Our Food System
As most of you know, Dean Scott Smith began serving as interim provost for the University of Kentucky in May of 2005. He still serves as dean of the College, but his duties on central campus have required that he delegate some of his responsibilities to the associate deans. I am pleased to have the honor of providing the overview of the Spring 2006 issue and the message from the College of Agriculture.
Kentucky producers are being forced to respond to changes in the tobacco program and changes in market conditions for agricultural products. The programs highlighted here show how the College is helping Kentucky agricultural producers fill the gaps in this shifting agricultural landscape.
Our research, education, and extension programs are helping to shape the future of Kentucky‘s agriculture and food system. These efforts benefit not only producers, but ultimately all consumers as well. And, since agriculture, forestry, and food retailing account for 20.8% of all employment in Kentucky , a strong food system helps fuel a strong economy for the state.
As you will find as you read this issue, we are working with the people we serve to develop a range of value-added market alternatives, from farmers' markets, produce auctions, and large-scale cooperatives to restaurants and produce-purchasing programs in state parks. That is just a part of what we‘re doing in partnership with and support from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy and Agricultural Development Board, and many other organizations.
We are pleased to work with you and others to see our shared vision for Kentucky 's food system become a reality.
Larry W. Turner
Associate Dean for Extension
Director, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service