Kentucky: By The Numbers
Kentucky: By The Numbers

About This Website

About This Website

About This Website

The original website (known by the acronym "SNARL") was begun by a former department faculty member in the 1990s when websites and the internet were still young. I "inherited" the website in 1999 and since then I have maintained it as an online home for Kentucky: By The Numbers and other resources. The full name has varied over time, but at first I preserved the original acronym “SNARL” because it had become quite memorable. After all, what does a UK wildcat do? SNARL! In 2019 SNARL was re-designed and became the Kentucky: By The Numbers website you see today. 

Since the website's first beginnings, technology and electronic media have continually grown and changed. But, it’s not just about having internet access anymore. Instead, the nature of that access as well as the age of one’s computers and programs can still create barriers to accessing data online. Since rural and limited resource communities and organizations can face particular challenges in accessing internet capabilities and computer technologies, this website has always been designed with very few “bells and whistles” so that it is easy to download and easy to print (regardless of technology access).

The largest section of this website contains the Kentucky: By The Numbers program. Begun in 1998, Kentucky: By The Numbers continues to provide resources for accessing online data. To learn more about the program, click here

Over the years, the contents and the design of the website have evolved, but the primary purpose has remained the same: to provide easy access to web-based resources and quick links useful for rural communities, residents, students with rural interests, and county Cooperative Extension agents throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

More About Me

Because we so often wear other hats, it seems that Extension faculty can have another secret life apart from their extension work. For myself, in addition to running the Kentucky: By The Numbers program and maintaining this website, I am also engaged in research and other activities.

My book, A Century of Scholarship and Service: 100 Years of Rural and Development Sociology at Cornell is available open access at 

To learn more about my book with Dr. Olaf F. Larson, Opening Windows onto Hidden Lives: Women, Country Life, and Early Rural Sociological Research, visit the Penn State Press website at:

Some of my other publications include:

“The American Community Survey: Resources for the Occasional Data User” Journal of Extension 51(5). 

“Mediated Knowledge: Re-Examining Six Classic Community Studies From a Woman’s Point of View.” Rural Sociology 76(2):141-166.

"The Enduring Price of Place: Revisiting the Rural Cost of Living" (2023) (With Karen Rignall and Cameron McAlister) Rural Sociology (open access)

"Meals in the Mountains: Examining Longitudinal Changes in Rural/Urban Food Prices." (Julia Miller, Julie N. Zimmerman, Katheryn Engle, and Cameron McAlister. Journal of Appalachian Studies 28 (2): 166–187.

“Does it or Doesn’t it? Geographic Differences and the Costs of Living.” Rural Sociology 73(3):463-486 (with Sunny (Seonok) Ham and Sarah M. Frank)·

“Voices from the Past, Lessons for the Future: Learning from the History of Sociology in Government.” Equal Opportunities International (Now: Equality Diversity and Inclusion – An International Journal) 27(2):132-147·

“Building Knowledge, Building Community: Increasing Internet Access to Secondary Data as Part of the Community Development Process.” Community Development Journal 36(1): 89-97 (with Alissa Meyer)·

 “Contextualizing Cash Assistance and the South.” (Introduction to the Special Issue on Welfare Reform). Journal of Rural Social Sciences 18(1):1-20.

“How Much Would it Take? Making Ends Meet in the Era of Welfare Reform.” Social Insight: Knowledge at Work 7:40-46 (with Lori Garkovich).

Building on my research on the history of rural sociology, since 2009, I have also served as the Historian of the Rural Sociological Society (RSS). The RSS is the national professional association for rural sociologists. You can learn more about the organization at: If you are curious and want to see some of the work I have done as the Historian, you can check out the “Historian’s section” (click here.) 

Thank you for visiting!


Dr. Julie N. Zimmerman
Coughenour Professor of Rural Sociology
Department of Community and Leadership Development
University of Kentucky 

Contact Information

Julie N. Zimmerman
Professor, Rural Sociology

500 Garrigus Building Lexington, KY 40546-0215

(859) 257-7583