Woman with Money

CLD Grad Helps Launch Local Non-Profit

"All the classes in the CLD department led me to start my own nonprofit to benefit the community." We sat down with MS-CLD graduate Chrissy Herren to learn about her post-grad endeavors.

Lori Garkovich

10 Questions with Dr. Lori Garkovich

We sat down with Dr. Garkovich to ask 10 questions before her retirement in May 2018. Her interview is full of powerful insight about teaching and learning, in addition to life lessons applicable to any discipline.

Quilting Project

Dr. Karen Rignall Chosen for One of Only Seven Whiting Fellowships Nationwide

Dr. Rignall was awarded a Whiting Foundation Public Engagement Fellowship to pursue her research titled “Stories of Place in a Changing Appalachia”. Photo by Lyntha Scott Eiler.

Laura Rice

Ten Questions with Dr. Laura Rice

UK Ag Ed is thrilled to welcome Dr. Laura Sankey Rice to our Big Blue Family. In efforts to get to know a little bit more about her, we've posed ten questions.

February Guest Speaker

February Guest Speakers in CLD

Students in CLD 430 and 475 had the opportunity to hear from various community partners and their roles in local community development.

Maryanna Frazier

Interview with Ag Ed Undergrad Maryanna Frazier

"I would say my experience has been pretty amazing and phenomenal. I’ve grown so much as a student here; I’ve been challenged and been given great opportunities."


Student Activities: SOC/CLD 571

Students in SOC/CLD 571 Rural Sociology celebrate the life of the oldest rural sociologist in the nation.

Kelsey Knight Interview

Interview with CLD Alum Kelsey Knight

"Community and Leadership Development was this beautiful combination of exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to learn more about community systems, extension models, and wanted to be a better communicator and leader."

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

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.