Gracie Furnish National FFA Officer

UK Agricultural Education Student Elected to FFA National Office

“I’ve always been so passionate about agriculture and agricultural education. Anything I can do to advocate for that is important to me. This is an amazing opportunity to get to do that.” - Gracie Furnish, UK Agricultural Education student

RSS Mini Conference

CLD in the 2017 Rural Sociological Society Annual Conference

CLD faculty Keiko Tanaka has been named the President-Elect of the RSS. Dr. Julie Zimmerman serves as the Society’s Historian. Read more about their 2017 conference experiences.

Courtney Love

CLD Student Courtney Love Named to 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®

CLD student Courtney Love is one of 22 college recipients overall. This award shines a spotlight on the incredible stories of selflessness and community service displayed by these student-athletes and honorary head coach, and honors their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.

Rebekah Epps Award

UK Ag Ed professor named Career and Technical Postsecondary Teacher of the Year

The Kentucky Association for Career and Technical Education recently named University of Kentucky’s Rebekah Epps the Kentucky Farm Bureau Career and Technical Postsecondary Teacher of Year.

CLD Lyricism and Leadership

Leadership and community support from a UK hip hop class

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Associate Professor Bryan Hains and hip hop artist and community activist Devine Carama had been collaborating on other community projects when they decided to meld their talents for a short course in the Department of Community and Leadership Development.


Welcome to the Department of Community & Leadership Development!

Community & Leadership Development | Agricultural Education

Formed in the College of Agriculture in 2002, the Department of Community & Leadership Development brought faculty from rural sociology, agricultural education, agricultural communication, and program-and-staff development together in one unit. 

Forming a new department out of constituent pieces has meant changes not only for the department but in the history of the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. For example, both our undergraduate and graduate degree programs have been reorganized to better integrate and utilize the resources of the entire department, the agricultural communications program has been refocused on community communication to highlight the fundamental role of communication in both community and leadership development, and programs which were previously instruction-based (community communication and agricultural education) now contain active and successful research components. 

Our faculty has strong disciplinary training in such fields as communication, education, and rural sociology and takes pride in their disciplinary homes. When it comes to our overall focus, however, we are moving beyond the disciplinary approach of the past. Believing it best represents contemporary approaches to 21st century reality, we are more about the processes of functioning effectively in community and fostering ethical leadership.

Why Join Our Department?

Our mission is to strengthen the capacities of individuals, organizations, and communities to act on their shared visions and challenges. This development occurs at the intersection of community, communication, agriculture, education, and leadership. Our goal is to train and empower students to transform the rural and urban areas in Lexington and beyond.

The Community & Leadership Development department invites you to join us in making a difference, locally and globally.


UK CLD