Agriculture

Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission to Meet Nov. 28

Friday, November 16, 2012 | 01:21 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission will meet Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. CST in the Ed Jones Auditorium at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville. 

The commission will review and approve previous meeting minutes, consider approving an operator for the 2013 Tennessee State Fair and discuss plans for developing criteria for selecting future fair operators. The meeting is open to the public.

The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission was created by the Tennessee General Assembly earlier this year to select and supervise a Tennessee not for profit corporation for the purpose of operating a fair or exposition, and to grant exclusive use of the name “Tennessee State Fair” or “Tennessee State Exposition.”

Eat Local All Winter With Fall Produce From Area Farmers Markets

Friday, November 09, 2012 | 03:00 pm
Equivalents Chart QR Code
Equivalents Chart QR Code
Candied Squash
Candied Squash

NASHVILLE -- Long before squashes, pumpkins and all manner of colorful autumn produce landed on magazine covers as seasonal centerpieces, they were food - specifically, foods with hard or thick, durable skins and rinds that remained edible through the winter, so long as they were properly stored.

These days, traffic to local farm markets slows down once customers have purchased autumn décor like Indian corn, mums and gourds, but many fresh, local food crops are available long after hard freezes put summer produce fields to rest. 

Sweet potatoes, apples, turnips and turnip greens, onions, winter squash, pumpkins, dried beans and white potatoes are all overflowing at farm markets across the state. In many areas of the state, cool weather crops like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower will also remain plentiful right up until the coldest part of the year. Honey, nuts, sorghum syrup, jellies, cured meats and dairy products are also delicious staples of traditional fall farm markets.

Tennessee Invests in Farm Innovation, Diversification Projects

Thursday, November 08, 2012 | 12:04 pm

-Diversification projects give economic options for farmers-

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson today announced Producer Diversification cost share awards totaling nearly $1 million.  The funds will help 168 Tennessee farmers invest in new or expanding areas of agriculture.

The Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program was established in 2005 and supported by the General Assembly to increase farm income by helping farmers invest in better farming practices and by encouraging diversification and innovation.

“More than ever, it is important for farmers to look at ways to diversify their operations to ensure profitability,” Johnson said. “These business investments and opportunities will not only help farmers keep their operations profitable, but they will help strengthen our rural economy in communities across the state.”

State Viticulture Advisory Board to Meet November 13

Tuesday, November 06, 2012 | 03:30 pm

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Viticulture Advisory Board is meeting Nov. 13 at 10 a.m. CST at the DelMonaco Winery and Vineyards, located at 600 Lance Drive in Baxter, Tenn.

The agenda includes a review of the 2012 grape crop, the Biennial Viticulture Report, the USDA Specialty Crop Program, new board appointees, the Tennessee Horticulture Expo 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.

Ag Enhancement Deadline Nears for Livestock Projects

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | 01:29 pm

NASHVILLE – Dec. 1 is the deadline for eligible farmers to submit reimbursement requests for livestock equipment and feed storage projects approved through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program. 

“It is important that farmers who are approved for livestock equipment or feed storage funding finish their projects and submit a completed reimbursement request as soon as possible,” TAEP administrator Justin Bryant said. “In addition to reminding producers about upcoming deadlines, we’re excited to announce our new producer account management system, TAEP Online.”

Phase one of TAEP Online allows producers to update contact information, view TAEP history and print copies of current reimbursement instructions. Participation in TAEP Online is not required to participate in TAEP, but producers are encouraged to take advantage of this easy to access system to keep account information current.

20th Annual Music and Molasses Festival Offers a Weekend of Family Fun

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | 11:17 am

“Country Comes to Town” Oct. 20 and 21

NASHVILLE – The 20th Annual Music & Molasses Arts & Crafts Festival on Oct. 20 and 21 at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville will feature an array of events that are sure to please the whole family.

“It’s a weekend of family fun with molasses making and tasting, music shows, dancing and delicious food,” said Anne Dale, director of the Tennessee Agricultural Museum. “Horse-drawn wagon rides, beautiful hand-crafted items, talented artisans showing off their skills plus activities for kids make this a must-go event.”

Children can see and touch farm animals, decorate a pumpkin, have fun at the Apple Snap Tree, take a pony ride, milk a goat, put on their boots for stick horse races, visit with Smokey Bear or find the Country Hollow for farmer-for-day activities.

Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission to Meet Oct. 22

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 | 03:56 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission will meet Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. CDT in the Ed Jones Auditorium at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville.

The commission will review and approve previous meeting minutes, consider approving an operator for the 2013 Tennessee State Fair and discuss plans for developing criteria for selecting future fair operators. The meeting is open to the public.

Tennessee Observes National Fire Prevention Week by Reminding Citizens to Burn Safe

Tuesday, October 09, 2012 | 10:49 am

-TDA’s Division of Forestry begins requiring burn permits Oct. 15-

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Fire Prevention are observing National Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13), by reminding homeowners to follow simple safety practices to prevent forest fires. The official start of forest fire season in Tennessee is Oct. 15.

“Burning vegetative material that has accumulated around the yard or using fire to clear an old field can be an efficient way to get rid of debris,” said John Kirksey, Fire Chief for the Division of Forestry. “However, this activity needs to be done safely. The division’s burn permitting system focuses attention on the safe use of fire for debris burning.”

Activities requiring a burning permit include unconfined outdoor burning of brush and leaves, untreated wood waste and burning to clear land. Burning permits are free of charge. Citizens can apply for burning permits online or by calling their local Division of Forestry office between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Forestry offices are listed in your local phone directory under state government, or can be found by visiting www.burnsafetn.org. The website also includes tips for safe debris burning and provides access to the online permitting system. Permit holders should also check for other restrictions in their locale.

Tennessee Forestry Commission to Meet Oct. 16 - 17

Thursday, October 04, 2012 | 04:12 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Forestry Commission will meet Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT in the Bruer Building conference room at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville.

The commission will conduct interviews with applicants for the vacant State Forester/Assistant Commissioner position, which is responsible for planning, directing and implementing programs and services of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry.