Agriculture

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Davidson County

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 | 01:18 pm

-Media Availability, Including Video and Interviews, Set for Wednesday 10 a.m. at Ellington Agricultural Center-

NASHVILLE – A quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees has been expanded to include Davidson County. The insect was found in a USDA-APHIS trap in a residential area of Old Hickory. This brings the total number of Tennessee counties under a state and federal EAB quarantine to 39.

“EAB continues to spread across the state,” Gray Haun, TDA’s Plant Certification administrator said. “Finding it initially in a residential area instead of along a waterway or in a campsite is a bit unusual and inspectors are continuing to search Davidson County for more signs of EAB.”

The EAB detection program deployed by TDA and USDA-APHIS uses purple box traps placed in trees to determine if EAB is in the area. The traps are coated with an adhesive that captures insects when they land. The color is attractive to EAB, and is relatively easy for people to spot among the foliage.

Donnell Farm “Flying High” This Fall to Keep Education Farm Fresh

Monday, September 29, 2014 | 02:04 pm

NASHVILLE – Donnell Century Farm near Jackson is hosting a special Pick Tennessee Products media day on Tuesday, Sept. 30, to showcase their new features and activities for the fall. 

“This Tuesday, all the media attending will experience a real bird’s eye view of our corn maze through drone cameras,” farm operator Rose Ann Donnell said. “Pig races will have everyone squealing, and you can be photographed decorated with fun props from our farm scene for a funny keepsake. Everyone will be a taste tester at the kettle corn popping demonstration.” 

Media opportunities include interviews, photographs, and videotaping with the Donnell family, field trip teachers, students and families.

Tennessee Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board to Meet

Friday, September 26, 2014 | 12:30 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board will meet Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m. CDT in the conference room at the Porter Building at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 436 Hogan Rd. in Nashville, Tenn.

The agenda includes a review and approval of previous meeting minutes, consideration of individuals seeking licensure in special categories, and scheduling of 2016 dates for board meetings and licensing examinations. The meeting will also include a demonstration on the use of dogs in pest detection and control. The meeting is open to the public.

Oakes Farm Makes New Fall Attractions to Ensure New Memories

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 | 04:24 pm

NASHVILLE – Oakes Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Corryton is hosting a special Pick Tennessee Products media day on Thursday, Sept. 25, to showcase their new features and activities for the fall. Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson and other officials will be on hand to help celebrate.

At each Pick Tennessee Products Media Day, participating media can interview farmers and area officials in attendance, get footage and photographs of visitors and receive a “goody bag” including digital images and information about local foods and farms.

“We have 25 amazingly fun attractions for the entire family,” says David Black, Oakes farmer. “We have three haunted attractions on the farm. The Trail of Doom is a haunted maze that is farm themed. Chaotic Clown is a carnival based haunt. New this year is Elemental Dark Journey, where you are blindfolded and experience wind, water, fire, and earth.”

It’s a Fall Fest—But East Nashville Farmers Market Shows Off Summer’s Best

Monday, September 22, 2014 | 04:04 pm

NASHVILLE - “Don’t skip the very best time of year to visit farmers markets,” says Amy Tavalin, farmers markets specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

“From now until the first hard freeze is easily the most abundant season of the year in Tennessee,” Tavalin said. “We have a long growing season, so not only are all of summer’s favorites enjoying a last hurrah, but everything from fresh apples to Indian corn is elbowing into farmers market aisles across the state. Fresh, local “summer” produce will be here right along with everybody’s fall favorites until sometime in October.”

This Wednesday, Sept. 24, Pick Tennessee Products will host a fall produce media day at the East Nashville Farmers Market’s new location in Shelby Park from 3:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. Participating media can interview farmers and area officials in attendance, get footage and photographs of visitors and receive a “goody bag” including digital images and information about local foods and farms.

National Farm Safety and Health Week Promotes Awareness of Safety Solutions Year Round

Monday, September 22, 2014 | 12:47 pm

NASHVILLE – Farmers are at very high risk for fatal and non-fatal injuries while on the job. In fact, Tennessee is among the top six states for deaths due to tractor accidents in agricultural work, according to data from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. During National Farm Safety and Health Week this September, the Department of Health joins the Department of Agriculture in raising awareness of the risks of farming accidents and ways to save lives through prevention.

“Farm injuries are especially prevalent during harvest season as farmers are working long hours and dealing with the additional stress of unpredictable weather and equipment problems,” Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We appreciate the opportunity to join with the Tennessee Department of Health in promoting safe and healthy practices on our farms and the rural roadways of Tennessee.”

The occupational fatality rate for farmers is 700 percent higher than other U.S. industries, including mining. During 2009-2012, an average of 17 fatalities from agricultural tractor accidents was reported in Tennessee every year. Engineering advancements made to tractors and other farm equipment have helped reduce injuries and deaths – but only when they are used properly.

Slow Down for Fall - and Wine - at Knoxville’s Market Square Farmers Market

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 10:28 am

KNOXVILLE - “Don’t skip the very best time of year to visit farmers markets,” says Amy Tavalin, farmers markets specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

“From now until the first hard freeze is easily the most abundant season of the year in Tennessee,” says Tavalin. “We have a long growing season, so not only are all of summer’s favorites enjoying a last hurrah, but everything from fresh apples to Indian corn is elbowing into farmers market aisles across the state. Fresh, local produce will be here until sometime in October.”

This Saturday, September 20, Pick Tennessee Products will host a fall produce media day at the Market Square Farmers Market in Knoxville. Participating media can interview farmers and area officials in attendance, get footage and photographs of visitors and receive a “goody bag” including digital images and information about local foods and farms.

On Your Mark, Get Set— and Slow Down for Fall

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 | 01:48 pm

NASHVILLE -- It’s September, and Christmas décor is lining store shelves. You’d think that the seasons are determined by which week school starts, and we’d all be wise to air out our winter coats now.

Amy Tavalin suggests that instead, we should stop the hands of time long enough to take in some local farmers markets this fall. “Fall has it all,” says Tavalin, “so don’t rush it.” 

“Don’t skip the very best time of year to visit farmers markets,” says Tavalin, farmers market specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “From now until the first hard freeze is easily the most abundant season of the year in Tennessee. We have a long growing season, so not only are all of summer’s favorites enjoying a last hurrah, but everything from fresh apples and chrysanthemums to sweet potatoes and Indian corn will be elbowing into farmers market aisles across the state.”

On Your Mark, Get Set — and Slow Down for Fall

Monday, September 08, 2014 | 03:08 pm

CHATTANOOGA -- It’s September, and Christmas décor is lining store shelves. You’d think that the seasons are determined by which week school starts, and we’d all be wise to air out our winter coats now.

Amy Tavalin suggests that instead, we should stop the hands of time long enough to visit Chattanooga’s Main Street Farmers Market on Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. when Pick Tennessee Products will host a fall produce media day.

Tavalin, farmers markets specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, says, “Don’t skip the very best time of year to visit farmers markets. From now until the first hard freeze is easily the most abundant season of the year in Tennessee. We have a long growing season, so not only are all of summer’s favorites enjoying a last hurrah, but everything from fresh apples to Indian corn will be elbowing into farmers market aisles across the state.”

TDA Now Accepting Water Quality Grant Proposals

Monday, September 08, 2014 | 11:42 am

-Funds support projects aimed at improving water quality and reducing pollution-

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is now accepting grant proposals for projects that will help improve water quality and reduce or eliminate nonpoint source pollution. The deadline for submitting grant proposals is Dec. 1. Proposals will be evaluated based on program goals and objectives, performance evaluation criteria and applicable EPA nonpoint source grant guidelines.  

“This is a great opportunity for local governments and other organizations to join us in making measurable improvements in the quality of watersheds across the state,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “The Nonpoint Source Pollution Program addresses water quality issues in both our urban and rural communities.”

Local governments, regional agencies, public institutions, private nonprofit organizations and other state agencies are eligible to apply for federal dollars administered by TDA’s Water Resources office. Highest priority is given to projects that seek to make measurable improvements to waters known to be impaired by nonpoint source pollution.