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Young Farmers Take Home National Honors

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During the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Farm Bureau Federation in Orlando, Florida, the Tennessee Young Farmers & Ranchers took home honors in each of the three contests held at the national level - the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet and Excellence in Agriculture. Young farmers and ranchers from around the country competed for the awards by demonstrating knowledge of and achievement in agriculture, as well as commitment to promoting the agriculture industry.

Jay Head of Montgomery County was named runner-up in the Achievement contest. He receives a Case IH Farmall 65A tractor and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise.  Head farms 5,300 acres near Clarksville 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. The Achievement Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who have excelled in their farming or ranching operations and exhibited superior leadership abilities. Participants are evaluated on a combination of their agricultural operation’s growth and financial progress, Farm Bureau leadership and leadership outside of Farm Bureau.

Hunter Grills of Dyer County was named a runner-up in the Discussion Meet and receives a Case IH Farmall 55A tractor and $3,000 in cash and STIHL merchandise.  Grills made it all the way to the final four after three rounds of competition and was announced as a runner-up on stage. The Discussion Meet simulates a committee meeting in which active discussion and participation are expected. Participants are evaluated on their ability to exchange ideas and information on a predetermined topic.

Jimmy and Lydia McAlister from Greene County were named to the top ten in the Excellence in Agriculture competition. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who do not derive the majority of their income from an agricultural operation, but who actively contribute and grow through their involvement in agriculture, their leadership ability and participation in Farm Bureau and other organizations.

Delegates returned home Wednesday following the annual meeting of the voting delegates, who discuss and set policy for the national farm organization. A total of 355 voting delegates, of which Tennessee Farm Bureau had 34, representing every crop and livestock sector in the United States deliberated on policies affecting farmers’ and ranchers’ productivity and profitability. The policies approved at the convention will guide the nation’s largest general farm organization throughout 2015.

 

Washington County Farmer Aiken Elected 8th President of Nation’s Largest State Farm Bureau

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During their 94th annual convention held in Franklin, the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s delegates, representing agriculture and farmers across the state, not only debated policy proposals and passed resolutions to work on passage of legislation in 2016 at the state and federal levels, they also elected their 8th president of the nation’s largest state Farm Bureau organization.

Washington county farmer Jeff Aiken, 52, was elected today by the voting delegate body to serve as the organization’s president, representing more than 644,000 family members in Tennessee. Aiken has served as vice-president since 2012, and a director-at-large on the state board of directors since 1998 when he was elected to that office by the Farm Bureau’s county leadership statewide.  He has headed up numerous committees at the state level, as well as being his county’s president for many years.  He has held the office of state YF&R chairman and was the 1992 Tennessee Young Farmer of the Year.
 Aiken and his wife Carol farm 900 acres near Telford in upper East Tennessee where he produces corn, hay, straw, 100 acres of tobacco and more than 600 head of beef cattle.
 
Elected as the new vice president was Humphreys County farmer Eric Mayberry. Mayberry, 50, and his wife Lynn farm 1000 acres of row crops and a nearly 300 head commercial cow/calf operation near Hurricane Mills. Mayberry was first elected to the state board of directors representing District II in 2005. He has also served on his county’s board of directors since 1988, including five years as president.
 
Also newly elected to the state board were Lincoln County’s Josh Ogle, representing District II; Smith County’s Mike Scudder, representing District IV; and Robert Elliott of Robertson County was selected as the new state Young Farmer and Rancher chairman.
 
Others re-elected to the board of directors by the voting delegates were: Charles Hancock from Bumpus Mills, Mrs. Catherine Via from Alamo, David Richesin from Lenoir City, Malcolm Burchfiel from Newbern, James Haskew from South Pittsburg, David Mitchell from Blaine and Mrs. Jane May, State Women’s chairman from Newbern.

County Farm Bureaus Honored with Pinnacle Partnership Award

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During the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th annual convention at Franklin’s Cool Springs Marriott, ten county Farm Bureaus were recognized for reaching the highest standards possible in membership, programs and teamwork. Those counties are Bedford, Coffee, Giles, Grundy, Maury, Montgomery, Obion, Overton, Rutherford and Weakley County.

“The Pinnacle Partnership Award is the highest recognition a county Farm Bureau may receive. It encompasses the highest standards and is evidenced by the cooperation between volunteer leaders, agents and staff,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch.

Each of the ten county Farm Bureaus was recognized onstage with the Pinnacle Partnership Award for their exemplary records over the past year. They received a plaque with the bronze Pinnacle Partnership medallion.

Each of these counties are to be commended for their hard work and well-earned success over the past year,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch. “We congratulate them for their high standards and ability to work together to achieve goals.”

Tennessee Farm Bureau is the largest Farm Bureau in the nation with a membership more than 600,000, and is a farm organization whose goal is to develop, foster, promote and protect programs for the general welfare, including economic, social, educational and political well-being of farm people of the great state of Tennessee.

For more information, contact Lee Maddox, Tennessee Farm Bureau Director of Communications – lmaddox@tfbf.com – 931-388-7872 

County Farm Bureaus Honored with President’s Awards

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 During the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s 94th annual convention at Franklin’s Cool Springs Marriott, twenty-seven county Farm Bureaus were recognized for accomplishments and successes from the past year.

“The President’s Awards program is a blueprint for a successful county Farm Bureau and it is appropriate we recognize each of our county presidents for their leadership in making their respective county Farm Bureaus a success,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch.

Twenty-seven county Farm Bureaus were recognized onstage with President’s Awards for their exemplary program and service activities in four areas: Public Relations, Leadership, Policy and Service.

Bedford County received awards for Public Relations and Policy; Benton County for Public Relations; Blount County for Public Relations; Bradley County for Service; Cannon County for Public Relations; Carroll County for Public Relations; Clay County for Public Relations; Cocke County for Public Relations; Coffee County for Public Relations, Leadership and Service; Crockett County for Public Relations; Cumberland County for Public Relations; Dickson County for Public Relations; Dyer County for Public Relations and Policy; Giles County for Service; Greene County for Service; Grundy County for Policy; Hardin County for Policy; Lawrence County for Service; Maury County for Service; Montgomery County for Policy; Obion County for Leadership and Policy; Overton County Leadership and Policy; Putnam County for Policy; Robertson County for Leadership and Service; Rutherford County for Leadership and Policy; Sullivan County for Leadership and Policy; and Weakley County for Leadership.

 “These counties are to be commended for their hard work and well-earned success over the past year,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Lacy Upchurch. “We congratulate each of them for their impressive membership achievements.”

Tennessee Farm Bureau is the largest Farm Bureau in the nation with a membership more than 600,000, and is a farm organization whose goal is to develop, foster, promote and protect programs for the general welfare, including economic, social, educational and political well-being of farm people of the great state of Tennessee.

 

For more information, contact Lee Maddox, Tennessee Farm Bureau Director of Communications – lmaddox@tfbf.com – 931-388-7872 

2015 TN Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

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The 2015 Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation's Annual Meeting will be held December 7-8 in Franklin, Tennessee. We hope you will join us for two days packed full of information, entertainment, awards and much more! County Farm Bureau leaders from across the state gather in Franklin to network, learn new trends and technologies in agriculture and learn which counties are leading the way in policy, leadership, communications, membership and service.

Follow Tennessee Farm Bureau on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and results while the convention is going on, or follow the hashtag #tnfbcon15

2015 TFBF Convention Agenda

Tennessee's Agriculture Literacy Week November 15-21

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Agriculture continues to rank as one of Tennessee’s most productive industries. Tennessee’s agriculture and forest products account for approximately 21 percent of the state’s economy and generate more than $71 billion in total economic activity.

Less than 2% of our nation’s population are involved in raising our country’s food and fiber. One American farmer now raises enough food and fiber for 155 people. With an increasingly urban population and with fewer people raised on farms and ranches, the majority of today’s consumers do not know how their food is raised and processed.

“It is up to those involved in agriculture to share the story of how we are raising the animals and crops that feed and clothe our country”, states Lou Nave, executive director of the Farm Animal Care Coalition of Tennessee. 

Tennessee farmers and ranchers are encouraged to share their stories and agriculture knowledge with school students during Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week, November 15 -21, 2015.

“Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week is a great opportunity for farmers and ranchers to visit local schools, read accurate agriculture books and interact with students and teachers,” continued Nave. 

Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week will allow everyone involved in agriculture to focus attention toward our vibrant industry through literacy promotions in local school systems.  Farmers, ranchers FFA and 4-H members, and others involved in agriculture are encouraged to contact local school systems and schedule a visit to read agriculturally themed books to school students.  

Many segments of Tennessee’s agriculture industry have strong literacy outreach programs.  Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week should enhance and support those efforts while providing guidance and opportunities for new and innovative agriculture literacy programs.  

A Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week guide including appropriate books, useful support material and useful steps for success has been created.  These resources are available at www.TennesseeAg.org.

To capitalize on this concerted effort, Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week activities should be completed by November 25, 2015.  Volunteers should complete a basic feedback form after each school visit (available at www.TennesseeAg.org).

If you have any questions, please contact Lou Nave at Farm Animal Care Tennessee’s Coalition of Tennessee: (615) 970-8065.

Tennessee FFA's Nick Baker elected National FFA Secretary

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Students from Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Iowa, Georgia and Utah have been elected by delegates from throughout the United States to serve on the 2015-16 National FFA Officer team:

Taylor McNeel of Arkansas, an agricultural business major at Southern Arkansas University, was elected president.
Nick Baker of Tennessee, an agricultural communications major at the University of Tennessee, will serve as secretary.
Sydney Snider of Ohio, an agricultural communications major at The Ohio State University, was elected eastern region vice president.
Abrah Meyer of Iowa, an agricultural business major at Iowa State University, will serve as central region vice president.
Abbey Gretsch of Georgia, an agricultural communications major at the University of Georgia, was elected southern region vice president.
Sarah Draper of Utah, an agricultural education major at Utah State University, will serve as western region vice president.

The new team was elected Saturday, Oct. 31, at Freedom Hall during the 88th National FFA Convention & Expo.

Each year at the National FFA Convention & Expo, six students are elected by delegates to represent the organization as National FFA officers. Delegates elect a president, secretary and vice presidents representing the central, southern, eastern and western regions of the country.

National officers commit to a year of service to the National FFA Organization. Each travels more than 100,000 national and international miles to interact with business and industry leaders, thousands of FFA members and teachers, corporate sponsors, government and education officials, state FFA leaders, the general public and more.The team will lead personal growth and leadership training conferences for FFA members throughout the country and help set policies that will guide the future of FFA and promote agricultural literacy.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 629,367 student members who belong to one of 7,757 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

UT Institute of Agriculture Announces “All Vol Cheese” for Sale by UT Students

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Some future food scientists are saying “cheese” these days, and it has nothing to do with having their photo taken.

The University of Tennessee College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is introducing a product line called “All Vol Cheese” that will soon be available for purchase. Four flavors are offered -- Checkerboard Mild Cheddar, Game Day Sharp Cheddar, Smokey’s Smoked Gouda and Torchbearer Jalapeno.

“All Vol Cheese” debuted at Ag Day on the UT Institute of Agriculture campus. The cheese is available for purchase through the Department of Food Science and Technology (FST), and during fundraisers by UT student clubs. You will also be able to purchase online at tiny.utk.edu/cheese

A gift box will be introduced in November for holiday sales. The cheese is packaged in 10-ounce bars, and gift boxes will accommodate between two and four bars of cheese. All proceeds benefit student programs at the UT Institute of Agriculture.

UTIA is partnering with Sweetwater Valley Farm in developing “All Vol Cheese.” The product is made at the company’s site in Loudon County, where a number of FST students held internships this past year.

“Sweetwater Valley Farm has been a trusted partner for several years,” says Mark Morgan, head of UT’s Food Science and Technology Department. “They helped our students learn about cheese-making from start to finish, all the way from raising the cows, to turning milk into cheese, and how it is packaged and sold to the market. Throughout the process, the students also learn about manufacturing and regulatory issues – preparing them for future employment in the industry.”

“Our cheese line is a joint effort between FST and a new public-private entrepreneurial program we’ve established called “Aginnovations,” says Bill Brown, dean of UT AgResearch. “Our goal is to help faculty, researchers and students turn their ideas into new businesses, whether internal or external to the university.” 

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu 

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Contact: Chuck Denney, UTIA Marketing & Communications, 865-382-8058 (mobile), cmdenney@utk.edu

Tennessee Has Great Pumpkins, No Matter How You Stack Them

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Tennesseans can expect plentiful pumpkins, gourds and winter squash this year.

Round, bright orange Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins are still popular for Halloween carving, but increasing numbers of colorful heirloom pumpkins, which are also edible, may be stealing the show.

Traditional cooking pumpkin varieties like the blue Australian or Jarrahdale pumpkin, the neon orange Cinderella pumpkin and the pinkish Long Island cheese pumpkin tend to be relatively flat. Their bold, unusual colors also make them trendy favorites for stacking on doorsteps in autumn tableaus, making them a smart choice no matter how they’re displayed. 

Tennessee pumpkin growers weathered a challenging growing season with cool, wet conditions, but ended with ideal harvest conditions for the 2015 crop. About 2,000 acres across the state are dedicated to pumpkins, colorful gourds and other hard squash. Loads of colorful orbs have been making their ways to area farmers markets, garden centers and retail outlets since the first week of September.

A popular way to celebrate the season’s pumpkins and other gorgeous décor is to make pumpkin picking an autumn adventure at local fun farms and orchards that also offer corn mazes, wagon rides, farm animal petting zoos and creative, farm-themed playgrounds. 

The free Pick Tennessee Mobile App from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture allows users to find local farms and farmers markets, then map the way from the user’s location. Find pumpkin patches and all sorts of autumn decor, including gourds, squash, Indian corn, straw bales and chrysanthemums for doorsteps, pies and table arrangements with the Pick Tennessee Website and mobile app.

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 www.necasag.org, 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
Tuesday
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

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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 reiterg@nicc.edu; or Dan Neenan, NECAS director, at (888) 844-6322, ext. 248, or neenand@nicc.edu.AdditionalinformationaboutNECASisavailableat www.necasag.org.

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