Nancy Cox Honored with Bluegrass Tomorrow Vision Award

The University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture's Nancy Cox, MS, PhD, is one of Kentucky's visionaries and innovators who was honored at Bluegrass Tomorrow's 20th Anniversary Vision Awards/InnoVision Breakfast on Oct. 30 at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington.

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

In addition, she was invited to serve as one of four visionary panelists. Cox focused on the Equine Initiative and the recommendations that came out of a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG)-commissioned Equine Task Force, of which she was a member.

"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 Cox 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," he continued. "Nancy exemplifies the vision that Bluegrass Tomorrow awards."

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 that 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 Inc., 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 undertaken 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 Scott Smith, dean of the UK College of Agriculture. "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 & 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, please For more information about UK's Equine Initiative, please visit

Holly Wiemers, MS, is the communications director for UK's Equine Initiative.

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK's Equine Initiative.

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