Category: Vision Awards

Ron Mack Receives 2022 Vision Award for Diversity

Congratulations to our 2022 Vision Award for Diversity recipient, Ron Mack & Legacy Equine Academy.
The Vision Award for Diversity recognizes a unique and transformational approach to bringing diversity and the equine industry together.
The Legacy Equine Academy is meeting the needs of the Business and Equine Industry in partnership with Fayette County Public Schools, by identifying and overseeing a structured pathway for students that promotes entrepreneur, equine, and agricultural career related pathways.
We are honored to present this year’s Vision Award for Diversity to Ron Mack and the Legacy Equine Academy.

Y-Academy & YMCA of Central Kentucky Receive 2022 Vision Award for Human Services

Congratulations to our 2022 Vision Award for Human Services recipient, Y-Academy & YMCA of Central Kentucky.
The Vision Award for Human Services recognizes those who respond to community needs, and in this case did so during a global pandemic.
The Y-Academy enabled staff to be present to assist each student in the program to complete both virtual meetings and in-person assignments, communication with teachers virtually about learning objectivies, and manage up to 10-12 schedules per room daily because each school developed their own virtual schedules. This was all a truly remarkable collaboration between University of Kentucky and the YMCA, and an amazing and wonderful service to working parents and their children of this community.

Michael Blowen Receives 2022 Vision Award for Equine Agriculture

Congratulations to our 2022 Vision Award for Equine Agriculture recipient, Michael Blowen of Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Scott County.
Michael began his career as an educator, earned a master’s degree from Emerson College and pursued his career as a writer, which led to his first career as the Boston Globe’s top film reviewer.
An editor at the Globe invited him to the racetrack one day, it sparked a new interest, and eventally a new career. He even worked on the back stretch of Suffolk Downs for a time to learn about horses. When he retired from the Globe, he accepted a postion as the Operations Manager for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation in Kentucky, and we’re glad he did as he launched Old friends in 2003 and it has become one of Scot County’s top tourism attractions.
We are so proud to honor Michael Blowen and the Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm with our 2022 Vision Award for Equine Agriculture. He’s the best friend retirement horses have ever had.

Bettie Kerr Receives 2022 Vision Award for Historic Preservation

Congratulations to our 2022 Vision Award for Historic Preservation recipient, Bettie Kerr.
An Important element of Bluegrass Tomorrow’s Bluegrass Forever Green Division is its preservation emphasis, encouraging all types of historic preseration, adaptive reuse restoration, and infill. Perhaps no other individual has had more impact on Historic Preservation in Lexington than Bettie Kerr.
Bettie’s current work encompasses all aspects of historic preservation. It includes the study, research, and survey of properties and neighborhoods being considered for designation as Local Historic Districts. She also conducts architectural surveys and study of historic properties county-wide for nominations of historic properties to the Federal National Register of Historic Places and so much more.
Bettie has essentially touched every piece of historic preservation in Lexington for the last 30 years. We are very proud to honor Bettie Kerr with the 2022 Vision Award for Historic Preservation.

Anthony (A.J.) Jackson Receives 2022 Youth Vision Award

Congratulations to our 2022 Youth Vision Award Recipient, Anthony (A.J.) Jackson.
Anthony (A.J.) Jackson is a senior at Carter G. Woodson Academy and Locust Trace AgriScience Center, who has signed to play baseball and continue his education at Kentucky State University.
AJ is very accomplished at seventeen years old. He has held office in his school’s Student Government Association, is a member of the Bowtie Society for students with 3.5 or greater grade point average, and is a member of National Beta Club. He has served as a member of the Principal’s Ultimate Panel (Student Advocacy Group) and was awarded Honor Roll with Distinction, all four years of high school.
Additionally, AJ is on the Frederick Douglas High School Varsity Baseball Team and has made Academic All State – First Team, every season. He was selected to attend the Kentucky Farm Bureau Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders, was the Healthy Lifestyles Chair for FFA, Vice President of Jr. Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Relatted Sciences (MANRRS). He was named Jr. MANRRS Outstanding Member of 2019.
AJ is currently President of Carter G. Woodson Academy’s chapter of FFA, Vice President of Locut Trace’s Jr. MANRRS chapter and a student intern at AppHarvest.
AJ was a finalist for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Ag Athlete of the Year and recently was awarded the Fayette County Public Schools Nutrition Association Scholarship, The Legacy Equine Society Scholarship, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1890 National Scholars Program Scholarship.
AJ will graduate at the top of his class, never earning less than a 4.0 GPA weighted. In his senior year, he has earned 12 college credits that will follow him to the College of Agriculture at Kentucky State University. He plans to major in Agricultural Communications.
Former U.K. Basketball Star and AppHarvest team member Ramel Bradley, who guided AJ in his senior co-op with AppHarvest says this:
“It’s not every day that you come across a young scholar so dedicated and committed to serving his community. As passionate about sports as he is about furthering his education, AJ is driven to create sustainable solutions to the challenges we face in the Agriculture industry. AJ is becoming a force for good. I am proud to witness his journey.”
Bluegrass Tomorrow is proud to present it’s 2022 Youth Vision Award to Anthony (AJ) Jackson!

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.