Agriculture

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.

Grain Indemnity Assessments to Resume March 1

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | 03:12 pm

NASHVILLE – An assessment on grain sold in Tennessee will be reactivated effective March 1 at a rate of 1 cent per bushel on soybeans and a half cent per bushel on all other grains announced the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The assessment is being reactivated in response to recent changes in state law.

The purpose of the assessment is to increase the balance of the Tennessee Grain Indemnity Fund, which was established in 1989 to provide financial protection for grain producers against the failure of grain dealers and warehouses. State law governing the fund was amended in 2011 to increase the minimum balance from $3 million to $10 million. 

“The new provisions of the grain indemnity law places a responsibility on the commissioner of agriculture to reactivate the assessment in order to maintain an adequate fund balance,” Johnson said. “Given the fund’s low balance and today’s high value grain market, I’m authorizing the assessment in order to comply with state law and to ensure that Tennessee grain producers are protected.”

Outstanding Fairs Honored at 91st Annual Convention

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | 10:59 am

- Fifty-five awards were given to top agricultural fairs -

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson recently presented awards to 55 of the state’s top county, regional and state agricultural fairs. They were recognized with the Merit Award for outstanding achievement during the 2012 fair season. More than 900 people attended the Fairs Merit Awards recognition dinner during the 91st Annual Convention of the Tennessee Association of Fairs (TAF) held January 17-19 in Nashville. 

The top award went to the Henry County Fair in Paris when it was named the Champion of Champions Fair for 2012. The Henry County Fair was also recognized by Johnson and TAF President James Spears, with the “Award of Merit” based on overall operations, educational value and promotion of local interest in agriculture and community spirit.

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

Bestselling Author to Speak at Garden Club of Nashville Community Meeting

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 | 02:35 pm

Doug Tallamy, author of the bestselling book, Bringing Nature Home, will speak at a free community meeting hosted by the Garden Club of Nashville on Jan. 17 at 4p.m. The event will be held at Hampton Hall at St. George’s Episcopal Church located at 4715 Harding Road in Nashville. Tallamy will address the crucial role of native plants and explore the benefits and tragic consequences of what we choose to plant.

For more information, contact Garden Club of Nashville Vice President Cayce McAlister at 615-463-8880.

Tallamy will also be a featured speaker at the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association’s Winter Meeting in Pigeon Forge, Feb.18-19. For more information about this event, contact the TNLA at 931-473-3951 or mail@tnla.com.

State Viticulture Advisory Board to Meet

Tuesday, January 08, 2013 | 02:19 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board will meet Jan. 25 at 3:30 p.m. CST at the Airport Marriot Hotel, in Nashville, Tenn. The agenda includes VAB member review and recommendations, 2012 grape crop, 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 Dan Strasser, director of marketing with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5160, or e-mail Dan.Strasser@TN.gov.