Photo of Dr. Leigh Maynard

Leigh Maynard

Professional Profile

Leigh Maynard is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky.  He also serves as the Faculty Director of The Food Connection, a unit housed in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. The Food Connection has a nationally unique scope of activities, coordinating food systems scholarship across the university, delivering experiential education to students and the community, helping local farm and food businesses access markets, and working with the university’s dining services provider to fulfill contractual local food sourcing requirements.

Leigh served as Department Chair from July, 2011 to December, 2017.  During that period, the department employed faculty and staff in 8 locations statewide, served approximately 250 undergraduate students and 50 graduate students, and became the administrative home for Kentucky’s Small Business Development Centers.  Activities as chair included raising the placement of PhD graduates in faculty positions by expanding opportunities to teach, present research, and gain extension experience.  At the undergraduate level, a focus on experiential education led to new relationships with employers, prominent competition team performances, and tripling of study abroad rates.  Prior to becoming department chair, Leigh was on the University of Kentucky faculty since 1998, teaching and doing research in ag marketing.  He received NACTA and university-level teaching awards.  Examples of research impact include influencing local land use planning and federal dairy price risk management policy.  Leigh received a PhD from Penn State in 1998 and a BS degree from Cornell University in 1988.  Before entering academia, he was an expatriate tax consultant for Ernst and Young in New York City, and for Price Waterhouse in New Jersey. 

Contact me for assistance with:

Local Food Systems

University/Committee Involvement

Faculty Director, Food Connection; Coordinator, Food Systems Initiative; Board Vice-President, KCARD; Kentucky Proud Advisory Council


Google Scholar citations



Ph.D. | Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University, 1998

M.S. | Agricultural Economics, The Pennsylvania State University, 1994

B.S. | Marketing and Business Management, Cornell University, 1988