LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 9, 2019) — Approximately 2,000 teenagers from across Kentucky and Indiana convened on the University of Kentucky campus recently for the 49th annual UK Field Day. The teens competed, networked and learned about the educational opportunities available in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.
“There are few events that bring us all together the way Field Day does,” said Sarah Warren, graduate student volunteer from the UK Department of Community Leadership and Development. “This is how we strengthen the bond we share through a love of agriculture and community.”
Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles and the college’s Dean Nancy Cox welcomed the students in an opening ceremony that resembled a pep rally for some of the best and brightest young men and women interested in pursuing agricultural-related careers.
Students from 59 Kentucky middle and high schools and seven 4-H clubs, as well as from out of state competed in more than 30 events. From Barren to Magoffin counties, Kenton County to the north and Russell County to the south, and everywhere in between, teens scattered into sections to show off their skills and knowledge in areas that included a quiz bowl, horticulture, engineering and technology, floriculture, the equine industry, nurseries, forestry, veterinary science, land and soil, livestock judging, meat judging, and food science.
“They use this as a springboard for competing at their respective state competitions. It’s a good dry run,” said Stacy Vincent, UK associate professor in agricultural education and event organizer.
Throughout the day, the young people also had the chance to participate in the college’s opportunity fair, where they were able to talk to UK students, staff and faculty.
At the end of the event, competition winners received plaques to hang in their schools or extension offices. Among the overall winners, Montgomery County FFA won first place, Seneca High School in Jefferson County took second place and third place went to Spencer County.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for,” and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.