Franklin, TN. February 24, 2020 – More than 400 young people from across the state gathered at the 2020 Young Leaders Conference held February 21 and 22 at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Franklin, co-sponsored by the Tennessee Council of Cooperatives (TCC) and Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers and Ranchers organization. The annual conference brings couples and individuals together from rural communities to learn about cooperatives, share their views about agriculture and discuss current issues facing rural Americans.
The group kicked off the weekend with agricultural tours in the Middle Tennessee area. The Tennessee Equine Hospital gave attendees with a taste of the medical side of the agriculture industry, and Riverbend Nurseries, owned and operated by Steve Bennett, provided the group with an extensive tour of the retail and production side of the nursery, as well as a tree cutting demonstration.
Keynote speakers included humorist Dr. Hugh McCampbell, motivational speaker and current military veterinarian, Major Shane Chumbler, and livestock handling and management extraordinaire, Dr. Temple Grandin. Greg Anderson, former TCC president, was presented an annual award given by TCC to an individual who has shown dedication to the cooperative cause in Tennessee. TCC made a $1,000 contribution in Anderson’s honor to the John Willis Memorial Scholarship fund, which provides financial aid to deserving college agriculture students in the state.
Also at the conference, the top five YF&R county programs from across the state were announced. Clay County received fifth place, Marshall County received fourth place, Putnam County received third place, Dyer County received second place and the best county in Tennessee for 2019 was Sullivan County.