New Partners, New Answers
In 2001 (it feels like ancient history now) one new direction we proposed for the College was a New Partnerships Initiative. It was clear then that our land-grant programs were being expected to meet ever-broader expectations in many different arenas.
Faculty and agents saw the need and opportunity to serve in fields such as economic development, health education, community planning, and leadership. The only way to offer effective statewide support for such diverse programs was through collaboration with a host of new partners across a variety of organizations.
How far we have come in two years! Within UK, we have strengthened or established new working relationships with the Colleges of Business and Economics, Social Work, and with the Tracy Farmer Center for the Environment while launching multiple programs with the Medical Center. Very recently we signed an agreement with the College of Design to do outreach on housing and the home environment. Expect more developments like these in the future.
Beyond the campus, major initiatives in crop and livestock diversification with the Kentucky Horticulture Council and Kentucky Cattlemen's Association typify new kinds of partnerships with old friends. This issue's feature about goat production describes a new collaboration with Kentucky State. Meanwhile, such wide-ranging issues as agritourism, nutrition/health education, parenting/youth development, and community development have led to connections with a host of new partner agencies.
Certainly our most dramatic example of a new partnership is the recent merger with Human Environmental Sciences. Inclusion of HES programs brings an even broader network of cooperating organizations and constituents to the College.
What common thread holds such diverse partnership initiatives together? Perhaps more than anything else, it is our College's continuing commitment to the land-grant promise to apply discovery and new knowledge, life-long education, and extension to solve real problems in a changing world.
M. Scott Smith
Dean, College of Agriculture