University of Kentucky College of Agriculture


Serving the people of Kentucky with Innovative Programs


Serving Communities through Engagement

As a department, CLD is guided by the values of learning, discovery, and engagement which underlie the land-grant philosophy. As such, CLD strives to collaborate with diverse institutions, communities, and people to improve lives. In the process, the Department integrates engagement with both research and instruction. For example, the results of the Department’s upcoming statewide Kentucky Communities Survey will both be presented to local Kentucky audiences and inform community projects. In addition, our faculty with Extension title series appointments are expected to engage in applied research and publish whether or not their DOE officially includes a research component. In the case of instruction, the Department facilitates and encourages student community engagement through service learning for undergraduates and “action projects” for graduate students. A previous review of rural sociology conducted before the formation of CLD noted it was difficult for the review team to distinguish between faculty with Extension title series and regular title series appointments. We considered that a compliment and hope we have maintained a highly integrated approach in all our programs.  

It is impossible to adequately describe all of CLD’s engagement efforts in this document. Instead, recent representative work within several overlapping focus areas will be discussed along with the activities of the Nonprofit Leadership Initiative and the Center for Leadership Development.


Community and organizational development

CEDIK (Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky) is administratively housed in the Dept. of Ag Economics but several of the CLD faculty work through CEDIK provide research and outreach programs focused on organizational, leadership and community development. CEDIK provides timely informational resources, focused training programs, consultations, community assessments and program evaluations for Extension agents, community leaders, citizens  and nonprofits in Kentucky


Community communication

Community Communications Research Group (CCRG) 

Founded in Fall 2006, the Community Communications Research Group (CCRG) is a research collaborative which is embedded in the Department of Community and Leadership Development of the University of Kentucky. The CCRG focuses on the roles of communications in communities, particularly shedding light on democratic roles of digital media in civil society contexts. The CCRG takes multiple theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches at the multiple levels from multidisciplinary fields which include but are not limited to communication and media studies, journalism, sociology, political science, and psychology. Currently, the group has several projects going on: 1) The Kentucky Citizen Media Project (KCMP): The Lexington Commons (, 2) Citizen Journalism, Community, and Democracy Project, and 3) Community-based Campaign Communication Project. CCRG is a representative research group in the field at the University of Kentucky. 


Agricultural Education

CLD Agricultural Education faculty have a significant outreach program in support of public school agriculture teachers and programs, school administrators, the Kentucky Department of Education, and regional university faculty. This is accomplished through work with Kentucky TEAM AG ED Joint State Staff and the Kentucky Vocational Agriculture Teachers, being the advisor for Ag Ed REPS which recruits high school students into agricultural education, and developing and teaching professional development seminars for the Kentucky Department of Education CTE New Teacher Academy. Other activities include working with Kentucky FFA and the Kentucky FFA Foundation and hosting FFA activities at UK which bring high school agriculture teachers and their students to campus. 


Community-based education



Leadership development

Center for Leadership Development (CFLD)

The Center for Leadership Development (CFLD) supports and designs leadership related activities within the UK College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, the University of Kentucky campus, the local Lexington community and counties statewide. This includes:

Student Leadership Development – through our semester long Explorations in Leadership certificate program

Professional Development Services – on and off campus experiential workshops in effective communication, team building, service training, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) competencies and Equine Guided Leadership Education workshops where individuals and teams collaborate with horses to learn leadership competencies.

Research - in student leadership, and Equine Guided Leadership Education   ( )

Community Leadership Outreach Initiatives

Leadership Resources – book recommendations, online links, quotes, and videos

The Center is housed in the Department of Community and Leadership Development in the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Go to  to connect you to all the leadership opportunities, resources and services the Center provides.


Kentucky Consortium for Community Leadership (KCCL)

The Kentucky Consortium for Community Leadership (KCCL) is designed to be a “one-stop shop” for all of your community leadership needs.  Established in 2008, KCCL isn’t your traditional consortium of organizations; rather it is a “resource” consortium, bringing together the numerous resources that leaders need to be successful in today’s complex communities.  This includes websites, trainings, articles, extension publications and information on the many issues associated with community leadership.

Two important resources call the KCCL website their home.  First, the Building Community Leaders for Tomorrow (BCLT) program is housed on the website.  This is a program of topics salient to today’s leaders – aspects such as negotiation, conflict management, community action and many more.  These topics are presented in two ways: (1) through individual seminars developed for a target audience and (2) through Extension in-services offered across the state.  Check the website for upcoming trainings, and if you are interested in having a seminar on a specific leadership topic developed for your group, please contact Dr. Kristina Ricketts at

Another important resource available on the KCCL website is the Empowering Leaders in Kentucky (ELK) program.  This program was designed to assist individuals in improving leadership capacities within their families and communities.  ELK includes a variety of components including ELK Extension publications, teaching outlines and learning activities, as well as group trainings.  See the website for more details.

Finally, Dr. Kristina Ricketts, the leadership development specialist for the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension, is happy to work or consult with community leaders and groups.  She can provide information on a wide variety of topics, including local leadership program development, leadership curriculum development for groups, leadership evaluation, special leadership topics and more.  Please contact her at with any questions.

Additional information about KCCL can be found on its website at:


Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute (KECI) 

Dr. Hustedde is Director of the Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute which combines leadership development with entrepreneurial coaching and advocacy. Funded by a grant from the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board, this unique educational initiative focuses on 19 tobacco dependent counties in Northeastern Kentucky and  provides intensive educational experiences for 60 civic leaders who learn to coach individual entrepreneurs and work with others to stimulate entrepreneurial friendly communities. The program was recognized as “one of the best entrepreneurial practices in the nation” by the U.S. Small Business Administration office of Advocacy, the Kauffman Foundation, and the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association in 2005. Additional information about the Institute is available on its web site at


 Community & Leadership Developmenttt University of Kentucky 500 Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215 Phone: (859) 257-7587 Fax: (859) 257-1164
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Community and Organizational Development

Community Communication

Agricultural Education

Community-based Education

Leadership Development