Agriculture

Celebrating Weights and Measures Week

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | 10:01 am
Motor fuel must be sampled and tested
Motor fuel must be sampled and tested

NASHVILLE— The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will celebrate Weights and Measures week March 1-7, 2015. Weights and measures inspectors keep pace with rapidly advancing technologies to ensure fairness in the marketplace. This year’s theme, Weights and Measures:  On the Path to Tomorrow, recognizes this vital element of our free-market society.

“You should get what you are paying for, and inspectors play an essential role in the health of the economy,” Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We value our weights and measures system as a crucial service to the citizens and businesses of Tennessee.” 

Fueling stations and grocery stores employ state-of-the-art weighing and measuring equipment.  Railway cars and highway vehicles are weighed while in motion. Motor fuel must be sampled and tested. Those are the areas in which inspectors use their skills to guarantee accuracy and equity for the consumer and a level playing field for commerce.

Extreme Weather Can Impact Livestock

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 | 04:31 pm

NASHVILLE— As the temperatures plummet and the icy conditions take hold, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is urging citizens to take steps to keep livestock safe and healthy.

“Most livestock tolerate cold weather well,” state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “However, extreme temperature changes can have a dramatic impact on an animal’s health and performance.”

Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board to Meet

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 | 02:58 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board will meet Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. CST at the Nashville Airport Marriott, 600 Marriott Dr., Nashville, Tenn.

The agenda includes consideration of current VAB law and recommendations for potential changes. Nominations for the board will also be gathered for submission.

The meeting is open to the public. Individuals interested in addressing the board should plan to arrive prior to the start of the meeting in order to be placed on the agenda.

State Soil Conservation Committee to Meet

Thursday, February 05, 2015 | 04:08 pm

The State Soil Conservation Committee will meet Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. CST at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel located at 1770 Highway 45 Bypass in Jackson, Tenn.

The agenda includes approval of previous meeting minutes, a presentation by Tennessee Conservation Districts Employees Association president Susan Bates, reports from ex-officio member and partner agencies, review of old business and new business, and general discussion. The meeting is open to the public.

Outstanding Fairs Honored at 93rd Annual Convention

Thursday, January 29, 2015 | 11:05 am

NASHVILLE—Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson recently presented awards to the state’s top county, regional and state agricultural fairs.

“Fairs are a tradition in the agricultural industry and showcase the best our farms, farmers and communities have to offer,” Johnson said. “Our Tennessee fairs have a positive impact on local economies as well as the agriculture contributions and education that they provide to visitors.” 

More than 975 people attended the Fairs Merit Awards recognition dinner program during the Convention of the Tennessee Association of Fairs (TAF) held January 22-25, 2015 in Nashville. 

Public Advisory for Undeclared Allergen

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | 04:53 pm

NASHVILLE—The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is issuing a public advisory for an undeclared peanut allergen in 5 oz. containers of Pride of Szeged Hungarian Spice paprika, distributed by Spice Co. of Avenel, N.J. 

On Jan. 12, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture conducted routine retail food product sampling in the Cleveland, Tenn. area. The department’s test results for one product—5 oz. containers of Pride of Szeged Hungarian Spice paprika, no. 091617PAHU05PS —showed positive for the presence of a peanut allergen not disclosed on the product label.  

Applications Now Available for Industrial Hemp Production

Monday, January 26, 2015 | 03:13 pm

NASHVILLE— The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications from farmers and producers interested in growing industrial hemp. 

In 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly enacted Public Chapter 916 tasking the department with development of a licensing and inspection program for the production of industrial hemp in Tennessee. As provided in Sec. 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill, industrial hemp may only be grown as part of a research or pilot project.

Industrial hemp is Cannabis sativa L., the same plant species as marijuana. However, industrial hemp has significantly lower tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content and is distinguished by its use and chemical makeup. You will find industrial hemp in a variety of products, including fabric, textiles, fibers, and foods. More than 30 nations grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity.

Stay Warm This Winter with the Right Firewood

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 | 11:33 am

NASHVILLE– Burning firewood is a good option to keep your home warm through the winter months. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture advises consumers to consider the type of wood, its origin and quantity before making that purchase.

“Firewood is sold all over the state by vendors operating at varying levels – from large-volume vendors selling to commercial retailers like grocery and convenience stores, to smaller mom and pop operations selling firewood along the roadside,” said Jere Jeter, State Forester and Assistant Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry. “It is in the consumers’ best interest to educate themselves to make sure they get the best product for their money.” 

Wood varieties burn differently and produce differing amounts of heat. For example, oak burns more slowly and produces less smoke compared to pine. Determine the type of wood that will best serve your needs.

Qualifications Updated for TAEP Continuing Education

Thursday, January 08, 2015 | 03:37 pm

NASHVILLE—With an eye to enhancing the state’s agricultural industry and increasing farmers’ capacity to produce, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to continue their education through University of Tennessee Extension.

“Learning is critical to improving and advancing Tennessee agriculture,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “These educational opportunities help producers to maximize efficiency in their operations and assure that best practices will be used to the benefit of the entire industry.”

Producers who wish to qualify for 50 percent cost share funding through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) can fulfill educational requirements by participating in UT advanced continuing education opportunities.

Tennessee Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board to Meet

Monday, January 05, 2015 | 03:17 pm

NASHVILLE- The Tennessee Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board will meet Jan. 12 at 9:30 a.m. CST in the conference room of the Porter Building at Ellington Agricultural Center, 436 Hogan Rd, Nashville, Tenn. The agenda includes a review and approval of minutes and special licensing requests. The meeting is open to the public.