FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky State University announces the acquisition of a new research farm dedicated to studying environmentally sustainable crop development. The 100-acre farm, located just outside of Frankfort, was purchased through USDA research grant funding and will support research in testing crops that can be grown environmentally sustainable.
The University’s sustainable agriculture program is designed to provide more profitable income opportunities for small family farms, promote environmental stewardship, and enhance the quality of life for farm families and communities. The new research farm will serve as a hub for interdisciplinary research, bringing together faculty and students from various fields to investigate crops that require less water and fertilizer, are resistant to pests and diseases, and can be grown using environmentally friendly practices.
“We are thrilled to expand our initiatives in sustainable agriculture by acquiring this new research farm,” said Dr. Kirk Pomper, dean of the College of Agriculture, Community, and the Sciences, at Kentucky State. “The new farm also has forested land that will support student research in water quality and forest health management, and farmland that will be monitored via agritechnology methods.”
One of the primary areas of focus for the new research farm will be the study of new crops that can be grown sustainably. The goal is to develop crops that are both sustainable and profitable for farmers, helping to support local food systems and promote economic development.
“This land will continue to be active agricultural land for years to come and is just one of many initiatives underway in Kentucky State’s Intended Future Plan that focuses on leveraging the ability of small family farms to compete at scale,” said Dr. Ronald A. Johnson, interim president of Kentucky State. “As the demand for sustainable agriculture continues to grow, Kentucky State will be steadfast in its commitment to advancing research in this critical area of opportunity for small family farms in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Specific research at the farm will focus on row-crop production, horticultural crop production, agroforestry, control of invasive plants, soil health integrated pest management, and pollinator health. The farm will also serve as a resource for local farmers, providing training and technical assistance for sustainable farming practices.
For more information about the new research farm, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dr. Pomper at [email protected] or (502) 597-5942.