Murray State professor professor selected for Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program
A Murray State University professor was selected for the Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program (KALP) on Jan. 11.
Kristie Guffey is one of 22 members of Class 13, following her husband Jamie Guffey in Class 11. Originally from Cadiz, her family had a small beef cattle farm in Trigg County, where she participated in her high school’s FFA program and went on toserve as a state FFA officer.
Since 2019, Guffey has worked as an assistant professor of agriscience and graduate coordinator at Murray State. Prior to that, she was a high school agriculture educator for Carlisle County Schools and the FFA Leadership Training Center director.
“Because of that connection [in FFA], it made me want to teach agriculture and work with students,” Guffey said. “My credentials and title may have changed, but at the end of the day, I’m a teacher, and I’m still doing what I was called to do.”
Part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the KALP is a two-year program intended to further the leadership skills of young people in agricultural production and agribusiness.
The program is spread across eleven sessions and seven seminars focused on agricultural issues and practices, as well as leadership skills. Pandemic permitting, members will visit leaders in Frankfort, Washington D.C., another state and a foreign nation.
“We’re going to see agriculture from Padcuah to Pikeville and from Covington all the way down to Bowling Green, and within that see the different agricultural businesses and industries and the way that agriculture shapes the state of Kentucky,” Guffey said. “A lot of this is trying to be informed citizens and teaching us about advocacy and then putting that into practice.”
Guffey believes her previous agricultural experience may help prepare her for what’s to come as part of the KALP.
“With anything that we do in this life, we’re constantly learning and growing,” she said. ““I think one thing that’s really unique about agriculture is it’s a way of life, and it’s a tradition, and it’s an honor to be able to feed and clothe the world. To be a part of that is truly humbling.”
Other Class 13 members representing western Kentucky include Steven Elder from Mayfield, John David Fourqurean from Cadiz, Bradley Loftus from Gracey, Caleb Brown from Princeton, Nathaniel Keith from Olmstead, Robert Rouse from Hickman and Dore Hunt from Bowling Green.
The KALP has graduated 291 participants over the course of eleven classes.