Agriculture

State Soil Conservation Committee to Meet March 18

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | 01:33 pm

NASHVILLE - The next meeting of the State Soil Conservation Committee will be held March 18 at 10 a.m. in the rear conference room of the Holman Building at the Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Rd, Nashville, Tenn. 

The agenda includes a review of appointments to SCD boards as well as other business.

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

Harlan Named Assistant Commissioner for Market Development

Monday, March 11, 2013 | 11:29 am
Ed Harlan
Ed Harlan

NASHVILLE – Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson today announced the appointment of veteran TDA employee Ed Harlan as assistant commissioner for Market Development.

Harlan has served as director of agriculture and forestry development for the department since 2003. He succeeds Joe Gaines who retired in February after serving 43 years in state government.

“Ed brings a unique perspective to this position as a farmer, businessman and former county executive. He is highly respected and well known throughout the state because of his agribusiness development efforts,” Johnson said.  “I’m pleased that he has accepted this expanded role in helping us grow our food and fiber industry.”

Simply Fantastic Greens for Spring

Friday, March 01, 2013 | 01:34 pm
Garlic Spinach Sauté
Garlic Spinach Sauté

NASHVILLE -- Green is the first color of spring, and greens are the first crops of the garden season. In Tennessee, spring starts with turnip and collard greens, plus all kinds of lettuces. Spinach, though, is perhaps the modern favorite spring green. 

Famously nutritious, it’s also tender and sweet to eat from baby stage to full broad leaf. Spinach cooks quickly and can be successfully added to just about any savory dish for added color and nutrition.

Spinach and other “cool weather” crops like cabbage, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onions, peas, broccoli, cilantro and asparagus begin to show up in farmers markets and on CSA, “community supported agriculture,”  farms as early  as March and will last as long as the weather remains cool and damp. Summer’s heat turns greens tough and peppery or bitter, and other cool crops begin to succumb to pests, molds and stress.

Tennessee Dairy Promotion Committee to Meet March 15

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | 03:37 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Dairy Promotion Committee will meet March 15 at
9 a.m. CST in the Porter Building at Ellington Agricultural Center, 440 Hogan Rd., Nashville. 

The committee will review the SUDIA Program Report, the 2012 TDPC audit and financial information and other business. The meeting is open to the public.

The committee comprises producers directly affected by the assessment. Members are represented in proportion to method of milk marketing either through agricultural dairy cooperatives or by direct sale.

State’s Farmers Markets Meet in Nashville March 22

Friday, February 22, 2013 | 01:24 pm

NASHVILLE - What’s a sure sign of spring?  Obviously it’s when farmers markets start gearing up for the growing season. This year Tennessee’s booming farmers markets have a new way to help each other achieve common goals and meet the challenges of helping local farmers and customers meet face to face in the marketplace: the Tennessee Association of Farmers Markets.


Farmers market managers from across the state convened during the annual Tennessee Farmers Market Conference held in January to create an official body. A total of nine board members with three representatives from each region were chosen to lead the new group, formed to represent the fast-growing and popular facet of agriculture and to provide training and networking opportunities for all of Tennessee’s farmers market managers.


The next meeting of the association will be held March 22 in Nashville at Ellington Agricultural Center’s Ed Jones Auditorium at 11 a.m. Those who plan to attend should contact Amy Delvin at Amy@Delvinfarms.com to give the group an accurate head count for lunch.

Beef Agribition Celebrates 25th Anniversary March 8-10

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | 02:41 pm

NASHVILLE – The 25th Annual Tennessee Beef Agribition will be held in Lebanon March 8, 9 and 10 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. 

“For beef producers, Agribition is like no other event in the state,” says Wendy Sneed, livestock marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “Agribition offers producers the opportunity to see top quality animals show on Friday and then, on Saturday, be available for purchase. The benefit of watching breeds being shown and judged just before sale is something few buyers ever experience in Tennessee except at Agribition.”

“Producers will be able to find anything that their heart desires at the breed sales on Saturday,” says Sneed. “From herd sire prospects eligible for Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program cost share, elite show heifer prospects, bred heifers, plus cow/calf pairs and embryo lots.”

Governor Proclaims March 1 as Arbor Day in Tennessee

Friday, February 15, 2013 | 12:38 pm

- Knoxville to Host State Arbor Day Celebration -

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed March 1 as Arbor Day in Tennessee to recognize the importance of trees to our state. This year’s state celebration will be held in Knoxville, which has been designated a Tree City USA community for 22 years.

“Arbor Day is important for reminding us how every community, regardless of size, benefits environmentally and economically from trees,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “We’re committed to improving and protecting our forest resources, both in rural and urban areas and are proud to join the city of Knoxville and their tree board to recognize Arbor Day.”

The Arbor Day celebration, hosted by the City of Knoxville Tree Board and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, will take place March 1 at 10 a.m. EST at Ijams Nature Center. Knoxville earned the honor of hosting this year’s state Arbor Day celebration by being recognized as the state’s Tree Board of the Year in 2012. Proclamations will be presented by state and local officials, an Arbor Day skit will be performed by local elementary school students and refreshments will be served after the program.

State Soil Conservation Committee to Meet February 24

Thursday, February 07, 2013 | 04:37 pm

NASHVILLE - The next meeting of the State Soil Conservation Committee will be held Feb. 24 at the Park Vista Hotel, located at 705 Cherokee Orchard Road in Gatlinburg, Tenn. 

The meeting will be in conjunction with the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts annual meeting. It will be held at 5 pm EST.

The agenda includes reports from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Water Resources program, the Tennessee Conservation District Employees Association and the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts.

Tennessee Forestry Commission to Meet Feb. 19

Thursday, February 07, 2013 | 12:45 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Forestry Commission will meet Feb. 19 at 9 a.m. CST in the Bruer Building conference room at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville. 

The commission will meet briefly to approve minutes from the previous meeting and to review legislative presentations. The commission will make its annual presentation on Tennessee’s forest resource and the Division of Forestry to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 19 and to the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee at 2 p.m. on Feb. 20 at Legislative Plaza, located at 601 6th Avenue North in Nashville. Tuesday’s agenda also includes a visit to Sullivan’s Ridge, a green building design update and a review of the division’s proposed FY 2014 budget.  

The meeting and legislative committee presentations are open to the public. Individuals interested in addressing the commission should plan to arrive prior to the start of the meeting in order to be placed on the agenda.

Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board to Meet

Monday, February 04, 2013 | 02:40 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board will meet Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. CST at DelMonaco Winery in Baxter, Tenn. The agenda includes VAB member review and recommendations, Stonebridge Research Study and other business.

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. 

The Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board advises the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on matters pertaining to grape growing and wine production in Tennessee.  For more information, contact Tammy Algood, marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5160, or e-mail Tammy.Algood@TN.gov.