Notice of Public Hearing to Define Honey in Tennessee

Friday, November 07, 2014 | 01:30 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing on Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. CST to gather input on the identification and labeling of honey.

The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comment on the department’s proposed standards of identity for honey. The goal is to prevent foreign and imitation honey products from being sold in Tennessee. Consumers will be protected from inferior products and honey producers will have greater confidence in expanding their businesses.

With new regulations in place, the department will have the authority to sample and test honey sold in Tennessee for compliance with the proposed labeling requirements.

Phillipy Named Director of Tennessee Agricultural Museum

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | 11:02 am
Greg Phillipy
Greg Phillipy

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson today announced the appointment of Gregory Phillipy as director of the Tennessee Agricultural Museum.

“We’re excited to have Greg lead our museum at this critical juncture when we’re trying to expand our efforts to better educate and inform children and adults about the importance of agriculture’s past, present and future,”Johnson said. “Along with his Tennessee roots, he brings extensive experience and knowledge that I believe will help the museum stand out and become more relevant in today’s educational and historical communities.”

Phillipy’s appointment is effective immediately as he assumes responsibilities previously performed by Anne Dale who served the museum for 25 years. In this role, Phillipy will oversee the collection and care of more than 3,500 artifacts.  He will also head the educational and outreach programs for the organization.

Scholarships Offered to Specialty Crop Farmers

Monday, October 27, 2014 | 02:32 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Market Development Division as part of its Direct Farm Marketing Initiative is offering scholarships to the North American Farm Direct Marketing Association Convention, to be held Feb. 1-­6, 2015 in Nashville and Knoxville. These scholarships are competitive and target farmers who want to learn how to improve marketing of their specialty crops.

Ag Enhancement Deadline Nears for Livestock Projects

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 12:06 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. 

“Reimbursement requests are processed in the order they are received. We encourage farmers who are approved for livestock equipment or feed storage projects to finish their projects and submit their complete reimbursement requests as soon as possible for a shorter processing time,” TAEP administrator Mark Powell said.

Producers are also encouraged to utilize the TAEP Online account management system. TAEP Online allows producers to update their contact information, view TAEP history and print reimbursement instructions. Participation in TAEP Online is not required, but producers are encouraged to take advantage of this easy-to-access system to keep account information current. TAEP Online is not a “real-time” payment information system so there may be a delay in how quickly the system is updated.

Tennessee Forestry Commission to Meet Oct. 28

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 10:07 am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Forestry Commission will meet Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. CDT in the Bruer Building conference room at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 406 Hogan Road in Nashville. 

The agenda includes approval of previous meeting minutes, a review of Division of Forestry staffing, a report on recent meetings and activities, a discussion of forest health issues, a review of fire season preparations and forecast, and a discussion of the impact of local road ordinances on loggers and landowners.

Music and Molasses Festival Offers a Weekend of Family Fun

Thursday, October 16, 2014 | 02:19 pm

NASHVILLE – The annual Music & Molasses Arts & Crafts Festival on Oct. 18 and 19 at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville will feature an array of events for the entire family. Many favorites showcased each year will return and several new and exciting options will also be added to the festivities.

“It’s a weekend of family fun with sorghum molasses making and tasting, music, clogging and great food,” Buddy Vaughan, festival chairman, said. “From the horse-drawn wagon rides, to the beautiful hand-crafted items, there’s something for everyone, including many activities for the kids.”

Children can see and touch farm animals, take a pony ride, visit with Smokey Bear, tour Smokey’s log cabin, climb the fire tower with their parents, find farmer-for-a-day activities in the paddock, play in a corn box and see a working blacksmith’s forge alongside demonstrations of many traditional crafts.

Notice of Public Hearing to Solicit Comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 | 02:00 pm

NASHVILLE – On Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014 at 10 a.m. the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Department of Health will hold a joint public hearing to gather input on the implementation of the 2009 FDA Food Code.

The purpose of this hearing is to receive public comment on the proposed rules, Chapter 0080-04-09 Retail Food Store Sanitation, prepared by the Consumer and Industry Services Division, Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

In 2013, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Tennessee Retail Food Safety Act, the first significant update to how the state regulates and inspects retail food establishments in nearly 30 years. Commonly referred to as the Food Code, the Act goes into effect July 1, 2015.

Tennessee Urges Citizens to Practice Wildfire Prevention

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | 01:38 pm

NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and the Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Division of Fire Prevention are reminding homeowners to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires. The official start of wildfire 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,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “It’s important for citizens to know when, where and how to conduct a debris burn. The division’s burn permit system focuses attention on safety. Getting a permit is free, and takes only two minutes using our online system.”

The online burn permit system is fast and simple.  If you are burning a leaf or brush pile that is smaller than 8 feet by 8 feet in size, log on to for approval.  Of more than 300,000 burn permits issued last wildfire season, nearly 50,000 were issued online.

Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission to Meet Oct. 13

Monday, October 06, 2014 | 12:19 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission will meet Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. CDT at the Ed Jones Auditorium, located at Ellington Agricultural Center, 416 Hogan Road in Nashville. 

The commission will review and consider approval of the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a market study on the potential for growth and development of the Tennessee State Fair. The meeting may be conducted permitting electronic means of communication by some members of the commission. The meeting is open to the public.