Urban Extension Initiative
Urban Extension Initiative



Urban Extension Initiative

Our Mission is to support Kentucky Urban Extension Agents for the 21st Century. Our Opportunity is to facilitate lasting change in our urban communities.

The New American Farmer – Extension Engagement with Urban Agriculture and Food Systems

This literature review was made possible by funding from the Extension Foundation and Extension Committee on Policy. For the past century and a half, the United States has witnessed a decline in the number of farms, and farmers, while farm size has dramatically increased presenting challenges to U.S. food systems. Urban food production is one of many alternatives to these unsustainable, yet dominant approaches to agriculture. Designed appropriately, urban food systems hold great potential for healthy food access, community and environmental resilience, and economic prosperity (Rangarajan & Riordan 2019). However, urban agriculture is also shaped by myriad social and environmental forces that create unique challenges and opportunities for those hoping to facilitate it. This holds for Cooperative Extension (“Extension”).

Kentucky's Urban Centers


Covington is a city located in Northern Kentucky at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking Rivers. Covington is located just south of Cincinnati, OH.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green is a strong economic hub in Kentucky's south central region. Bowling Green is home to Western Kentucky University.


Elizabethtown is notable as one of two larger towns (the other being Bowling Green) along I-65 between Louisville and Nashville.


London is part of the London, Kentucky micropolitan area. Of the seventeen micropolitan areas in Kentucky, London is the largest.


Pikeville has been a center of rapid development since the early 1990s. Pikeville is home to the University of Pikeville


Paducah is the hub of its micropolitan area and is the largest city in the Jackson Purchase region.


Owensboro is the fourth-largest city in Kentucky and the hub of the Owensboro metropolitan area.


Ashland serves as an economic and medical center for northeastern Kentucky and is part of the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Kentucky.

News & Events

Urban Extension Initiative – Leadership Fellows 

The Kentucky Urban Extension Initiative (UEI) Leadership Fellows program seeks to support the development of Extension professionals at the county and state levels by developing urban research opportunities that advance the knowledge base of urban Extension. After acceptance into UEI, advisors will work with you to create and develop a locally-focused project and support the creation of scholarly work.

How to get started:

  • Applications for new cohorts will be accepted beginning in June of each year.

Apply Now

Fellow Program Overview

The Urban Extension Initiative (UEI) provides professional support for Extension Agents who serve and engage within urban communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

View Program Overview


Need more information?

Contact Jeff Youngjyoung@uky.edu.

UEI Resources

  • National Urban Extension Leader's (NUEL)
  • Southern Region National Urban Extension Leader's (NUEL)

Since 2013, the National Urban Extension Leader's (NUEL) mission is to advocate and advance the strategic importance and long-term value of urban Extension activities by being relevant locally, responsive statewide, and recognized nationally.


  • Remote Work Certification
  • Purdue Extension Urban Agriculture Certificate

Remote Work Certification

The Rural Online Initiative (ROI) is a forward-thinking, innovative program designed to prepare Utah's rural workforce for the future of work by providing education, training, and other services to prepare individuals for remote work as an employee, freelancer, or e-commerce entrepreneur. The ROI program includes certification and training programs for both individuals and employers to succeed in the rapidly expanding gig economy.

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Purdue Extension Urban Agriculture Certificate

The Urban Agriculture Certificate is a new program that is 100% online which provides students the flexibility to earn their certificate from anywhere, anytime. Students receive in-depth instruction for urban crop production from farm design through harvest techniques.

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Kentucky Farmers Market Directory

Kentucky farmers' markets offer farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, locally raised meat and eggs, cut flowers, crafts, and much more. Click below to search the Commonwealth's more than 150 farmers' markets.

Find a Market

Kentucky Forestry Extension

Information and resources from Forestry Extension within the University of Kentucky's Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

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Snake Identification

A tool for identifying and providing information about Kentucky's native snakes.

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Wildlife Damage

Resources for managing damage caused by wildlife.

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Emerald Ash Borer

North America’s many Ash trees have come under attack from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). 

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Edible Louisville

Edible Louisville & the Bluegrass transforms the way our community shops, consumes and appreciates beverages and food that is grown and prepared in the local region.

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Urban Agriculture and Food System

This literature review was made possible by funding from the Extension Foundation and Extension Committee on Policy and is an extended version of an article of the same title that the authors will/have submitted to the Journal of Extension.

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Contact Information

Jeff Young, Ph.D.
Director, Urban Extension

712 Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

+1 (502) 492-0985