Extension is the outreach component of Agricultural Economics. From working closely with individual farms in the Kentucky Farm Business Management program; to providing analysis to policy makers at the state, national, and global levels; to providing assistance for decision makers in communities, agribusinesses, and farms; Agricultural Economics specialists and staff deliver timely and accurate economic analysis in a variety of formats. In addition to working closely with county Extension educators to meet local needs, many Ag Econ Extension faculty hold classroom teaching appointments where they use their Extension experiences to bring economic principles to life for our students.

Current Extension Areas

Our clientele include all sizes of businesses -- food and ag related, as well as other rural businesses. We have specialists who can help with business plans, market development, research and even human resources and succession. Our partnership with the Small Business Development Center gives us added training and advising resources. The American Private Enterprise System provides high school juniors and seniors with an appreciation of cooperatives as one of the important forms of doing business in the American enterprise system.
Economic Development
Businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies all contribute to communities with jobs, services and tax revenue. Helping these organizations operate soundly, get the resources they need and operative efficiently are some of ways ag. economists provide assistance. Examples of our Extension programs in this area include: The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program which works with young agricultural producers and agribusiness individuals who want to be on the "cutting edge" of decisions that affect agriculture, rural communities and society in the 21st century; and the Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky (CEDIK) which is heavily involved in community development.
Ag Economics began as Farm Management -- and history is still a large part of what we do. Whether it is making decisions about what enterprises to operate, whole farm plans for beginning farmers, developing a plan to pass the farm onto the next generation or buying/selling land, we provide resources and training. Our Kentucky Farm Business Management program provides individualized assistance with key management questions. KyFarm Start, Kentucky's Beginning Farmer Program provides has helped hundreds of begining farmers over the past five year and is now expanding to help 'next generation' farmers.
Agricultural marketing runs the gamut of activities and services needed to get food and other agricultural products from the farm to the consumer -- "from the farm to the fork". Dynamic, competitive marketing systems keep ag economists on their toes as they work with policymakers, farm organizations, agribusinesses, and producers on market and trade issues impacting the overall Kentucky agricultural economy. The Food Systems Innovation Center provides technical and business development services to help local food businesses be profitable. The Crops Marketing and Management Update is a monthly newsletter focusing on crop marketing trends.
Natural Resources
Resources of soil, water, timber, coal and many others contribute to the quality of life in Kentucky and beyond. Use of these resources create jobs, provide inputs to private business, bring in tourist and add to the quality of life, but can also lead to environmental and other problems. Wise management of natural resources can provide appropriate protections and economic value, but needs effective analyses and keen insights to do so.
National, state and local policies support and affect agriculture and rural interests. A few examples include USDA programs and regulations, food safety rules as well as tax and rural economic development policies. Ag Economists provide assistance to policy makers at all levels, in government agencies and to those who try to influence policy such as farm organizations, agribusinesses, producers and the media. We also work closely with farmers, organizations, and other professionals to help them understand policies and the impacts on their decisions through such programs as the FSA Borrower Training Workshops and the University of Kentucky Income Tax Seminar Program.