HEMP PROGRAM MANAGER, KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Doris Hamilton is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture and a life-long farmer from Central Kentucky. She began her career as a Research Analyst at the UK Chandler Medical Center’s Department of Surgery where she managed the research labs for multiple divisions. Doris’ off-farm career then transitioned to agriculture service in her local community for 11 years working for the County Farm Bureau organization. In 2013, Doris accepted a position with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. She has been an integral part of the implementation of the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program at KDA since the beginning. Doris currently serves as the Industrial Hemp Program Manager. Away from the office, she continues to farm with her family and has served in leadership roles with the Cattlemen’s Association, Cooperative Extension Service, and Farm Bureau.
AGRONOMIST SPECIALIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Tom Keene is an Agronomist Specialist at the University of Kentucky. Mr. Keene works closely with agents and producers to help establish, harvest, package, store, test, transport and market Kentucky forages. He has also worked with native warm season grasses being utilized for energy, grazing as well as for hay. He is now working with hemp focusing on sustainable agronomic practices and its many opportunities for Kentucky farmers.
Prior to that, Mr. Keene was agricultural manager for both Spendthrift Farm and North Ridge Farm in Lexington, KY from 1979 until 1988. His primary responsibilities were maintaining and improving forage quality for all horse pastures. Mr. Keene was also responsible for the procurement of all hay and straw needs for those thoroughbred operations. From 1989 until early 2005, he was a hay and straw broker with Charles T. Creech, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He is also past President of the American Forage and Grassland Council and past President of the National Forage Testing Association. Mr. Keene and his wife reside in Lexington, KY. He has also served on the Board of Directors of several other forage related organizations.
DR. TONY BRANNON
DEAN, HUTSON SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURE AT MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY
Dr. Brannon serves as Dean of the School of Agriculture at Murray State University. In addition to his leadership as dean, Tony has also been instrumental in forming the West Kentucky AgBioworks Initiative to promote Agri-Energy in the region. This initiative has secured funding to implement several projects regarding Agri-Energy. Just recently, Murray State received a USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant to help supplement the implementation of a Kentucky Department of Energy and Environment Grant to install a bioburner and they also had the first legal planting of Agricultural Hemp in the nation.
Dr. Brannon also manages and operates the Brannon Family farm in Puryear, Tennessee. The diverse family farm consists of corn, wheat, soybeans and beef cattle and most recently, biomass crops. In 2005, he became involved with the University of Tennessee switchgrass project with an initial planting of 15 acres of Alamo variety. In 2008, he became involved with Memphis BioDimensions and was one of the members of their 25 Farmer Network. As part of this project, he planted an additional 5 acres of Ceres switchgrass. His sons have formed Brannon AgriEnergy and have worked with several additional biomass crops.
DR. BOB PEARCE
UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY, EXTENSION TOBACCO SPECIALIST
PhD. Soil Chemistry, 1994, University of Georgia.
M.S. Soil Science, 1989, University of Kentucky
B.S. Agronomy, 1987, University of Kentucky
Conservation tillage practices for tobacco production
Nitrogen fertilization of burley tobacco for yield and leaf quality.
AREAS OF INTEREST:
Tobacco Production, Soil Chemistry, Soil Fertility, Soil Conservation
DR. SHAWN LUCAS
ASST. PROFESSOR OF ORGANIC AGRICULTURE, KENTUCKY STATE UNIVERSITY
At Kentucky State University, Dr. Shawn Lucas and his research team conduct studies on diversified organic farming systems that will ultimately help producers answer questions about developing best management practices for their operations. They are currently investigating the effects of integrating pastured small-ruminant livestock into organic crop rotations. Such rotations are increasingly being adopted on small- and medium-sized organic farms across the state. Dr. Lucas’ team is examining impacts on soil quality and water quality in response to this integrated rotation system. Results from this study may help producers make important management decisions.
In addition to his organic systems research Dr. Lucas coordinates a nationally recognized research program on industrial hemp at Kentucky State University, which has participated in the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program since its inception in 2014. Current research efforts include examination of the impacts of field retting of fiber hemp on soil quality, examination of impacts of several biofertilization products on crop biomass, grain yields, and soil enzyme activity, and aquaponic production of hemp. Lucas and his team are also developing several lines of research to examine how hemp best fits into organically managed systems in Kentucky, including variety trials and examination of agronomics and economics in organic rotations. Results from these studies may provide useful information to producers, processors and marketers participating in the growing hemp industry in Kentucky. At the heart of his research interests is the concept of sustainability. Dr. Lucas says of his work “I have long had an interest in helping farmers develop best management practices that will enhance their soil resource and enhance ecosystem services in production operations that are ultimately profitable and socially acceptable for producers, consumers, and communities.”