Veteran or Beginner, Tennessee Peach Farmers Have Reason to Celebrate This Summer

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 | 07:37 am

NASHVILLE – Forgie’s Fruit Farm near Lewisburg is turning 20. Up north of Nashville near Springfield, a 25 year old farmer is just getting started in the orchard business. Both have good reason to celebrate this summer, though: peaches.

Tennessee’s climate doesn’t guarantee a peach crop every year. In fact, Tennessee spring frosts allow for a bumper peach crop just about once every five years, depending on where in the state the orchard is located. This year, most of Middle Tennessee just missed a capricious late freeze that damaged crops to the east but left orchards like Forgie’s and Red River Farm poised for a peachy summer.

Cooper Young Farmers Market Promotes Living Local, High Ideals at Media Day

Thursday, July 10, 2014 | 09:29 am

NASHVILLE – The Cooper Young Farmers Market offers its neighborhood more than booths offering fresh, local foods in a convenient location. A sense of community and practical applications of social ideals are also on display at the market, which will host a Pick Tennessee Products media day with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on Saturday, July 12, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

“Our market distinguishes itself in two ways,” market manager Caitlin Dupuigrenet said. “We are committed to food justice. We work very closely with the Food Justice Ministry out of First Congo, and donate most market leftovers to the food pantry. We also facilitate the implementation of the ‘double greens program,’ which matches up to $10 of EBT money to buy fresh produce, and we actively try to involve surrounding communities in need in our programs.”

The market, located at 1000 South Cooper Street in Memphis is also structured to be “very ‘vendor friendly’ in the sense that vendor input is highly valued, and vendors make up more than 25 percent of our board. We do our best to provide advice and resources if needed, and are available any day of the week to discuss issues or visit production sites,” Dupuigrenet said.

Haslam Announces $59K Grant for Bledsoe County/Pikeville Farmers Market

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 | 09:53 am
TDA's Ed Harlan with mayors Bobby Collier and Philip Cagle
TDA's Ed Harlan with mayors Bobby Collier and Philip Cagle

- Ag Enhancment Funds to Help Construct Pavilion, Expand Access to Local Products -

NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture today announced a $59,200 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program grant to Bledsoe County and the city of Pikeville to help fund the construction of a new farmers market pavilion. 

“I’m happy to announce this grant to help the county and city build a farmers market pavilion to better serve the area’s needs,” Haslam said. “The grant is part of our efforts to increase economic activity in our rural communities by responding to the growth in and demand for Tennessee’s fresh and local farm products.”

The grant follows a recommendation to increase local marketing opportunities for Tennessee farmers as outlined in the Governor’s Rural Challenge: A 10-Year Strategic Plan. The plan was developed last year at the request of Haslam to guide the state’s agricultural development efforts.

Tennessee Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board to Meet

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 | 09:09 am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Pest Control Licensing and Advisory Board will meet July 14 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 and consideration of individuals seeking licensure in special categories. The board will also recognize a new board member and will receive an update on the use of dogs in pest detection and control. The meeting is open to the public.

State Soil Conservation Committee to Meet July 23

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 | 08:16 am

NASHVILLE - The State Soil Conservation Committee will meet July 23 at 4 p.m. CDT in the Calhoun Salon at the DoubleTree Hotel, located at 1770 U.S. 45 Bypass in Jackson, Tenn. 

The agenda includes approval of previous meeting minutes, reports from ex-officio members, reports from partner agencies and organizations, review of old business and new business and general discussion. The meeting is open to the public.

Tennessee Beef Promotion Board to Meet

Monday, July 07, 2014 | 09:20 am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Beef Promotion Board will meet July 18 at 1 p.m. CDT at the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, 530 Brandies Circle Suite A., Murfreesboro, Tenn. The agenda includes a review and approval of minutes, a review of board finances, budget planning, a program update and other business. The meeting is open to the public.

The Tennessee Beef Promotion Board was created in 2012 by state law to oversee the collection and use of assessments paid by producers for the purpose of promoting beef and beef products in-state. The Board comprises representatives from the Tennessee Livestock Market Association, Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Tennessee Dairy Association and Tennessee Beef Cattle Improvement Initiative.

For more information, contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5160.

Teacher Represents Tennessee Educators at International Conference

Thursday, July 03, 2014 | 11:32 am

NASHVILLE – Marsha Parsons, 5th grade teacher at Whiteville Elementary, was one of two Tennesseans who joined 120 environmental educators from 46 states, Japan, Mexico and Puerto Rico at Project Learning Tree’s International Conference in Traverse City, Mich. in May. Parsons was selected based on her work using the environment and hands-on teaching techniques to instruct students in math, language arts and science in a fun way. 

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12. PLT is coordinated and managed by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and the Tennessee Forestry Association in association with Tennessee Department of Education’s and Environment and Conservation’s CENTS program.

“At Whiteville, I take my students outdoors, where there is a grape vine hanging off a tree near a creek,” Parsons said. “My students use the scientific method in observations, asking questions, creating hypothesis, and drawing conclusions about the grapevine. Each time we go outside, the students monitor the grapevine progress and the production of grapes. We also use this time to describe the demographics of our neighborhood and community, along with finding small trees and completing a circumference of the tree. It’s an amazing process for me, as well as for them.”

McLaughlin Returns to TDA as Diagnostic Lab Director

Tuesday, July 01, 2014 | 01:26 pm

NASHVILLE – Dr. Bruce McLaughlin has returned to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture as the new director of the Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory announced Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson.

McLaughlin was a veterinary pathologist at Kord from 2007 to 2012, spending several months in 2012 as acting director. He has 33 years of experience as a pathologist.

“The Kord diagnostic lab provides an invaluable service to livestock and pet owners through private veterinarians,” Johnson said. “Dr. McLaughlin has the credentials and experience to help us provide the best service possible, and we are happy to have him back.”

Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission to Meet July 8

Monday, June 30, 2014 | 03:00 pm

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission will meet July 8 at 2 p.m. CDT at the Ed Jones Auditorium, located at Ellington Agricultural Center, 416 Hogan Road in Nashville. 

The commission will discuss plans to conduct a market study on the potential for future growth and development of the Tennessee State Fair. The commission will also hear a report on plans for the 2014 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.

Grand Opening of “One of a Kind” Dresden Farmers Market on Saturday

Thursday, June 26, 2014 | 11:40 am

NASHVILLE –   Dresden’s new farmers market will feature lots of the common things you’d expect: “We’ll have all sorts of produce, eggs, homemade breads, baked goods, beef and chicken, etcetera,” says Lauren Bean, market manager.” According to Bean, however, the new facility will benefit from some attributes Dresden has in uncommon amounts: careful long term planning, plus extraordinary community cooperation, creativity, effort and pride.

The Dresden Farmers Market Grand Opening is scheduled for June 28, from 8 a.m. until noon, and Bean says the event will give visitors and customers an up close look at what she calls “a one of a kind structure. You won't see anything like it elsewhere and it provides certain luxuries to our vendors and customers that many other markets in the region don't have.”

The covered market includes tangible amenities like public restrooms, a bike rack, water fountains, and a prime location, with the less obvious but just as important appointment of a market committee, an official manager, and implementation of what Bean calls “an aggressive marketing program.” The market is located at 421 Linden Street.