Ag News

Cooperatives provide billion-dollar boost to state’s economy

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October is Cooperative Month in Tennessee, and a proclamation signed by Gov. Bill Haslam deeming it as such heaps high praise on the approximately 200 member-owned organizations that employ more than 6,000 individuals, impact our state’s economy by more than $1 billion, and provide a wide array of products and services to member-owners.

“We appreciate Governor Haslam for his support of Tennessee cooperatives,” Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson said. “A cooperative system is a powerful example of what can be accomplished when citizens in rural areas come together. Ultimately, the participants aren’t the only ones who benefit. Everyone in Tennessee reaps the rewards with increased access to quality goods and services.”

Today, more than 75 percent of Tennessee’s rural residents are served by a cooperative.

The resolution reads, in part: “Tennessee cooperatives improve the well-being of rural residents and communities across our state by providing electric, internet, and telephone services to homes, farms, and rural businesses; financing for land, assets, and inputs; products and services, including genetics and seed, nutrients and feed, crop protection and health; equipment and fuel for growing and marketing crops and livestock; and insurance for individuals and family businesses, resulting in employment for thousands of Tennesseans.”

The proclamation also emphasizes the important partnership with today’s farmers “as they work diligently to produce safe, abundant, dependable, and affordable food and fiber for both a rapidly growing world population and an increasingly interconnected proactively health-conscious local consumer.”

The governor’s proclamation highlights the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC), calling it “the state’s flagship organization for coordinating, promoting, educating, and extending cooperative development in Tennessee.”

TCC’s current president, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative Marketing Manager Keith Harrison, said, “Co-ops are a true democracy where membership is voluntary and members have democratic control with each having one vote. They operate not for profit, but for the benefit of their members. Unlike other businesses, they don’t exist to make money for their investors but rather to meet the needs of their members as economically as possible. The Tennessee Council of Cooperatives believes the cooperative business model will continue to play a vital role in strengthening our state’s rural economy because it mirrors the very best of the American way.”

Nationwide, more than 20,000 cooperatives will celebrate October Co-op Month, promoting the advantages of cooperative membership and recognizing the benefits and value co-ops bring to their communities. The observance has been held since 1930.

Visit for more information about Tennessee cooperatives or the TCC and its programs. Visit for more information about the national Co-op Month celebration. 

National Farm Safety and Health Week

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The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) at Northeast Iowa Community College’s (NICC) Peosta campus will be sponsoring webinars in observance of National Farm Safety & Health Week, September 20 26.

The 2015 theme for National Farm Safety & Health Week is Ag Safety is not just a slogan, it’s a lifestyle.The webinars scheduled for each day of the week will be available at, as well as more information and public service announcements related to this year’s theme.

This year the NECAS webinars, offered each day at noon, will cover the following themes: Monday - Rural Roadway
Confined Spaces in Agriculture
Wednesday -
Children’s Topics

Thursday - Health Friday - Tractor Safety

NECAS also invites everyone to join them for 'AgChat' on Tuesday, Sept. 22, from 7-9 p.m. (CST)

The theme “Ag Safety is not just a slogan, it’s a lifestyle” reminds local and rural communities that agriculture is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S. and farm injuries and fatalities are


preventable through education. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that in 2013 farming accounted for 500 fatalities, or 23.2 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. This recognition has been an annual promotion initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first document. Over the years, the development and dissemination of National Farm Safety & Health Week materials shifted from the National Safety Council to NECAS. NECAS is the agricultural partner for the National Safety Council and has been serving the agricultural family and business community since 1997.

As we recognize National Farm Safety & Health Week this September, please join us in promoting safe and healthy practices on our farms and ranches across the U.S. and in our neighboring countries as producers enter the harvest season. NECAS welcomes the collaboration and participation of community members in this year’s observance, and would like to thank the Illinois Farm Bureau for its work in developing the “Ag safety is not just a slogan, it’s a lifestyle” logo this year.

For more information, contact: Gloria Reiter, NECAS administrative assistant, at (888) 844-6322, ext. 371, or; or Dan Neenan, NECAS director, at (888) 844-6322, ext. 248, or


Southeastern Stores Gear Up for Great American Milk Drive

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Thanks to partnerships to increase food bank donations of fluid milk across the Southeast, four milk donation programs will be taking place across the Southeast this September in conjunction with Hunger Action Month and the Great American Milk Drive (GAMD). 

Feeding America® is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country, and hopes to increase awareness about one of their most requested items in food banks nationwide – milk. While many Americans are generous with nonperishable items, such as canned goods and dry ingredients, milk is much harder to donate because it is perishable.

In order to bring support to the more than 49 million Americans who struggle with food insecurity, Feeding America® started a nationwide campaign each September dubbing it as Hunger Action Month. On average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person each year – a trend that Feeding America® hopes to change.

In honor of Hunger Action Month, four large chain retailers, Rouses, Kroger, Ingles and Circle K, will be participating in various donation programs to provide fluid milk to food banks across the Southeast. These promotions to increase fluid milk sales would not be taking place without the partnerships between Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), milk processors and milk retailers.

Kroger’s Pour It Forward program will launch nationwide with all 3,430 stores participating and promoting the campaign through store banners, in-store table tents, cooler clings at the dairy case and posts on social media. Customers will choose a $1, $3 or $5 voucher off of tear pads at check-out. In 2014, Kroger customers donated more than 100,000 gallons of milk to families in need in communities across the country.

“We know our customers care deeply about the issue of hunger in their local communities and are willing to donate dry goods, but it’s difficult to provide fresh, perishable items like milk,” said Lynn Marmer, Kroger’s Group Vice President of corporate affairs. “We are honored to partner with Feeding America for the second year in a row. The ‘Pour It Forward’ program makes it so simple to give hope by the gallon and provide milk to families in need across the country.”

Ingles’ “Stand Up to Hunger with Milk” campaign launched at 202 locations in mid-August. Customers can donate two ways, by either selecting a $1 donation card at checkout or via peel-away labels on Laura Lynn fluid milk gallons. All donations will be converted into coupons for milk and distributed to the local Feeding America food banks in their respective communities. Ingles will also be hosting Hunger Action Month kickoff events at stores in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina throughout the month, with one large kickoff event in each state:

  • Asheville, N.C.: Wednesday, September 9 from 11:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 669 Haywood, Road, Asheville, N.C. 28806.
  • Atlanta, Ga.: Tuesday, September 15 from 12:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 5075 Peachtree Parkway, Norcross, Ga. 30092.
  • Greenville, S.C.: Tuesday, September 22 from 10:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 2795 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, S.C. 29307.
  • Knoxville, Tenn.: Monday, September 14 from 4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. at the Ingles store located at 11847 Kingston Pike, Farragut, Tenn. 37934.


All 45 Rouses locations in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi will be participating in the GAMD this September in partnership with Feeding America. Dairy cooler clings, store signage and social media posts will encourage customers to donate $1, $3 and $5 during checkout.

Circle K’s across the Southeast will become the first convenience stores to participate in the Great American Milk Drive with their Milk for Kids program. Gas pump toppers, front door signs and credit card pin-pad signs will be displayed at 336 Kangaroo Express stores and 248 Circle K stores in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. 

Shoppers will be able to donate $1, $3 or $5 to Milk for Kids during checkout via donation cards placed at the register. All donations will be turned into vouchers for free milk that will be sent to local food banks after the program ends.

“We are excited to have Circle K partner with us here in the Southeast,” said SUDIA general manager Cheryl Hayn. “We know that Millennials are spending more and doing more shopping at convenience stores, and we are excited to try this new avenue for milk donations.”

Since launching last fall, more than 404,000 gallons of milk have been donated to the GAMD nationwide.  Milk is a nutrient power-house, packing in eight ounces of protein and nine essential nutrients in each glass.

To learn more about how you can get involved with Hunger Action Month and the Great American Milk Drive, visit


About the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association On behalf of dairy farm families, the non-profit Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA), works with schools, health professionals, retailers, dairy processors and the public to promote dairy foods.  For more information, visit

For more information please contact director of marketing and partner relations Mark Farmer via phone at (770) 994-5828 or by email at

Montgomery County’s Jay Head wins state young farmer honors

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Montgomery County young farmer Jay Head was named Tennessee Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Young Farmer and Achievement Award winner during the Tennessee Young Farmer Summer Conference held at the headquarter offices of the Tennessee Farm Bureau in Columbia, Tenn. The young row crop and cattle farmer from the Cedar Hill community competed against 17 other county contestants across the state to be named the state winner and have the opportunity to compete for national honors in January.
Jay was named this year’s winner based upon farm and financial records from the farm year 2014. He farms approximately 5,300 acres near Clarksville in Montgomery County in an owner/partnership operation. His major crops are corn, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, hay and indigo. Head also raises more than 200 Angus-cross cows and recently began selling beef on a retail basis.
Head has been very active in the Young Farmer and Rancher program, as well as the Montgomery County Farm Bureau and his local community. He has served as vice-chair of the Tennessee YF&R State Committee and currently serves on both the legislative and executive committee of his local Farm Bureau county board. He has hosted county school farm tours and been a trainer for teachers in his county for several years and is active in his local church.
As the state winner of the Tennessee Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer and Ranchers Achievement Award, the rewards are numerous. Head receives a year’s free use of a brand new Case IH tractor up to 150 hours. He also receives $1000 from Tennessee Farm Bureau, a fully-loaded Polaris Ranger UTV from Tennessee Farm Bureau, an insurance policy to cover the tractor for one year from Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee, $500 in qualified Farm Bureau Services, $500 in services from Farmers Services and a trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in Orlando, Florida in January 2016, where he will compete for national honors with other state winners. The national winner will get their choice of a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado or 2016 GMC Sierra, courtesy of GM and paid registration to the 2016 YF&R Leadership Conference in Kansas City, Missouri. Three national runners-up will receive a Case IH Farmall tractor, courtesy of Case IH, a $2,500 cash prize and $500 in merchandise courtesy of STIHL.
Jamie and Ashley Weaver of Coffee County were named runners-up in this year's competition. District winners were: District One - Rusty and Christy Grills of Dyer County; District Two - Bradley Richardson of Maury County; District Three - Kary Robinson of Franklin County; District Four - Joe and Becky Smith of Overton County and District Five - Dustin and Chrissa Pearson of Washington County. 

American Farm Bureau President Stallman Announces Departure in January

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American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman announced today that he will not seek reelection in January 2016 following 16 years at the helm of the nation’s largest, most influential general farm organization. Stallman, a cattle and rice producer from Columbus, Texas, is the 11th president during AFBF’s almost 97-year history.

“It has been a tremendous honor to serve the nation’s Farm Bureau members and represent agriculture and rural America,” Stallman said. “After 16 years as AFBF president, six as Texas Farm Bureau president and several more in other Farm Bureau roles, it is time to hand over the reins of leadership—a decision that is made easier by knowing the great leadership and foundation that exist to continue moving Farm Bureau forward. I am as optimistic as ever about the future of American agriculture and Farm Bureau.

“On the wall of the AFBF office is a quote by President Thomas Jefferson: ‘Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.’ I couldn’t agree more, and I would add that a most rewarding pursuit is working for the men and women who make up American agriculture. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to do so.”

AFBF has thrived under Stallman’s presidency. Farm Bureau membership nationwide has grown by more than 1 million member families. Programming has grown to include more efforts to build rural communities and economies and more leadership development programs to help farmers and ranchers become advocates for agriculture and citizen leaders in their communities. AFBF has grown organizationally, particularly with the acquisition of the IDEAg farm events and publications business in 2013. And AFBF has grown in its effectiveness as an advocate in the courts for farmers’ and ranchers’ freedom to operate, and it remains the most visible, influential voice in the nation’s capital for farmers and ranchers of all types, sizes and regions.

“While the presidential gavel will change hands, what defines Farm Bureau will remain the same: our grassroots strength and our commitment to strengthening America’s agricultural and rural communities,” Stallman added.

In addition to his Farm Bureau roles, Stallman has served on numerous boards and federal and state committees, including the White House Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the Farm Foundation board of trustees, the board and founding leadership of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, the board of the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and the House Agriculture Committee’s Commission on 21st Century Production Agriculture.

A new AFBF president will be elected to a two-year term at the 97th annual meeting of voting delegates, Jan. 12, 2016, as part of the AFBF Annual Convention and IDEAg Tradeshow, Jan. 10-13, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation, Regarding H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015

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“Congress stood with farmers and ranchers today in supporting innovation that helps the environment and keeps food prices down for everyone. The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 would protect consumers from confusing and misleading GMO labels and create a national, voluntary labeling standard based on science and common sense.

“The American Farm Bureau Federation supports all farmers and ranchers and opposes anyone who stands in the way of safe, affordable food. Consumers benefit from variety in the marketplace and should be free to make choices based on facts. The facts are that many farmers are growing more food with fewer resources, reducing their environmental impact, and keeping costs down—all thanks to advances in biotechnology.

“Farm Bureau applauds Representatives Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) for introducing this legislation, as well as House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), for their leadership in moving the bill forward, and thanks the House for their overwhelming bipartisan support.”

Tennessee Farm Bureau Praises Congressional Support of Trade Promotion Authority

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U.S. Congressmen Phil Roe (R-1st), Chuck Fleischmann (R-3rd), Scott DesJarlais (R-4th), Jim Cooper (D-5th), Diane Black (R-6th), Marsha Blackburn (R-7th) and Stephen Fincher (R-8th) voted for bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) today, ensuring Tennessee farmers continue to expand their exports to new markets around the globe.

Access to markets throughout the world is vital to not only Tennessee agriculture, but also the entire United States. Tennessee Farm Bureau is encouraged by our Tennessee Congressional members’ support of the TPA.

For more than 30 years, Congress has passed TPA laws to guide both Democratic and Republican Administrations in pursuing trade agreements that support U.S. jobs, eliminating barriers in foreign markets and establishing rules to stop unfair trade. This year is no different, and passage is critical to safeguarding current trade deals and establishing new ones.

“Having our Congressional members support the Trade Promotion Authority with their vote brings Tennessee farmers closer to being able to access new markets,” Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch said. “Tennessee’s agricultural exports have grown significantly in the past several years, helping not only farmers, but Tennessee’s economy as a whole.”

Tennessee’s agricultural exports reached an estimated $1.9 billion in 2013, an increase over the $1.2 billion in 2009. These exports not only boosted Tennessee’s economy, it also supported around 14,200 jobs on the farm and in related industries. Passage of TPA allows these exports to grow exponentially in the future as it gives our negotiators the leverage they need to resolve trade conflicts, break down barriers to U.S. products and open new avenues for trade.

“Tennessee farmers produce a quality product valued around the world. Tapping into new markets and expanding current ones gives our economy an important lift and fuels rural development,” said Upchurch. “With today’s vote, our Congressional members assured our state’s farmers can continue to provide valued products to all consumers.”

No Avian Influenza in Tennessee, but We are Prepared

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The ongoing highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 outbreak has been devastating to the U.S. poultry industry and is one of the most costly national animal health disasters on record. While this particular disease incident affects poultry, there are disease risks that could just as easily devastate other livestock sectors.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is monitoring the situation and preparing for the likelihood that this poultry disease will be detected here in Tennessee. Many of the plans and practices in place are similar to what would occur with other species. 



Since December 2014, USDA has confirmed HPAI H5 in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways. The disease has been found in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry flocks.  To date, 21 states have been affected including Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa being heavily impacted and declaring a state of emergency. At this time, HPAI still has not been detected in Tennessee.

Nearly 50 million birds have been affected and USDA response efforts alone have costs more than $400 million. There have been no human cases associated with this incident. The outbreak appears to be slowing; however, this incidence is far from over. Migratory birds appear to be the main harbinger of the virus, so there is a strong chance for recurrence and spread of the disease in the fall as waterfowl migrate south. 


Tennessee’s Response

· The state has an Initial State Response and Containment Plan (ISRCP) for the control of H5/H7 avian influenza. The plan covers a wide range of responses and protocols for quarantine, testing, disposal, cleaning, disinfection and monitoring. Tennessee’s plan includes the use of an Incident Command System to coordinate response and recovery activities by both state and federal animal health officials. With TDA as the lead agency, planning has been done in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Health, USDA, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and Tennessee’s commercial poultry industry.

· Tennessee Avian Health Advisory Board is serving as the Tennessee Emergency Management Committee (EMDC). The committee comprises representatives of poultry companies, the Tennessee Poultry Association, the Tennessee departments of Agriculture, Environment and Conservation, and Health, USDA-APHIS and UT Extension. The EMDC regularly convenes and since March has conferenced three times for updates on the current outbreak and to recommend protective actions. The EMDC assists TDA and would make recommendations concerning repopulation, movement of poultry and poultry products and quarantine status.

· In addition to the normally scheduled Avian Influenza emergency preparedness exercise that is conducted every five years, TDA, TEMA, Health and the Tennessee One Health Committee will conduct a tabletop exercise and workshop in the coming weeks.

· While there is no evidence that this strain of avian influenza is communicable to humans, the Tennessee Department of Health is a major partner and is intricately involved in planning and response activities. This includes monitoring responders for flu-like symptoms, providing consultation on preventive measures, epidemiological and laboratory support, personal protective equipment training and veterinary medical supply management.

· In response to a request for assistance from the state of Minnesota, TDA has sent one staff veterinarian and two animal health technicians to assist with that state’s response efforts. Not only does this provide much needed assistance for a state that has more than 105 HPAI quarantined premises, but it provides an opportunity for real-life incident training for our personnel. We anticipate sending additional teams in the near future. 

· We are fortunate Tennessee’s State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher is the current president of the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials (NASAHO). As president, he conducts weekly conference calls between NASAHO and USDA-APHIS and is in regular communication with other states as to their protective and response activities. This gives our state a decisive advantage in keeping up with the latest developments. 

· On March 12, TDA issued an Animal Health Advisory to make poultry growers and owners aware of the avian influenza outbreak and remind them of biosecurity measures to protect their flocks. Additional advisories and information will be posted on the department’s website as needed. The department is also reaching out to fairs and 4-H agents across the state to remind them about animal health regulations and recommended biosecurity practices.

· Each year, TDA’s Kord Animal Health lab tests approximately 22,000 samples from poultry for avian flu. This includes routine surveillance and testing for commercial and backyard flocks and for the National Poultry Improvement Plan program. Additionally, the U.S. Wildlife Services conducts testing on waterfowl. We will continue surveillance and will consider increasing the number of samples tested as needed.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is focused on animal health and protecting the livestock industry that is so critical to our state’s well-being and economy. Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson said, “I believe we are well prepared to respond to and manage any disease incidence. We want to encourage producers to continue to practice and strengthen biosecurity measures and to report any unusual bird deaths.”

For more information on recommended biosecurity practices for commercial or backyard flocks, visit

For the latest information on the current U.S. avian influenza outbreak, visit the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s website at

Public Notice by Tennessee Pork Producers Association and the National Pork Board

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The election of pork producer delegate candidates for the 2016 National Pork Producers (Pork Act) Delegate Body will take place at  1:30 p.m. (CST), Thursday, June 25, 2015in conjunction with an Executive Committee meeting of the Tennessee Pork Producers Association Pork Producers Association at the Ed Jones Auditorium, Ellington Ag Center, 440 Hogan Rd. Nashville, TN.All Tennessee producers are invited to attend. The 2016 National Pork Forum is scheduled for March 3-5, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

 Any producer, age 18 or older, who is a resident of the state and has paid all assessments due may be considered as a delegate candidate and/or participate in the election. All eligible producers are encouraged to bring with them a sales receipt proving that hogs were sold in their name and the checkoff deducted.  For more information, contact Tennessee Pork Producers Association, 13994 Versailles Rd., Rockvale, TN 37153 ph: 615 274 6533.

UT Institute of Agriculture Will Soon Have New 4-H Camp and Conference Center

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It’s a stunning tract of Tennessee property – 1,200 acres of woods, pastures, lakes and farmland – and soon it will host 4-H campers and people of all ages looking for a great place to gather and learn.

A new 4-H camp and conference center is coming to Lone Oaks Farm in Hardeman County. Recently the Tennessee General Assembly approved the state budget for the next fiscal year, which includes funding for the Lone Oaks project.

“We are very appreciative the legislature saw the value and potential of having a 4-H camp and educational center that can be used by many Tennesseans,” said UT Institute of Agriculture Chancellor Larry Arrington. “It will be located in West Tennessee, but available to anyone looking for a unique center for learning. The new center will have a tremendous educational and economic impact.”

"The West Tennessee 4-H Center was one of the top budget priorities I advocated for this year. This facility will give UT Extension and 4-H a valuable tool for preparing our young people with the life skills they need to succeed and lead,” said UT System President Joe DiPietro. “In addition, the center also will serve as an interactive community resource for the West Tennessee region for many groups to explore and appreciate.”

Lone Oaks will be used to teach young people about agriculture, natural resources and science. Existing buildings on the property can also be used for organizational retreats and meetings by industry and agri-business groups.

Many site development features are already in place, including roads, fencing and utilities. A number of facilities and buildings are there as well, including lodging, a museum, a livestock sale area with seating for more than 300 people, and a commercial kitchen capable of serving 300 guests. Many lakes and ponds are at Lone Oaks, as well as an equestrian facility that can be used for both camp rides and hosting competitions.

According to a study conducted by the UT Center for Sustainable Business and Development, the 4-H and Conference Center could contribute $47 million to the region’s economy.

“Lone Oaks is a beautiful and versatile place,” says UT Extension Dean Tim Cross. “We believe UT Extension can now create a premiere 4-H Camp and Conference Center, and a place that all Tennesseans can proudly say represents our state.”

This process took several years, following the closure of the Buford Ellington 4-H Center in Milan in 2009 due to budget reductions and deteriorating conditions. UT Extension stakeholders wanted a new 4-H center to serve the western region of Tennessee, and listening sessions were then conducted involving Extension, UT alumni, 4-H volunteers, and community leaders and key supporters.

More than 7,000 contacts to legislators were made through the UT Advocacy network, and many more contacts were made outside the system by interested groups, especially members of the Tennessee Farm Bureau. To date, more than $4 million has been gifted or pledged to support the project.

“The investment by philanthropists helped to convince many caring stakeholders and lawmakers that 4-H is strongly supported statewide,” said Keith Barber, Vice Chancellor of UTIA Institutional Advancement. “The people and organizations who have provided financial assistance have proven that our youth are worth their investments.”

UT Extension operates three other 4-H centers across the state in Columbia, Crossville and Greeneville, and 13,000 kids attend programs at these facilities throughout the year. With the establishment of the new center in West Tennessee, more children who have not been able to participate in 4-H programs will now have the opportunity.

“I’m very excited to hear the news that the Lone Oaks project passed in Nashville,” said Gary Rodgers, UT Extension director for Hardeman County and longtime 4-H agent. “We look forward to beginning the process to make this an amazing center that will help meet the needs of a wide range of clientele. The possibilities are truly endless.”

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides instruction, research and outreach through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 research and education centers, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.


Contact: Chuck Denney, 865-974-7141, or