University of Kentucky College of Agriculture


Kentucky Extension Leadership Development (KELD) curriculum

Contact: Kristina Ricketts ( or 859-257-3767)

Building the capacity of volunteer leaders within counties is critical for community sustainability and viability. Developing leadership is a primary way to build capacity, while also having a positive effect on community infrastructure, groups and families. Through a partnership between Extension specialists, FCS, 4-H and Ag agents, the Kentucky Extension Leadership Development curriculum has been developed. The curriculum consists of a fact sheet, and a facilitator’s guide within one of four contexts (FCS, 4-H, Ag, general). The fact sheets are written for a general grassroots audience, and are designed to be presented by extension agents to their community audiences (through guidance from the facilitator’s guide). The curriculum continues to be developed and some components have been presented in trainings. To explore the curriculum, please go to this link:

Building Community Leaders for Tomorrow (BCLT) Program

Contact: Kristina Ricketts ( or 859-257-3767)

Building civic capacity and personal leadership awareness are imperative in developing a viable, action-based community.  Challenges abound for today’s communities – not the least of which include social, economic, and environmental concerns.  It has been determined by many local leaders that if economic and community development is to occur, it is their responsibility to make it happen.  Through training and development focused on community-oriented factors, the Building Community Leaders for Tomorrow (BCLT) program assists in actively developing effective leadership skills for extension agents and community members, while encouraging action through civic engagement.  Topics of instruction include:

   1. Knowledge of self-leadership

   2. Change-oriented leadership

   3. Negotiation

   4. Conflict management

   5. KAI/problem-solving style

   6. Community action

   7. Aspects of non-profit leadership

   8. Civic engagement in the community

These topics and many others are presented in two ways – 1) through Extension in-services offered to any interested agent, and 2) through individual seminars developed for a specific target audience.  The individual seminars may be initiated by an extension agent, leader of a community or civic organization, or director of any group that is interested in developing and enhancing their group’s leadership skills.

 Typical clients for the program are a community organization on behalf of the community.  The client community will identify a target group of participants for whom it wishes to host the program.

Costs and scheduling: Varies. To begin the BCLT Program in your community, contact Kristina Ricketts ( or 859-257-3767).

Empowering Leaders in Kentucky (ELK) Program

Contact: Kristina Ricketts ( or 859-257-3767)

Families make up a key component of today’s communities, regardless of whether they are urban or rural.  Often, it is families that provide the foundation for viable communities, and individuals from all aspects of the family who make up today’s leaders.  Therefore, it is particularly important that these individuals have effective leadership training, ideally so they can make a difference in their community.  Through a partnership between the department of Community & Leadership Development and the Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Program, the Empowering Leaders in Kentucky (ELK) program has been developed to train FCS agents on how to be better leaders, and to assist them in bringing that knowledge to families within their communities.  Curriculum will be developed and presented in a series of trainings.  Areas of instruction and ELK publications available online at


Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute (KECI)

Contact: Ron Hustedde, Director ( or 859-257-3186)

The Kentucky Entrepreneurial Coaches Institute (KECI) is a unique program that seeks to build entrepreneurial leaders, advocates and coaches in Kentucky’s 41 tobacco-dependent counties as a response to declining tobacco income. Our goal is to work with volunteer local leaders and give them the tools to strengthen an entrepreneurial culture, entrepreneurial infrastructure and to coach entrepreneurs.  We want the region to become one of the most potential rural entrepreneurship centers in the country.

Recently, the Coaches Institute has expanded to offer programs about entrepreneurship to elected officials, elementary and high school students and communities that are interested in learning more about how to strengthen entrepreneurship. We offer educational tours to showcase rural entrepreneurship initiatives and innovative entrepreneurs, especially youth.

Visit the KECI website at for more information.