Month: May 2022

AppHarvest & Jonathan Webb Receive 2022 Vision Award for Agriculture & Sustainability

Congratulations to the 2022 Vision Award for Agriculture & Sustainability Recipients AppHarvest & Jonathan Webb.
AppHarvest categorically defines sustainability, and is totally aligned with Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Land Use and Agricultural mission. Even Martha Stewart has invested in this remarkable innovation in agriculture founded by entrepreneur Jonathan Webb.
AppHarvest is adding three more farms in the Bluegrass in 2022 adding berries and salad greens. It’s newest indoor farms in Morehead and Somerset are preceded by the flagship facility growing tomatoes in Morehead. The 30 acre Somerset facility will grow berry crops, a 15 acre facility in Berea will grow leafy greens; and a 60 acre facility in Richmond will grow vine crops. AppHarvest’s goal is to operate 12 high-tech indoor farms by the end of 2025.
AppHarvest also has offices in Lexington and public retail space at the new Greyline Station. Bluegrass Tomorrow and AppHarvest will be kicking off a new program called “Green Stars of the Bluegrass” The program will take us to the top sustainability attractions in our region for tours and green drinks. the first one will be at AppHarvest in the Greyline Station on August 11th.
It is with great pleasure we presented the 2022 Vision Award for Agriculture to an organization reinventing farming on an ever-changing planet. We are so glad they are doing that here in central and eastern Kentucky.

Daryl Smith Receives 2022 Robert N. Clay Award

Congratulations to Daryl W. Smith of Kentucky Utilities for being awarded the 2022 Robert N. Clay Award.
The Robert N. Clay Award is named for Bluegrass Tomorrow’s first President, who operated Three Chimneys Farm. This Vision Award is essentially a most valuable player award for Bluegrass Tomorrow. It is presented to a board member for outstanding service, improvement and promotion of Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Mission through the years. The award is given with the approval of the selection committe and executive committee.
Our 2022 Robert Clay Award winner has been a rock star for Bluegrass Tomorrow. We could have asked for a better representative and public relations advocate for the organization over the last decade. He has served 5 terms for the organization including two years as vice chair and three as chair. Daryl Smith has also been the right leader at the right time. He has skillfully and creatively guided the organization through difficult financial and programmatic pandemic times.
One of the projects that came out of Daryl’s “Strategic Doing” brainstorming sessions was a public service campaign called “Fall in Love with the Bluegrass All Over Again”. The campaign spots ran on local TV stations and cable outlets.
Daryl has been as actively involved in the day-to-day business of Bluegrass Tomorrow as any chair we’ve ever had. He has been onsistently present and leading all of our board and executive committee meetings for three years. He has also chaired our Education Division, been integrally involved in the start ups of our Regional Land Use Partnerships, and part of our most recent success with the Presidents/Superintendents Summits in partnership with the Central Kentucky Educational Cooperative.

Dr. Lyle Roelofs Receives Vision Award for Excellence In Education

Congratulations to Berea College President, Dr. Lyle Roelofs! We were honored to present you with the 2022 Vision Award for Excellence in Education.

President Roelofs, who has announced his decision to retire effective June 30, 2023, has been a great friend of Bluegrass Tomorrow and was integral in the development of the current Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium programs. He co-chaired the consortium for 3 years and hosted and spoke at the Academic Leadership Academy at Berea College. He has participated in many other Bluegrass Tomorrow summits, meetings, & events through the years.

President Roelofs has also been an advocate for diversity and students with socio-economic difficulties. He has brought attention to these issues during his tenure and in recent Presidents-Superintendents discussions. A testament to the Great Commitments at Berea College from Acts 17:26 that “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth.”





Nick Rowe Receives 2022 Bluegrass Legacy Award

The Bluegrass legacy Award is presented to an individual or organization which has made a lasting impact with long-time dedication to the Bluegrass Region. Certainly Nick Rowe, of Kentucky American Water Company, meets those criteria. Nick is retiring after 35  years of service to our region.

In 2007, the Public Relations Society of America’s thoroughbred Chapter selected Rowe to receive its Communicator of the Year Award. He has also held board positions with the Lexington Industrial Foundation, The Central Bank Advisory Board, and the United Way. It is a great honor to announce that the 2022 Bluegrass Legacy Award was presented to Nick Rowe, of Kentucky American Water company.


Luther Deaton Receives 2022 Josephine Abercrombie Award

Congratulations to Luther Deaton, of Central Bank. We were honored to name you as Recipient of the 2022 Josephine Abercrombie Award for Lifelong Service to the Bluegrass.
This award is presented in honor of the late Josephine Abercrombie. It is presented to those who exemplify her commitment & efforts inour region. It is the highest honor Bluegrass Tomorrow can bestow upon an individual who give selflessly to improve our Bluegrass Region.
Luther Deaton has done just that for more than four decades, leading our region on quality of life and econoomic develpment successes. He is a good friend and long-time Vision Society supporter of Bluegrass Tomorrow. Deaton also was presented the Volunteers of America “Tribute Award of Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Kentucy in 2005, and was also apointed as Kentucky's representative on the American Bankers Association Government Relations Council Administration Committee and received the 2014 American Heart Association Honoree Award at the Annual Lexington Heart Ball.

2022 Vision Awards Breakfast

Partial List of Vision Award Winners Released Below
Register Now: Registration Link
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Bluegrass Tomorrow Announces a Partial List of 2022 Vision Awards Recipients To Be Presented at May 24 Vision Awards Breakfast

Luther Deaton

Nick Rowe

Lyle Roelofs


Bluegrass Tomorrow has announced that Luther Deaton of Central Bank will receive the Josephine Abercrombie Award for lifelong service.  Nick Rowe of Kentucky American Water, who has announced his retirement after 35 years, will receive the Bluegrass Legacy Award.  President Lyle Roelofs of Berea College, also retiring after a tenure of 11 years, will receive the Excellence in Education Vision Award.

All awards are to be presented at the annual Vision Awards Breakfast on Tuesday, May 24 at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort.
The annual Vision Awards Breakfast is a time-honored tradition paying tribute to the best of the 18-county Bluegrass Region each year, related to improving quality of life and place, Bluegrass Tomorrow's mission.
In addition, Daryl Smith of LG&E-KU will be honored with the Robert N. Clay Award for outstanding service to the region and Bluegrass Tomorrow.  Smith has chaired Bluegrass Tomorrow for three years since 2020, and capably and creatively steered the organization through the pandemic.
More Vision Awards to be presented on May 24 are:  AppHarvest (Vision Award for Agriculture & Sustainability), Old Friends Farm in Scott County (Vision Award Equine/Agriculture) the YMCA/UK “Y-Academy” (Vision Award Human Services), Bettie Kerr, LFUCG Historic Preservation Officer (Vision Award for Historic Preservation), and the Legacy Equine Academy's Ron Mack (Vision Award for Diversity), and Anthony A.J. Jackson a senior at both Carter G. Woodson Academy and Locust Trace AgriScience Center, in Fayette County Public Schools (Youth Vision Award).


Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Griffin Gate Marriot Golf Resort & Spa

7:30 a.m. Registration

8:00 a.m. Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Vision Awards Program, Videos & Presentations


$40 Individual Breakfast

$75 Individual Breakfast & One Year Membership

$500 Table Sponsorship- Table of seating 10

(see sponsorship opportunities below) 


Click HERE to Register Now!