Krista Lea named 2019 Early Career Person by American Forage and Grasslands Council

Krista Lea named 2019 Early Career Person by American Forage and Grasslands Council

Krista Lea named 2019 Early Career Person by American Forage and Grasslands Council

Published on Jan. 16, 2019

The American Forage and Grasslands Council recognized Krista Lea with the 2019 Early Career Award earlier this month.  This award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the forage and grassland industry as a relatively new member of the field.  

Ray Smith, Extension Forage Specialist, and nominator, says “Krista is that rare combination of initiative, knowledge, leadership, attention to detail and service orientation that would make any program successful. Krista’s experience allows her to speak with authority with farm owners and managers, across the full range of scale of operations.”

Krista LeaKrista is the core of the UK Ag Equine Pasture Evaluation Program.  As the lead staff person on this project, Krista oversees identifying and engaging new customers as well as carrying out the essential observational and analytical work involved.  This program is now a model of effective extension delivery and consulting and has been used as a model in other states and highlighted at a recent European Equine Conference.

“Krista seems to make it her personal mission to share information with people about forages and pastures and finding just the right way to get that information across to help horse owners and the public in general. Her ability to work as a team member and encourage others is one of her greatest strengths. As one of our college faculty said, "She takes on multiple interns each year and nurtures them into being ardent educators of pastures and forages." These interns and other students have gone into successful careers within the horse industry and many other fields.  Krista's personal example of hard work with a great attitude is the best encouragement to others to have a similar attitude and to work together as a team,” states Smith.

In addition to coordinating the UK Ag Equine Pasture Evaluation Program, Krista also

  • Manages the NRCS RCPP Grant “Overgrazing and Soil degradation on KY Horse Farms”
  • Assists in data collection for the Southeastern Organic Dairy research grant
  • Coordinates multiple Kentucky forage events, including the Alfalfa and Stored Forages Conference, KY Grazing Conference, Novel Tall Fescue Renovation Workshop.
  • Chairs the National Forage Bowl Competition
  • Is co-editor of Kentucky Forage News, and
  • Regularly contributes articles to the Bluegrass Equine Digest.

Contact Information

Rebecca McCulley, Ph.D.
Department Chair

105 Plant Sciences Building Lexington, KY 40546-0312

(859) 257-5020