University of Kentucky College of Agriculture

Our People

Melissa Newman PhD.

Melissa Newman PhD., Director

Associate Professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

B.S. and A.S. Thomas More College KY, M.S. and PhD from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Newman is an Animal Nutritionist and Food Microbiologist specializing in the areas of Intestinal microbiology and Food Safety. Dr. Newman's lab is responsible for carrying out validation studies, challenge studies and shelf life studies. She is particularly interested in minimizing microbial contamination during production and processing using natural antimicrobials, thermal processing and modified storage conditions of the foods. She also provides advice and consultation to food manufacturing facilities regarding sanitation, HACCP, and food defense.

Gregg Rentfrow PhD.

Gregg Rentfrow PhD. Principle Investigator

Associate Professor, Agricultural Extension, Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

B.S. Animal Science University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, M.S. Meat Science University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, PhD. Meat Science and Muscle Biology, University of Missouri, Columbia MO.

Dr. Rentfrow works with extension specialists and county agents in establishing strong livestock and meat industry programs in Kentucky. He develops educational programming and workshops for meat producers and manufacturers and is currently developing a meat marketing program.

Timothy Woods PhD.

Timothy Woods PhD. Principle Investigator

Professor, Agricultural Extension, Department of Agricultural Economics.

M.S. Agricultural Economics Texas A&M, PhD Agricultural Economics Michigan State University.

Dr. Woods is interested in Agribusiness Management, Marketing in agribusinesses, Horticultural enterprises with an emphasis on commodity marketing. Dr. Woods manages studies of Kentucky Consumer households and carries out a variety of Farmer's market, small producer as well as industry wide studies. He recently developed a Market Readiness training program that is being launched in several states to assist producers and processors.

Wuyang Hu PhD.

Wuyang Hu PhD. Principle Investigator

Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics

B.S. Central University of Finance and Economics, China, PhD, University of Alberta Canada.

Dr. Hu is interested in Agricultural Marketing and Consumer Economics as well as Environmental and Resource Economics. He has been awarded numerous local, state, and federal government funded projects to support his program. He has published extensively in leading agricultural economics journals as well as in other forms of popular press. Dr. Hu is involved in the KY consumer market study and works closely with food producers and assists them gather market data.

Paul Priyesh Vijayakumar, Ph.D. Principle Investigator

Assistant Professor, Agricultural Extension and Instruction, Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

M.S. Food Science Oklahoma State University, PhD Food Science Oklahoma State University.

Dr. Vijayakumar acts as the FSIC Process Authority, specializing in Acidified and Low Acid Thermal Processing. Dr. Vijayakumar works with food processors and producers to understand aspects of Food Safety, primarily the Food Safety Modernization Act. He recently developed training and educational programs for FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) and GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative).