Advisers

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Sean Clark

Sean is a professor at Berea College where he teaches in the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources and directs the College’s educational farm and farm store. His current scholarly interests and research efforts are focused on the energy and carbon budgets of farming systems, appropriate technologies for small-scale organic farms in the region, and innovations in teaching on college and university student farms. He currently teaches farm management, horticulture, beekeeping, aquaculture and a course in value-added food production.

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David Koester

David is an Extension Agent for Agriculture and Horticulture and has worked in this field for 36 years in 3 counties. He is the former Kentucky Post Garden Columnist, has worked as a Manager of a Nursery/Garden Center, was a consultant to a 55 acre orchard, and served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cinn. DAAP College.  David is a contributor to Kentucky Gardener Magazine, has served as a horticulture judge at the Indiana and Kentucky State Fairs, is a Certified Arborist and TRAQ Certified, is a member Kentucky Turfgrass Council and Kentucky Horticulture Council, helped to establish the Northern Kentucky Vintners and Grape Growers Association, is currently establishing demonstration horticulture plots and high tunnels, leads construction and management workshops as the Boone Co. horticulture agent and hosts a monthly radio program on WVXU Public Radio Station Cinn. Ohio

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Krista Jacobsen

Krista Jacobsen is a faculty member in the UK Horticulture Department and an agroecologist by training.  Her work in organic farming systems focuses on soil health, cover crops and other soil conservation practices in vegetable production systems.  She directs the UK Sustainable Agriculture and Community Food Systems undergraduate program and is the Faculty Chair of UK’s local food systems institute, The Food Connection.

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Shawn Lucas

Dr. Shawn Lucas, Ph.D. is assistant professor of organic agriculture at Kentucky State University in Frankfort where he conducts research on best management practices, soil quality, and crop productivity in organically managed systems.  Shawn centers his research and education efforts on the principles of agroecology and sustainability, focusing on ways to work within the ecology of natural systems to promote healthy soils and productive crops.

Rachel Rudolph

Rachel is the Extension Vegetable Specialist at the University of Kentucky. Her extension and research work overlap and the needs of Kentucky vegetable growers often inform the design and implementation of her research projects. Rachel's extension work deals with high tunnel systems, abiotic disorders, crop nutrition, and soil fertility. She also focuses on training county extension agents so they feel confident to assist growers. Her research focuses on utilizing alternative approaches to manage issues in both the field and high tunnel systems, such as grafting with resistant rootstock to manage for root knot nematodes. Rachel's aim is to have these alternative approaches be applicable and useful to a variety of different growers and production systems.

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Tony Silvernail

Tony moved from Michigan to Kentucky 24 years ago to work for Kentucky State University and attend graduate school at the University of Kentucky. He managed the organic research at KSU until 2017.  In 2007, started his own farm, Beyond the Bridge Organic Farm in Franklin County. He also serves as one of OAK's Transition Trainers.  

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Mark Williams

Mark is the Chair of the Department of Horticulture at the University of Kentucky and has been on faculty there since 2001. He founded and managed the 25-acre Organic Farming Unit of the Horticulture Research Farm at UK. Over the last decade he has conducted a range of experiments looking at whole systems, such as optimizing diverse direct-marketed vegetable systems, to evaluating specific pest problems in cucurbits, peppers, tomatoes and apples. More recently he has dedicated research towards investigating the interactions between soil microbes and plants. In particular, focusing on characterizing the soil-derived microbiome inside of plants and investigating the impact at a molecular level of these associations. The long-term goal of this work is to correlate organic production practices with increased microbial migration into plants and elucidate how these microbes positively impact plant health.