Field of soybeans with focus on a single plant, field edge and sky in background

“As agriculture continues to evolve and change, it is imperative that we have a support system that can provide the information necessary to today’s farmers in a timely and professional fashion. However, we must all work together and pool our resources so that we have this Grain and Forage Center of Excellence to ensure that agriculture meets the demand of the consumer to feed, fuel and clothe our world!” — Ryan Bivens, Farm Bureau National Farmer of the Year

Seven cattle graze in a tall stand of forage grass

“We are pleased that our checkoff dollars were invested in land to help UK researchers complete studies to benefit farmers in Central Kentucky.” — Jim Barton and Bob Barton, Kentucky farmers

Open ending haybarn filled with multiple rolls of dried hay

“Among the unique features of Kentucky agriculture is its latitude. Lexington straddles the 38th parallel... (Other) grazing lands which share this attribute include: Central Virginia, southern Missouri, the flint hills of Kansas as well as the Pampas of Argentina and New Zealand. We can grow grass–and not just KY 31 fescue. The fact that Kentucky is home to more cattle than any other state east of the Mississippi River is a great place to start to take our forages to a new level. To capitalize on this resource, we need to manage the resource as well as the livestock which harvest it. Livestock and forages share a symbiotic relationship, after all.” — Bill Payne, Kentucky farmer

Field of young plants emerging from a field that was planted with no-till practices

“No-tillage agriculture, pioneered by UK professor Dr. Shirley Phillips, greatly advanced soil conservation and reversed long-term soil degradation from the loss of soil organic matter. In the last 30 years, this system has resulted in a 200 percent increase in Brazil’s agricultural productivity. This is why, with the advent of the 50th anniversary of no-tillage in Brazil, the Brazilian Federation of No-Tillage honors Dr. Phillip's contribution not only to Brazil's agriculture but to the world's.” — Franke Dijkstra, Brazilian farmer

Chris Teutsch - New member of our task force

Dr. Chris Teutsch is an extension agronomist in Forages who has joined our team at the University of Kentucky. Chris moved into to his new (soon-to-be-renovated) office at the Research and Education Center in Princeton the first of January. He is getting the basics, like phones and emails working and he is starting to make the rounds to visit people. Back when Chris agreed to join our team, we asked him to become part of our task force. Now that he is here, he can focus more attention on forage issues regarding Kentucky and regarding the Grain and Forage Center of Excellence.

 

The Grain & Forage Center of Excellence at the Research and Education Center in Princeton will use cutting-edge research and outreach efforts to help Kentucky grain and forage producers use sustainable, intensive production practices to better meet the needs of a growing world with minimal environmental impact.

A generation ago, farmers and citizens of Western Kentucky led the effort to create the University of Kentucky Research and Education Center and the infrastructure that houses people committed to the science of production agriculture. Those stakeholders had faith in the land-grant university system to help improve agriculture and their lives.

Today, a new generation of agricultural leaders have the same beliefs in the land-grant system but are faced with new challenges. From those leaders, the idea of the Grain & Forage Center of Excellence emerged. The center is committed to the shared core principles of university researchers and stakeholders and dedicated to answering real-world questions for generations to come.

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Funding is provided in part from a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board.