Cox to be Honored by Bluegrass Tomorrow

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Nancy Cox will be one of Kentucky’s visionaries and innovators honored at Bluegrass Tomorrow’s 20th Anniversary Vision Awards/InnoVision Breakfast Oct. 30 at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington.

The event is open to the public for a donation of $35 and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m.

Cox, associate dean for research in UK’s College of Agriculture, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station director and administrative leader for UK’s Equine Initiative, is being recognized for her long-term vision in support of the Bluegrass and its signature equine industry.

In addition, she has been invited to serve as one of four visionary panelists and will focus on the Equine Initiative and the recommendations that came out of a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government-commissioned Equine Task Force, of which she was a participant.

“Bluegrass Tomorrow has recognized from its inception 20 years ago that, as a region, our greatest common denominator is the unique land itself,” said Don Robinson, director of Bluegrass Tomorrow, current president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, and fourth generation Thoroughbred farm owner and breeder. “This Bluegrass has produced most of the best equine athletes in the world for some 200 years. Under the passionate direction of Nancy Cox, UK’s Equine Initiative was conceived and is being implemented to coordinate education, service and science under one roof to sustain and support equine enterprises for the people and businesses of the commonwealth.

“Nancy has built relationships with farm management, veterinarians, agricultural engineers, educators, and researchers in order to identify needs to maintain and strengthen Kentucky's signature industry. She exemplifies the vision that Bluegrass Tomorrow awards,” he added.

According to Bluegrass Tomorrow, vision awards are presented to individuals or organizations for efforts devoted to specific community improvement or projects that have a positive impact on the citizens of central Kentucky.

Those eligible for the award include any individual or organization in the Bluegrass who has completed or is in the process of completing an innovative, forward-thinking project that improves quality of life, social capital or creative talent, or promotes the best examples of smart growth planning, new urbanism, historic preservation, urban infill, or preservation of farmland and green space. These individuals are recognized for devoting relentlessly their time, efforts, and talents toward community service or their project. Their project enhances the quality of life for the citizens of Central Kentucky, and their project is innovative and visionary in its purpose and/or approach.

"The Commonwealth of Kentucky is very fortunate to have Nancy Cox at UK's College of Agriculture, and her global vision for a first-class, thriving equine industry,” said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington and co-chair of the LFUCG Equine Task Force. “I have been associated with many excellent leaders in my 20 years of chamber work, but Nancy is one of the best visionaries and results-oriented leaders that I have had the privilege of working with."

The awards are a direct result of the Bluegrass InnoVision 2018 process during 2009 in which innovative projects from 22 similar markets around the country were identified, according a news release from the organization. The group then examined the Central Kentucky region for quality-of-life innovations that are having the biggest impact on the region.

“As the College of Agriculture constructed its Equine Initiative, Nancy has been both the architect and the builder,” said UK College of Agriculture Dean Scott Smith. “It was not only her vision, but her commitment and energy that led to the success and impact of this transformative project.”

Cox was nominated for the award by Carol Hanley, director of engagement in UK’s Tracy Farmer Institute for Sustainability and the Environment.

“Dean Cox had the vision and leadership skills to identify a void in equine-related services in central Kentucky and create a comprehensive program to fill that void," Hanley said. "The equine community and all of us in the College of Agriculture are very proud of her efforts.

For more information about Bluegrass Tomorrow, visit For more information about UK’s Equine Initiative, visit

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