June 17-23 is designated as National Forage Week, and Governor Bill Haslam has signed a proclamation declaring that Tennessee will join the celebration. In his proclamation Haslam expressed the large impact that forage has on the Tennessee agricultural industry.
According to Gary Bates, director of the University of Tennessee Beef and Forage Center, “There are more than four million acres of forage in Tennessee, and UTIA conducts research and educational programs to help forage producers from across the state improve their operations.” Forage also provides the diet for the state’s 2.1 million cattle, sheep goats and horses. In the official proclamation, Haslam touches on the fact that forage supports $1 billion in agricultural income for the state of Tennessee.
National Forage Week will pay homage to the forages that not only provide quality food for livestock but also provide food, cover and shelter for wildlife. It will also recognize that forage provides a diverse habitat for pollinator species, reduces soil erosion, improve soil health and filter sediments to reduce water pollution.
National Forage Week connects consumers with the indispensable role forages contribute to everyday life, which includes meat products, dairy products and ornamental grasses. National Forage Week helps preserve the agrarian heritage and the rural lifestyle of both our country and Tennessee.
For more information on National Forage Week visit the National Forage Week website or the UT Beef and Forage Center’s Facebook page. National Forage Week is sponsored by the American Forage and Grassland Council.
The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture celebrates 50 years of excellence in providing Real. Life. Solutions. through teaching, discovery and service. ag.tennessee.edu.
Beth Hall or Emily Haskew (intern), UTIA Marketing and Communications, 865-974-7141, firstname.lastname@example.org