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Agriculture and our rural communities face tremendous challenges in today’s political, social and economic environment. Thus, it is critical that this industry develop leaders to address these challenges and create opportunities for future generations.
The Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program (KALP) is an 18-month program administered by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It was designed to refine the leadership skills of active farmers, agribusiness professionals, and others employed in the agricultural sector who want to be on the cutting edge of decisions that will affect agriculture and rural communities in the 21st century.
Anderson County native Kaycie Len Sparrow resides in Franklin County with her husband Kip, where they co-operate a purebred black angus cattle operation with the Sparrow family.
She served for five years as the lead organizer and legislative agent for Community Farm Alliance overseeing rural membership, farm program initiatives and legislative campaigns. Sparrow is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education, communication and leadership. She has served in a professional capacity with Kentucky 4-H Youth Development, the National Farm-to-School Network on the southeast region steering committee, the Community Media Organizing Project and the Kentucky Agriculture Council as a member of the rural communities committee.
Sparrow is a native of Anderson County and a member of Sand Spring Baptist Church where she is involved with the children’s church ministry. She is a member of the Switzer Ruritan Club currently serving on the quilt committee, a member of the Franklin County Cattleman’s Association, Franklin County Farm Bureau and the Franklin County chapter of Community Farm Alliance. She volunteers with local 4-H programs, the Lawrenceburg Skate Park Committee, March of Dimes, American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In her spare time, Sparrow enjoys raising a vegetable garden, canning, quilting and working cattle with her husband.
KALP’s goal is to identify and empower young, motivated and energetic agriculturalists who seek to improve their leadership, management and communication skills to elevate the image and profitability of agriculture and to enhance the quality of life in rural communities.
KALP and its predecessor, the Philip Morris Agricultural Leadership Program, have graduated 245 individuals from this multistate program since its inception in 1985. Most of these individuals have assumed leadership positions since participating in the program. Class IX, made up of 20 Kentuckians and two Tennesseans, started in January 2010.