The Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources offers research, extension, and educational opportunities in sustainable/conventional and organic agriculture production systems, agroforestry, horticulture, entomology, apiculture, and in food science and nutrition attributes of these crops. Undergraduate Research Assistant Positions are available in Division Units during the school year and the summer for interested students.

Division Program Units include:

  • Apiculture-Honeybee Program: Honey bee production and methods of identification and control of the pathogen Nosema ceranaeThomas Webster, PhD – Associate Professor (Research, Extension, and Teaching) and Marty Matisoff, Master of Science, Research Assistant (Research)
  • Forestry and Agroforestry: Focus areas include: silviculture, water quality, erosion and sedimentation control, habitat restoration, and agroforestry practices. Richard Cristan, PhD– Assistant Research Professor (Research and Extension)
  • Biotechnology and Plant Stress. Molecular biology approaches to study gene expression and genetic relationships in plants drought stress.  Farida Olden, PhD – Assistant Professor (Research)
  • Insect Management and Ecology Program: Conservation Biological Control to preserve and increase abundance and activity of beneficial insect populations in Agricultural crops.  John D. Sedlacek, PhD – Associate Professor (Research, Teaching, Administration, and Interim AFE Chair) and Karen Friley, Master of Science – Research Associate (Research)
  • Fruit Horticulture and Plant Genetics Program: Developing pawpaw, primocane fruiting blackberries, table and wine grapes, spicebush, and eastern filbert blight resistant hazelnuts as new or alternative crops for Kentucky. Kirk W. Pomper, PhD – Professor (Research, Teaching, Administration, and Interim Land Grant Director), Sheri B. CrabtreeMaster of Science, Research and Extension Associate (Research and Extension) and Jeremiah D. Lowe, Master of Science, Research Associate (Research)
  • Floriculture and Medicinal Plant Program: Development of unique orchid hybrids with cold temperature tolerance for use as ornamental plants in Kentucky. Hideka Kobayashi, PhD – Assistant Professor (Research and Teaching).
  • Sustainable and Organic Agroecosystems Program: Developing sustainable, diversified, organic agroecosystems in the field and in high tunnels and investigating modern production methods and applications for industrial hemp.  Shawn Lucas, PhD – Assistant Professor (Research, Extension, and Teaching), Derek Law, Master of Science, Research Associate (Research and Extension), and Ellyn Anthony, Interim Research Assistant (Research and Extension).
  • Urban Agriculture: Focus areas include nutrient management, runoff water quality, soil quality and contamination, and production systems in use and in development. Leigh Whittinghill, PhD – Assistant Professor of Urban Agriculture (Research, Extension and Teaching)
  • Scientific Communication: Examine methods of information transfer to enhance communication of scientific data with farmers and consumers. Christina McManus, PhD– Science and Technology Editor and Assistant Research Professor (Research and Extension)
  • Kentucky State University Research and Demonstration Farm: The 300-acre farm is the home to numerous research projects, including Apiculture, Aquaculture, Entomology, and Horticulture. Integrating these diverse projects on a small farm creates an environment that requires compatibility and sustainability. The KSU farm has fruit and vegetable projects, goat, beef, and poultry trials, as well as 11 acres of certified organic land which hosts a range of projects in organic agriculture. Eddie Reed, Farm Manager
  • Horticulture Extension and Outreach:   County Horticulture Agent – Mr. Stephen Lewis (Jefferson Co.)
  • Rural Development:  Extension Associate – Ms. Joni Nelson


John D. Sedlacek, PhD
Associate Professor and Interim Chair

Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Kentucky State University
400 East Main Street
103 Chappell Building
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 597-6582
Fax:      (502) 597-6371