By Joan Kite
Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 100 students, staff, and faculty members attended the College of Agriculture’s inaugural AgFest at Tennessee State University on Monday.
The event took place on the university’s main campus in the circle in front of the College. Participants were treated to opportunities to feed goats, pet a Dexter bull, take selfies with a prancing Tennessee Walking Horse, examine scientific equipment, and mingle with friends.
“It’s a beautiful day,” said Lauren Stevens, an agriculture graduate student who attended with her fellow classmates.
Ag Professor John Ricketts, who organized the visit by horse trainer Jerry Williams, Jr., and his Tennessee Walking Horse, also arranged to have the Agricultural Education Mobile Laboratory parked on the Circle. The classroom on wheels provides mobile lessons about agricultural literacy.
Emily Hayes, a graduate student and assistant with the College’s nationally recognized goat research, said before AgFest that she was looking forward to it.
“The AgFest is a great opportunity for people to actually see all … these groups together, and see all of the work we’ve done as an entire ag department,” said Hayes.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded more than $2 million in teaching, research and extension capacity building grants to seven TSU Ag professors.
The funds will be dedicated to developing research and extension activities designed to increase and strengthen food and agricultural sciences through integration of teaching, research and extension.
AgFest marks the beginning of events all week at the College of Agriculture. On Tuesday, students participated in the Amazing Race, an agricultural scavenger hunt. On Thursday, high school students were to participate in the College’s first Agri-science Jackpot Fair, where a $500 first place and $250 second place prize will be awarded.
To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.
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With more than 8,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs and seven doctoral degrees. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.