University of Kentucky College of Agriculture


Research has been a priority for the University of Kentucky (UK) since the establishment of its agricultural experiment stations in 1885—25 years before the UK’s College of Agriculture was formally established. Broadly, the purpose of UK research now, as then, is to expand and offer access to relevant knowledge. Therefore, CEDIK strives to provide and be a key source of research pertaining to community and economic development for individuals, organizations, and communities throughout Kentucky. If you have any question about our research priorities or capabilities, please contact CEDIK’s Research Director James Allen at or (859) 218-4386.


CEDIK’s most accessible work is the County Data Profiles, which are two-page summaries made for each of Kentucky’s 120 counties that provide recent information on various topics, including the overall economy, healthcare, and the agriculture, retail, workforce, and small business sectors. These can be found here: Information in the profiles has been used by extension agents and other community leaders to design more effective programs and policies throughout the state.


Additional work is focused around CEDIK’s three pillars—vibrant economies, engaged communities, and strong healthcare systems—through research and publication in these areas. Examples of activities in these areas include, but are not limited to, the following:


Engaged Communities:

  • Research on impact of local foods and food purchasing behavior. For example, research on the effect of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions on eating behaviors and health outcomes, funded by USDA Agricultural Market Service, Farmers’ Market Promotion Program.
  • Publication in the Journal of Extension about Kentucky’s Extension Fine Arts Program, entitled “Resident Valuation of Kentucky’s Extension Fine Arts Program”:
  • Data profile for Southeastern Kentucky’s Promise Zone:


Vibrant Economies:

  • GIS-based market research for Kentucky’s first Economic Gardening program called Grow KY.  This is a joint economic development program with Kentucky’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC).
  • The Kentucky Entrepreneurship Survey, which collected data from over 1,400 Kentuckians on what makes an entrepreneur successful, has produced research for publication and presentation at the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association meetings.
  • Research on the potential impact of restaurant taxes on restaurant demand throughout Kentucky.


Strong Healthcare Systems:

  • Conducted an evaluation of over 200 health projects implemented by the Appalachian Regional Commission in the past decade, which required case studies and an online survey.
  • Publication in The Journal of Rural Health about health care facilities in rural Kentucky, entitled “Residents’ Willingness-to-Pay for Attributes of Rural Health Care Facilities."
  • Completion of the 2012 Kentucky Health Market Report, which was funded by the Foundation for a Health Kentucky.