The Center for Rural Development selects Adair County Middle School students to attend 2024 Rogers Explorers


The Center for Rural Development has selected five Adair County students to participate in the 2024 Rogers Explorers Program.


Adair County Middle School students Sarah Goforth, Sallie Ballou, Josie Blair, Ashley Loy, and Madisyn “Madi” Burns have been chosen as Rogers Explorers and invited to attend this summer’s program.


“The Rogers Explorers Program encourages middle school students to develop their leadership skills and explore new adventures while spending time on a leading Kentucky college campus,” said Lonnie Lawson, President and CEO of The Center for Rural Development. “We’re excited to welcome our 2024 Class of Rogers Explorers and for them to start their journey.”


Rogers Explorers is open to eighth-grade students in Southern and Eastern Kentucky who have a strong interest in developing their skills in leadership, team building, community service, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields of study.


This summer, approximately 184 Explorers will be spending three days and two nights on one of six partner Kentucky colleges or universities. While on campus, they will learn valuable leardership skills, complete a community service project, and partipate in hands-on learning.  


Rogers Explorers is presented by The Center for Rural Development in partnership with Lindsey Wilson College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, University of the Cumberlands, University of Pikeville, and Union College.


Sarah is the daughter of Michelle Feese of Columbia. Sallie is the daughter of Ben and Elizabeth Ballou of Columbia. Josie is the daughter of Brett Blair and Jennifer Blair of Columbia.

Ashley is the daughter of Michael and Robin Loy of Columbia. Madi is the daughter of Randy and Miranda Burns of Columbia.


For more information about Rogers Explorers, please contact Amber Decker( or Amy Ellis ( , visit or call 606-677-6000.


Established in 1996 through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers, (KY-05), and other leaders, The Center for Rural Development is a nonprofit organization fueled by a mission to provide leadership that stimulates innovative and sustainable economic development solutions and a better way of life in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. In its 45-county primary service region, The Center provides innovative programs in leadership, public safety, technology, arts and culture. The Center is committed to constantly expanding its capabilities in order to deliver a range of key services throughout Kentucky and the nation.

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