About Safe Farm Steward Project


SAFE FARM STEWARD PROJECT is a federally funded project, supported by the Southeast Center for Agricultural Safety and Injury Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The project's aim is to encourage farmers to become stewards of safe farm practices and the application you are about to complete will assist the farmer and farm family to be identified as a SAFE FARM STEWARD. It is the intent of this project that over 3,000 farms and farm families throughout the south are acknowledged as a steward.

If the opportunity arises for you to complete 10 Safe Farm Steward applications, you will be certified as a Safe Farm Advocate : granting you permission to provide trainings to others so they have access to assisting farmers in completing the Safe Farm Steward Application.

If you have any questions regarding the application, please contact Dr. Stacy Vincent at 859-257-7588.

About Us


Dr. Stacy Vincent is a professor of agricultural education at the University of Kentucky. His primary responsibilities include research, teaching, and outreach among underrepresented populations within the agriculture field.

Born and raised on a family farm in foothills of Appalachia, Kentucky, he has a passion for working to assist others to elevate and become exposed to populations that are different from their own. His research focuses on cultural inclusion and multiculturalism which serves as a wonderful tool to assist underserved populations and communities through agricultural education and farm safety & health. Dr. Vincent taught high school agriculture for seven years in Bardstown, Kentucky where he was named Region IV NAAE Teacher of the Year and Kentucky Teacher of the Year. In 2022, Dr. Vincent was recognized by the American Association for Agricultural Education for the best research manuscript/presentation in agricultural education and named the Outstanding Teacher Educator for the Southern Region of the American Association for Agricultural Education.

The Vincent family manage and operate a 340-acre family forage and beef farm.



Project Investigator

- Stacy K. Vincent, Ph.D.


Dr. Namkoong is an associate professor of communication at the University of Maryland. His research focuses on the interrelationships between emerging media and health communication, with areas of focus including web- and mobile-based eHealth system effects, occupational health and safety, and health promotion for underserved populations.

Dr. Namkoong has about 40 peer-reviewed articles published in such prestigious journals as Journal of National Cancer Institute Monographs, Cancer, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, and Journal of Public Health. For his emerging media and health communication research, Dr. Namkoong has secured several extramural grants from government funding agencies, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).



Project Investigator

- Kang Namkoong, Ph.D.


I'm an assistant professor of Agriculture Education at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. I grew up on a small family farm in Independence, VA where we raised cattle and a few chickens. I attended Virginia Tech and received my B.S. in Agricultural Education and a M.S. in Agricultural Sciences. I taught agriculture at Floyd County High School in Floyd, VA for six years before heading to Iowa State University for my Ph.D. in Agricultural Education & Studies. I taught at Clemson University for six years focusing on agricultural mechanics and graduate level courses. I then moved to West Virginia University for two and a half years teaching agricultural mechanics and revamping their laboratory spaces. Then in January of 2023 I started working at ABAC to help bring an agricultural mechanics lens to the program.

My teaching is focus on the preparation of future agriculture teachers by teaching various courses related to method of instruction, agriscience applications, agricultural mechanics, and supervising student teachers. My research has been focused on teaching agricultural mechanics and agricultural safety. These areas are important to me because agricultural mechanics is the foundation of how agricultural practices are carried out and safety must be maintained. We all have either experienced or witnessed relatives or friends have accidents related to agricultural practices, including myself. My goal as part of this research team is to help promote safe agricultural practices in our schools and communities. We have successfully help change safety behaviors and perceptions of youth in rural communities in the Appalachian Region related to roll-over accidents and the need for roll-over protective systems because this is the number one cause of deaths on a farm. I hope our efforts with this Farm Safe Steward project will have the same effect on our post-secondary students and communities to help increase and shed a positive light on those implementing safe agricultural practices on their farms.



Project Investigator

- Preston Byrd, Ph.D.


Ruth Toole is currently a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Kentucky pursuing her Master of Science degree in Agricultural Education. In the spring of 2023, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from North Carolina State University.

Growing up on a commercial pumpkin, corn, and soybean operation in Nelson County, Virginia, Ruth was instilled with a passion for agriculture at a young age. Combining that strong passion with her desire to educate others has led her to pursue a career in agricultural education. Ruth’s area of focus with her graduate studies is assisting with the Safe Farm Steward project. She is especially passionate about this topic since she has seen firsthand how important safety is in agricultural operations through working on her family’s farm.



Graduate Research Assistant

- Ruth D. Toole


Yongwook Song is a Software/Data Professional III at the University of Kentucky. He has been with the university since 2008 and has held a variety of positions, including Computational Research Engineer and Engineer Associate III. He received his M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky in 2008.

Yongwook is an expert in web application development, mobile application development, machine learning, VR/AR development, monitoring, and database management. He has published several papers in journals and conferences. Yongwook is passionate about using technology to solve real-world problems.

Click here to view Yongwook Song's LinkedIn page.



Software Engineer / Developer

- Yongwook Song


Siqiao "Austin" Ao is a Ph.D. student in Communication Science. After completing his B.A. at Beijing Normal University and M.F.A. from Syracuse University, Austin became an award-winning broadcast media content creator, producing numerous films, documentaries, and social media pieces for global audiences. At UMD, Austin's research focuses on the role of emerging media and technologies in health communication. In addition to research and media production, Austin is actively involved in an initiative to help immigrant communities better navigate the U.S. healthcare system toward improving one's well-being.



Graduate Assistant

- Siqiao "Austin" Ao