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As Kentucky Living magazine celebrates 75 years, we are opening the archives to make selected articles available each month in 2023. Click the links below to sample your magazine through the years on topics like energy and agriculture, education, gardening, travel, food and more.

February: Education

September 1964: Summer training courses

Nearly 1,200 boys attended summer training at the Kentucky Future Farmers of America Leadership Training Center in Hardinsburg. Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. sponsored three classes: boating, hunter safety and electricity. Instructors in each of the classes were high school teachers, and attendees represented 125 FFA chapters throughout the state. During the six weeklong sessions, 224 boys completed the electrical course, 115 learned the proper way to operate row boats and motorboats, and 149 youths were instructed in hunter safety.

September 1985: Simulating real-life experience

Louisville’s Shirleen Sisney, a high school economics teacher who was recognized as Teacher of the Year by the Encyclopedia Britannica, Good Housekeeping and the Council of Chief State School Officers, shared her secrets to student success. Sisney created a simulation of a community within her classroom. Students earned chips to represent money, had jobs and had to pay bills. “One of my primary teaching goals is to develop a sense of self-worth and self-reliance in my students and I work hard to make them not need me,” she wrote.

February 2008: A major decision

For some college students, choosing a major is easy. For others, it’s not. Fifteen years ago, half to two-thirds of all college students were expected to change their major at least once. “It’s a mistake trying to orient students to a particular field before they’re ready,” said Karl Wallhausser, then a student advisor at Union College. According to 2004 data from the U.S.Department of Education, the top five majors for bachelor’s degree programs were (in order) business, social sciences and history, education, psychology and visual/performing arts.

January: Farm Innovation

January 1952: Electricity transforms farm life

Rural electrification created new opportunities for farm families, from home to the milking barn to the henhouse. In January 1952, Kentucky Electric Co-Op News (as the magazine was then called) explored the growing number of farmers who used heat lamps for brooding chicks. “Enough have used this type of brooding to show that it is a satisfactory method,” the editors wrote. “However, many problems are yet to be solved, and some needed equipment is yet to be developed.” The magazine’s early decades show a sustained focus on helping consumer-members make the best use of new technology on their farms.

November 1994: Navigating tobacco’s demise

In 1953, the editors of this magazine wrote, “Nothing will ever replace tobacco as the chief cash crop on Kentucky’s farms.” But just 41 later, in November 1994, our pages pondered a new question: could Kentucky’s most important crop survive? With tobacco’s future “anything but certain,” Nancy Grant explored whether the crop—valued at $836 million in 1993—could be used for non-smoking-related products. “Will ‘tobacco grower’ still be a viable occupation in the 21st century?” Grant asked. “Should Kentucky’s 60,000 tobacco growers be looking for alternatives?”

March 2019: Small-scale vegetable growing

Much has changed in Kentucky agriculture since 1948, but ingenuity and innovation are a constant. Just one example: Chris and Mary Breeze, featured in a March 2019 article by Michelle Eigenheer, ran a mini-farm in conjunction with their full-time jobs. The Breezes used a greenhouse and a high tunnel, which was funded by a USDA grant, to supply 15 families and several local restaurants with fresh produce from just 1.5 acres. The Fleming-Mason Energy consumer-members also used social media and a weekly email newsletter to share their enthusiasm with customers.

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