Greenup County native Frank Hicks was recently honored for his contributions to agriculture in Kentucky.
Hicks was recognized in Clark County in the form of a new building at the county fair being named after Hicks.
Frank Hicks was born in Greenup County, and grew up on a 300-acre farm on what is now Thelma Lane. His father was a farmer, and his mother taught school.
“Most of the cash money we had came from her teaching school,” Hicks remembered. “And most of the food we ate came from the farm.”
Hicks attended local Greenup County schools, including Raceland High School where his mother taught. He then went to college at Berea to study agriculture, and then the University of Kentucky to study Agricultural Education with a goal of becoming a teacher. After college he was drafted and spent a year and a half in the Army, including most of 1970 being spent in Vietnam..
When he returned home from the Army, Hicks took a position at McKell, teaching horticulture. Hicks taught there for one semester, after which he moved to Winchester, Ky. and took a position teaching at George Rogers Clark High School in Clark County.
Hicks was there for 25 years, teaching vocational agricultural mechanization. From there he took an early retirement and went to work for the University of Kentucky as the extension agent for Clark County, a position he filled for fifteen and a half years. Throughout his time teaching and as an extension agent, Hicks was heavily involved in the Clark County Fair; and his involvement continued beyond retirement.
“I think being involved in the programs like FFA and 4-H goes well beyond initial involvement,” Hicks said. “It teaches you responsibility and a good work ethic, and shows you what it takes to see a project through from start to finish.”
The new concession building — which will provide food and drink for fairgoers — was also a project Hicks was involved in making happen. The project took months to complete with the effort of a great many volunteers. Hicks said that the concession building is primarily operated by the Clark County Cattlemen Association and is staffed by volunteers. One of those volunteers, no doubt, will be Hicks himself.
Though it has been decades since Hicks or his three sisters have lived in Greenup County (the home and farmland is rented out), he said that the lessons they learned there growing up has stayed with him, including his life-long passion for agriculture and responsible stewardship of natural resources. And though he is now retired, he still stays active in the field he has worked his entire life. Hicks is the Treasurer of the Clark County Cattlemen Association, he is on the State Board of Kentucky Woodland Owners Association, is the Director of Clark County Farm Bureau, and is a member and Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Winchester.