Agriculture Research

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 ceranae. Thomas Webster, PhD – Associate Professor (Research, Extension, and Teaching) and Marty Matisoff, Master of Science, Research Assistant (Research)

Contact: Thomas Webster, PhD


Scientific Communication:

Forestry Picture

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)

Contact: Christina Mcmanus, PhD


and Plant Stress

Hand Planting Flower

Molecular biology approaches to study gene expression and genetic relationships in plants drought stress. Farida Olden, PhD – Assistant Professor (Research)

Contact: Farida Olden, PhD


Insect Management
and Ecology Program:

Picture of Insects

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).

Contact: John Sedlacek, PhD


 Fruit Horticulture
and Plant Genetics Program

Pictue of Fruit

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. Crabtree, Master of Science, Research and Extension Associate (Research and Extension) and Jeremiah D. Lowe, Master of Science, Research Associate (Research)

Contact: Kirk Pomper, PhD


and Medicinal Plant Program:

Medicinal plant picture

Development of unique orchid hybrids with cold temperature tolerance for use as ornamental plants in Kentucky. Hideka Kobayashi, PhD – Assistant Professor (Research and Teaching).

Contact: Hideka Kobayashi, PhD


Sustainable and
Organic Agroecosystems Program:

Picture of Greenhouses

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).

Contact: Shawn Lucas, PhD


Water and Soil Science:

Water and Soil Science picture

Examine water and soil contamination in Kentucky. Open Position – Professor (Research, Extension, Teaching) and Open Position, Extension and Research Assistant (Extension and Research)

Contact:  John Sedlacek, PhD


Kentucky State University
Research and Demonstration Farm:

Farm house and field

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.

Contact: Eddie Reed, Farm Manager


Horticulture Extension
and Outreach:

Horticulture Ext Picture

County Horticulture Agent – Mr. Stephen Lewis (Jefferson Co.)

Rural Development:


Extension Associate – Ms. Joni Nelson