UK to Host Signature Industries Career Fair in September 

By Jordan Strickler 

The University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment will host the 2023 Kentucky Signature Industries Career Fair. The Sept. 28 event highlights two of the state’s most iconic industries, equine and bourbon.

UK Ag Equine Programs has held an annual career fair for over a decade. In 2022, the program initiated a partnership with the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits to create the Kentucky Signature Industries concept. This year’s fair will continue the collaboration to expose students to part- and full-time jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities in both industries.

“The Signature Industries Career Fair is a pivotal event that brings together job seekers and employers with a common mission, to help the equine and distilling industries continue to thrive,” said Savannah Robin, internship coordinator for UK Ag Equine Programs. “We are excited to host an event of this magnitude again this year and eager to see our students and alumni continue to shine as they display their professionalism in this capacity.”

The fair will take place in the UK Gatton Student Center from 2-5 p.m. EDT. The event is open to any college student in the state interested in the equine, distilling, wine and brewing industries, as well as related areas such as finance, hospitality, supply chain, engineering, accounting, tourism, communication and more. Last year’s fair drew 60 employers and more than 300 students.

“The many professional opportunities and exciting career paths in Kentucky’s equine and bourbon industries make this a very special event for all participants; students and employers alike,” said James MacLeod, director of UK Ag Equine Programs. “The success of last year’s inaugural Signature Industries Career Fair exceeded expectations and there is every indication that this year will be even better.”

The impact of both industries on the state is significant. The most recent Kentucky Equine Survey reported that the state is home to 209,500 horses on 31,000 operations. The bourbon industry generates more than 22,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $1.23 billion. The impact goes further with more than $286 million in annual tax revenue in the commonwealth attributed to bourbon, combined with both industries generating substantial tourism revenue and visitors to Kentucky from around the world.

“Completing the Beam Institute ushers in an unparalleled time in Kentucky bourbon workforce development,” said Seth DeBolt, director of the Beam Institute and the Distillation, Wine and Brewing Studies undergraduate certificate program. “With 95% of bourbon distilled and matured in our state, the Signature Industries Career Fair is set to be bigger and better than ever for the next generation of distillers and for employers.”

Registration is free for all students. Employers and student attendees may register via Handshake based on their industry association:

Writer: Jordan Strickler,

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Caption: The Signature Industries Career Fair will take place Sept. 28 in the UK Gatton Student Center from 2-5 p.m. EDT.

The Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization with respect to education and employment and authorization to provide research, education information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Contact: Holly Wiemers,