Michael Judge (center), a resident of Madison County, was the recipient of the Jackson Taylor Award for Exceptional Service to Agriculture. The award was presented to him by Bob Lilly (left), the president, and Adam Poff (right), the immediate past president, of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond.
Judge is the Director of Operations in the Kentucky Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy. In this capacity he serves as the new program development coordinator and supervisor of the Kentucky Agriculture Project Analyst Team and oversees the organization of the monthly Agricultural Development Board Meeting. He also serves as outreach liaison and primary liaison between the Governor's Office of Agricultural Policy and Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
In 2004 Judge went to Frankfort and joined the Department of Agriculture as the Director of the Division of Agriculture Marketing and Agribusiness Recruitment. From 2004 to 2008 he served as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Office of Agriculture Marketing and Product Promotion.
Judge has provided instruction and leadership at all levels of agriculture education and administration. He served for three years as an Instructor of Vocational Agriculture in Scott County. He next served as the Director of University Farms and Assistant Professor at Eastern Kentucky University for 22 years. During the 2003-2004 academic year at EKU he served as Chair of the Department of Agriculture.
The 1923-24 Kiwanis International Board introduced a policy advocating better relations between farmers and city men (which eventually developed into a longstanding farm-city partnership. Among projects fostered during that period was the initiation of farmer markets in Florida, and the formation of agricultural credit corporations to provide loans to farmers and the development of poultry clubs for rural youth in South Carolina,
In October 1955 the Kiwanis International Board issued a proclamation creating a Farm-City week in October, 1955. As part of this initiative, Kiwanians created a Farm-City Conference which was dedicated to improving the understanding of the mutual interdependence among farm, ranch, and city people. As a result of this initiative in 1955, 2,500 Kiwanis clubs scheduled Farm-City activities which included Farm-City Banquets and farm tours.
The Jackson Taylor Award for Service to Agriculture is named after Jack Taylor who is a 50 year member of Kiwanis and who has spent a lifetime providing service to Agriculture as a former county agent and as the developer and manager of educational working farms both at Berea College and at Eastern Kentucky University. Taylor was also instrumental in starting the first Farm-City Banquet when these were first initiated by Kiwanis International in the 1950s.
The Jackson Taylor Award for Service to Agriculture was presented to Michael Judge at the annual Madison County Farm-City Banquet at the Madison County Extension Office on Duncannon Lane.
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