. “We feel like we have landed now.”

Woodford County is where they landed. Adam became the county’s extension agent for agriculture and natural resources in 2011. Tracy is in her second year teaching vocational agriculture at Woodford County High School. The couple bought a 38-acre farm in the county and plans to put down roots. They want their sons, Carson, 5, and Cooper, 3, to grow up on a farm like they did—Tracy in Montgomery County and Adam in Scott County.

Working in agriculture in the same county, the couple’s paths often cross.

“Like Farm Bureau meetings,” said Adam. “We are both expected to attend, and there are Extension events, which FFA is involved with, so there is a lot of overlap.”

Taking an active role in the community is very important to Adam, while supporting the county’s strong agricultural base. He sees himself in Woodford County for the long term and hopes others can benefit from his commitment.

Tracy says she always knew she wanted to teach, and Woodford County is a good place to be.

“We have really good self-motivated kids in this county who have strong ag backgrounds because of their parents and grandparents,” said Tracy. “It isn’t anything I have done. I try to help them and point them in the right direction, and they pretty much take off from there.”

— Jeff Franklin



2012 AG & HES Alumni Board

Executive Board

President—Diana Doggett
Vice President—Whitney Stith
Secretary—Martha Nall
Treasurer—Chuck Canter
Past President—Bill McCloskey
At-Large Member—Audrey Carr
At-Large Member—Danny Bailey
UK Alumni Association Liaison—Michelle McDonald


Area Presidents

Bluegrass—Matt Koch
Fort Harrod—Brian Osterman
Green River—Daniel Smith
Lake Cumberland—Sue Stivers
Licking River—Celia Barker
Lincoln Trail—Jeremy Hinton
Louisville—Beth Allison
Mammoth Cave—Grant Hildabrand
Northeast—Priscilla Merritt
Northern Kentucky—Jay Hellmann
Pennyrile—Amanda Conrad
Purchase—Fred Gillum
Quicksand—Tom Cravens
Wilderness Trail—Pending

Faculty Representatives

Extension—David Herbst
Research—Kelly Webber
Teaching—Will Snell

Student Representatives

Student Council President— Kellie Owen


Committee Members


Cassinda Bechanan, Mike Chalfant, Tony Estes, Bobby Gaffney, Tony Holloway Brooke Jenkins-Howard, Katie Keith, Liz Kingsland, Stephanie Osterman, Rick Ryan, Bill Smith, Myrna Wesley, Amelia Wilson