Tag Archives: college of agriculture

STEM Tour gives visiting high school students a taste of TSU excellence

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – More than 200 prospective STEM majors from three local high schools got a taste of Tennessee State University’s excellence on Wednesday.

Students from Antioch High, Cane Ridge and Hunters Lane participated in the 2019 TSU STEM Tour. They arrived on campus early and spent half the day visiting several of the university’s Colleges, as well as enjoying some TSU spirit.

High school students listen to Engineering instructor. (Photo by Charles Cook, TSU Media Relations).

Highlights of the day included a visit with TSU President Glenda Glover, and a special pep rally featuring the famed Aristocrat of Bands.

While many of the high school students are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), they are also considering other majors and fields.

Ninth-grader Erick Guzman plays trumpet in the band at Cane Ridge and said he enjoyed the energy of TSU’s band.

“Man, I was hyped,” said Guzman, adding that he’s seriously considering TSU when he graduates because of the band.

Zybria Holliday wants to be a pediatrician, but the 15-year-old said after visiting TSU, she’s considering it for undergrad.

“I had a wonderful time,” she said. “TSU is great!”

The Colleges the students visited were Agriculture, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Liberal Arts.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, talked to the students before they viewed some of the College’s research. Even though they still have a few years before graduation, he said now is the time to be thinking about attending a higher education institution.

“I’m sure all of you are bright students,” Hargrove said. “Now is the time to be thinking about what you want to do when you graduate. And I hope it’s engineering.”

High school students enjoy TSU pep rally. (Photo by Charles Cook, TSU Media Relations).

The students, who were accompanied by guidance counselors from each of their schools, also heard from other TSU officials and faculty, including Mr. Terrence Izzard, associate vice president for enrollment management, and Dr. Coreen Jackson, interim dean of the Honors College.

The guidance counselors lauded TSU for having the tour.

“The students got the opportunity to be exposed to Tennessee State, to see what’s available to them,” said Antioch counselor Tamika Reed. “A lot of times they don’t get that opportunity.”

Hunters Lane counselor Joe Levickis agreed.

“A lot of our kids are going to be applying to college and are going to be first generation students,” Levickis said. “It’s important that they get on a college campus, because it becomes more real to them. It’s also important to see people being successful, to see what their future could look like.”

Earlier this year, President Glover surprised about 20 students visiting the university with full scholarship offers. Most of the students were interested in STEM majors.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

College of Agriculture hosts Environmental Justice Academy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture recently hosted a program to equip students with the tools to address environmental and public health challenges in their communities.

Eleven students from eight 1890 Land Grant Universities participated in the Environmental Justice Academy March 19-21. Academy participants engaged in a series of virtual and interactive classroom sessions that help shape the principles of an effective Environmental Justice leader.

Courses included environmental law and regulations, community capacity building, strategic partnership and development of replication of best practices.

“I’m glad to collaborate with the US Forest Service and Environmental Protection Agency to pilot the 1890 Environmental Justice Academy,” said Dr. De’Etra Young, assistant professor in the College of Ag. “We’re equipping students to be leaders.”

Besides TSU, participating institutions included: Alcorn University, Florida A&M Law, Fort Valley State University, South Carolina State University, Southern University and A&M College, Tuskegee University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

Participant Brittanii Wade will be finishing law school in Florida A&M in a little over a month and plans to pursue environmental justice.

“Environmental justice ensures that every community, especially minority communities, have clean air, clean water, and clean soil,” said Wade. “I need the tools that they’re teaching so I can apply them at the community level, city level, state level, federal level, whichever direction I go in.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit  http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/.

NOTE: Feature photo by Everett D. Jolley

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

TSU partners with company for potentially groundbreaking hemp research

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is partnering with an emerging cannabis company for what officials say could be groundbreaking hemp research.

Dr. Ying Wu, associate professor of Food and Animal Science in TSU’s College of Agriculture, says she’s excited to begin her research with Eufloria Medical of Tennessee, Inc., a subsidiary of  Acacia Diversified Holdings, that will be manufacturing material for the university study.

Dr. Ying Wu

“We have started working on investigation of phytochemical profiles in hemp seeds, oils and extracts, and their related health benefits,” says Wu. “We are aiming to develop some health promoting product using the cutting-edge technologies, and provide reliable data of nutrients and phytochemicals in different hemp varieties.”

The research partnership aims to create a safe and chemical-free vehicle to obtain the health benefits of the whole-hemp plant into virtually anything from food and beverages to topical creams. The TSU research could produce innovative ways to obtain whole plant extract. 

“We wanted to work on something meaningful, we are doing this because we want people to feel better and contribute significantly to making the cannabis industry more sustainable,” says Kim Edwards. VP & COO of Acacia Diversified Holdings. 

Tennessee State University is among the nation’s leaders in hemp research. TSU’s College of Agriculture has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production in Tennessee. Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

“TSU wants to be at the forefront of this new interest that’s cropping up across the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “If it’s ever approved for large scale use, we have some knowledge about it and can work with the farmers.”

TSU has hosted several hemp workshops/meetings, including one in January with the Tennessee Hemp Industries Association, an advocate for the production of industrial hemp. More than 200 people attended the meeting.

For more information about the College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

Top Alabama Student Says Coming to TSU Opens Her to Opportunities Like No Other Institution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – When Jahnari Edwards was considering a higher learning institution, Tennessee State University was not on her list, then five weeks in a summer program at TSU during her senior year of high school changed everything.

“That program got me hooked,” says Edwards, an agriculture science major from Phenix City, Alabama. “The atmosphere was so family like. My advisor and all the people in the program were so nice and encouraging. I knew right then TSU was the place for me.”

Jahnari Edwards

Last summer, Edwards was one of 21 graduating high school seniors from across the nation who participated in the very competitive five-week residential Summer Apprenticeship Program. From studies in understanding hypersensitive response of tobacco plants to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls, participants in the program were exposed to real-world scientific work and cutting-edge research.

“The Summer Apprenticeship was so enriching; it exposed me to a whole new area of learning,” says Edwards, who gave up a tuition waiver to study broadcast journalism at Savannah State University. “I had the opportunity to go anywhere in Alabama for free, but I decided on TSU because of their agricultural program.”

Edwards, the youngest of three children, is the first in her family to attend a historically black institution. She came to TSU with a near 4.0 grade point average. An outstanding student at Smith Station High School, she graduated with high honors. She was the president of the senior class, and headed many other student organizations and initiatives.

At TSU, Edwards has not wavered in her pursuit of excellence. In her first semester, she earned a 3.8 GPA. She made the Dean’s List and is a member of the Honors College. She is also a member of Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences, Tiger Women in Agriculture, community service chair for Freshman Innovation Council, and is currently seeking a position in the Student Government Association.

Recently, Edwards was one of 10 TSU students selected to participate in a three-day Agriculture Future of America four-track program in Kansas City, Missouri, designed to offer college men and women different personal and professional development opportunities matched to their year in college.

Keisha Macklin Jeter is an outreach counselor in the College of Agriculture and an advisor to Edwards. She says that since participating in SAP, Edwards has “gone above and beyond” to demonstrate she values education and serving the community.

“Jahnari has excelled in the classroom while making community service an integral part of her higher education experience,” says Jeter. “Jahnari is an amazing student with a bright future ahead.”

Edwards, who wants to attend graduate school, says her future goal is to own a business part time and work for a major agriculture company. And she believes TSU will help her achieve that.

“I love TSU …the best HBCU in the land,” says Edwards. “I have gained a lot from being here and I have had a lot of opportunities that I feel I would not have gotten anywhere else.”

For more information on opportunities in the TSU College of Agriculture, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/seminar_schedule.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

Ag student receives Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship

By Joan Kite

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Alexius Dingle, an agriculture science major expecting to graduate in May, can rest a little easier after completing all those applications for grad school.

Her application fees are covered through her own efforts and a generous scholarship.

Awarded the prestigious Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship, she now has $2,500 to defray the cost of application fees.

“My ultimate goal is to get a Ph.D. in microbiology,” Dingle said. “I want to spend my career researching how we can use microorganisms to make our lives easier.”

The Justin Smith Morrill Scholarship is presented by the 1890 Land-Grant Universities Foundation to 19 graduating seniors — one at each of the 1890 member universities.

The scholarship was established to commemorate Justin Smith Morrill, a Vermont politician who advocated dedicating public lands to create higher education institutions that taught agriculture and other subjects to all. In 1862, President Abe Lincoln signed the Morrill Land Grant Act, a law that ultimately funded 105 institutions, and later on established colleges dedicated to educating African Americans.

Dingle is emblematic of that vital heritage.

She is a USDA/ 1890 National Scholar, a Tennessee State University Dean’s Scholar, and has been on the President’s List for the past three years.

Sustaining a 4.0 GPA, Dingle has also been able to serve as President of the Alpha Chi Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Freshman/Sophomore Class Representative of the Tennessee State University Honors College. She is a member of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), the Hip’Notyze Dance Troupe, and the African Student Association.

She has taken first place two years in a row in the TSU Research Symposium for Undergraduate Science.

During the past three summers, she has interned at the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Riverdale, Maryland, where she assisted in implementing regulations for genetically engineered organisms, and at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, where she sought to quantify mixotrophic behavior in dinoflagellates (algaes) indigenous to the Chesapeake Bay.

Dingle anticipates hearing in late winter or early spring from one of the four graduate schools for which she has applied.

A doctorate is on her goals’ list.

Is teaching at a university in her future?

“I’ve thought about becoming a professor,” she said.

Note: In the featured photo, College of Agriculture Dean Chandra Reddy presents Alexius Dingle with the scholarship check (Photo by Joan Kite).

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 7,000 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, 24 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.

TSU Ag researchers work to make sure turkeys safe to eat

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As people across the country prepare for Thanksgiving, researchers at Tennessee State University are making sure the turkeys consumers eat are safe.

Dr. Sam Nahashon

The researchers in the university’s College of Agriculture are using probiotics (cultivated beneficial microorganisms) to fight pathogens, including salmonella, which is involved in a current outbreak in turkeys.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the outbreak started in November 2017. As of Nov. 5, this year, 164 people have been infected. The agency reminds people to properly cook and handle turkeys this holiday season.

Dr. Sam Nahashon is professor of poultry science at TSU, and chair of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He said the current Ag research would reduce or exclude pathogens in the intestinal tract of turkeys or chickens by feeding them the cultivated beneficial microorganisms through feed and/or water.

Dr. Fur-Chi Chen

“It just takes a few harmful microorganisms in our body to cause a disease,” said Nahashon. “Our goal is to reduce salmonella and campylobacter in poultry.”

Added research professor Dr. Fur-Chi Chen: “The whole idea is using the beneficial bacteria to feed into the poultry, and during the production, they can prevent the salmonella.”

The CDC recommends handling raw turkey carefully, including washing hands before and after preparing or eating turkey. Cooking raw turkey thoroughly (to an internal temperature of 165°F, measured by placing a thermometer in the thickest part of the bird) will help prevent food poisoning.

TSU Ag professor Elyse Shearer said frozen turkeys should also be fully defrosted, preferably in the refrigerator over several days, and they should not be washed to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Dr. Elyse Shearer

“Also, make sure that no utensils or supplies that came in contact with the raw turkey touch other food items to prevent cross-contamination of harmful pathogens,” said Dr. Shearer, who works in the College of Ag’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences.

TSU’s College of Agriculture has received millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research poultry and promote food safety.

To learn more about the College of Agriculture’s food safety research, visit

http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/dont-wing-it/.

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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, 24 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.

State Lawmakers Converge on TSU Campus on ‘Tennessee General Assembly Day’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – State lawmakers got a chance to see Tennessee State University’s excellence up close earlier this month.

Several legislators – from the Senate and House of Representatives – visited and toured the campus on Nov. 14 in what was termed, “Experience TSU: Tennessee General Assembly Day at Tennessee State University.”

This was a departure from the annual “TSU Day at the Capitol,” when university administrators, students, faculty, alumni and friends converge on Legislative Plaza to showcase TSU’s research and other innovative initiatives. The next TSU Day at the Capitol will be on Feb. 12.

TSU alums and state lawmakers, Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; and Senator-elect Brenda Gilmore, said it was important for their fellow lawmakers to visit the TSU campus. (Photo by Michael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Joining the lawmakers at TSU were the Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton, and representatives from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Rural Development.

“We are very pleased to welcome you to Tennessee State University and our beautiful campus on behalf of our President, Dr. Glenda Glover,” said Dr. Curtis Johnson, chief of staff and associate vice president.

“Many of you may be familiar with our campus and for some of you, this may be your first time, but we are just glad that you included us in your busy schedules to make this day possible and to see for yourselves some of the great things taking place at this institution.”

At a luncheon in the President’s Dining Room prior to touring facilities on campus, the lawmakers received briefings and slide presentations from administrators on the university’s 2019 Legislative Priorities for funding consideration by the General Assembly.

Lawmakers and USDA officials watch a computer animation in the CAVE presented by Omari Paul, a 2nd-year Ph.D. student in Computer Information Systems Engineering. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The priorities include the creation of a STEM Institute, a Community Behavioral and Mental Health Center, the Cumberland Shores Research and Innovative Park, emergency funding for students, and safety and security.

“With the heightened demand for diversification in the STEM work force, an institute would provide research, professional development and training in recruiting and retaining minorities in STEM programs in Tennessee and nationally,” said Dr. Lesia Crumpton-Young, vice president for Research and Institutional Advancement.

With TSU one of only two HBCU’s offering a Ph.D. in psychology in the nation, Crumpton-Young told the lawmakers a community behavioral and mental health center would allow Ph.D. students in psychology to complete their clinical training on campus, instead of at Vanderbilt University, as they currently do.

A group of students from the TSU Career Development Center and the center director, Charles Jennings, right, make a presentation to the visiting legislators at the luncheon in the President’s Dining Room. (Photo by MIchael McLendon, TSU Media Relations)

Two TSU alums and state lawmakers, Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Senator-elect Brenda Gilmore, were among those present. They said the presence of their colleagues on campus allows them to see “where the money is going.”

“This is so vital because when Tennessee State is engaged and asking for money for campus improvements, security upgrades and for general operation, oftentimes legislators have never been to the campus,” Love said. “By having them on campus, we get to highlight all the wonderful things that are going on at TSU.”

Gilmore shared similar sentiment.

“TSU has so much to offer. They have some of the best and brightest students,” she said.  “I commend TSU for arranging this visit. This is a good start. TSU needs a greater presence, telling the story of what the university is and what the needs are.”

Following the luncheon, lawmakers toured various sites on campus, escorted by TSU’s Assistant Vice President for Public Relations and Communications, Kelli Sharpe, and Johnson.

Leon Roberts, coordinator of the TSU Dental Hygiene program, talks to visitors about the services offered by the Dental Hygiene Clinic. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Stops included a round-table discussion with administrators and the Dean of the College of Agriculture, Dr. Chandra Reddy, as well as a tour of the Food and Biosciences and Technology Lab, a cutting-edge facility.

State Sen. Frank S. Nicely, 8th District, said he is impressed with work going on at TSU, especially in agriculture.

“I enjoy very much hearing about TSU as a land-grant university,” said Nicely, who is 1st vice-chair of the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. “I am excited about the work you are doing with small farmers and reaching out to more counties with your extension program.”

Next, the group stopped in the College of Engineering, where they observed various animations in the CAVE or Computer Assisted for Virtual Environments, a facility for multi-disciplinary research, as well as the Advanced Materials Lab.

The group’s final stop was at TSU’s state-of-the-art Dental Hygiene Clinic, which provides a wide range of reduced-cost dental services to nearly 600 patients in the Nashville community a year.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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, 24 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.

Agriculture and Home Economic Hall of Fame welcomes new inductees

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The dean of Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture was among the three individuals inducted into the Ag and Home Economics Hall of Fame Thursday night.

Dr. Chandra Reddy was inducted along with Mr. Will Nesby, retired USDA program manager; and Mr. J.W. McGuire, retired county director, cooperative extension service. A ceremony was held at the Sheraton Music City Hotel.

The TSU Agriculture and Home Economics Hall of Fame was established in 1996 to recognize and honor those persons who have been diligent in their zeal to enhance the quality of life for residents of Tennessee and abroad, and to assist students in attending TSU and majoring in areas of Agriculture and Human Sciences.

TSU President Glenda Glover congratulated the new inductees, and thanked alumni and others in attendance for all their support.

“It’s good to see each of you here tonight, as we pay tribute to those who have made TSU outstanding.,” Glover said. “To our alumni, faculty, staff, students, thank you for being an ambassador of good will for our institution.”

TSU’s Homecoming activities continued Friday with the Charles Campbell Fish Fry, Student Pep Rally, and Greek Step Show.

On Friday evening, TSU planned a stellar Scholarship Gala at the Music City Center. This year, the Gala welcomes back comedian Jonathan Slocumb as the master of ceremony. Special entertainment will be provided by legendary jazz artist Roy Ayers. Proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships are used to provide financial assistance to students.

Homecoming will conclude Oct. 20 with the Homecoming Parade from 14th and Jefferson Street to 33rd and John Merritt Boulevard, and the big football matchup between the Tigers and the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech at Nissan Stadium.

For more information about Homecoming activities, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/alumni/homecoming/

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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, 24 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.

TSU alum’s festival helps give youngsters a ‘healthy start’ to school

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – One Tennessee State University alum is making sure youngsters have the items they need for school, as well as get some advice about educational opportunities and living healthier.

(l to r) TSU Interim Publications Director Michael McLendon, TSU College of Ag Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy, TSU Ag academic coordinator William Hayslett, State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., and Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for extension in Ag at TSU attend last year’s festival.

Love’s Healthy Start Festival will kick off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 28, at Hadley Park. This is the 6th year of the festival, which was started by State Rep. Harold Love, Jr., a TSU graduate.

Love has partnered with a number of organizations, including TSU, to provide hundreds of free backpacks and school supplies, along with educational information and free health tips that include health screenings. There will also be free food and live entertainment at the festival.

“Love’s Healthy Start Festival is more than a back to school event,” said Love. “It is designed to give the entire family an opportunity to start the school year off right.”

Faculty and staff from TSU will be on hand to provide information on subjects like engineering (STEM), family health, and food and nutrition.

Jason de Koff, an associate professor of agronomy and soil sciences in TSU’s College of Agriculture, said the festival is an opportunity to plant an early seed in the minds of young people about Tennessee State.

“It might make them consider TSU … just to see some of the neat things we’ve got going on,” said de Koff.

The festival will also feature literacy and financial education programs. For instance, for the second year, the festival has partnered with Book’em, a nonprofit organization, to provide 1,000 free books to youngsters in grades K-12.

Ten-year-old Kamaya Simpson attended last year’s festival and seemed to enjoy being able to get free books – particularly ones with a little excitement.

“I like my books,” said Simpson. “I like books with adventure.”

About Tennessee State University

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, 24 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.

 

Small farmers help foster healthier living, stimulate economy, says TSU alum and top Ag official

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Small farmers not only foster healthier living through production of foods like greens and vegetables, but they also stimulate the economy, said a TSU alum and top agriculture official.

Small Farm Expo attendees. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Leonard Jordan is associate chief for conservation of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jordan attended Tennessee State University’s Urban Agricultural Conference on July 18, and he spoke at its Small Farm Expo on July 19. Both events were sponsored by TSU’s College of Agriculture.

Jordan said small farmers are “very important to the economy.”

He said they may not be large producers, but if they’re able to make income from a small track of land, “that helps to stimulate the economy.”

This was the first year for the Urban Ag Conference, which focused on methods to grow horticultural crops, like fruits, because of growing interest in that area.

“Urban Ag is a fast growing field within agriculture as hydroponics, vertical, rooftop, and container gardening methods of growing horticultural crops are becoming popular in urban and suburban areas of the country,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s Ag College.

In 2016, TSU partnered with Farm Credit of Mid-America to promote urban agriculture, and that partnership is ongoing.

Mark Wilson, Farm Credit senior vice president for Financial Services, said TSU’s role will be critical as the United States faces a land shortage with a goal to double its food production in the next 30 years.

Dr. Chandra Reddy (left), dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture, and USDA official Leonard Jordan discuss research at TSU during Urban Agricultural Conference. (photo by Lucas Johnson, TSU Media Relations)

“That is quite a task,” said Wilson. “It is going to take people like us and the research that’s going on at Tennessee State University to make that possible.”

Jordan said people are aware of the need for more food production.

“They recognize that the land base itself is shrinking, but the number of people is growing,” he said. “So every acre counts.”

As for the expo, this is the 14th year of the event. TSU officials say it’s a way for the university and its partners at the state and federal levels to recognize the role farmers and agriculture play in the state and the nation.

The expo features speakers and workshops on topics that include urban agriculture, hemp research, and use of drones in agriculture.

Julio Sosa and his wife traveled from Dickson, Tennessee, to attend the expo. The couple have 6 acres and are exploring how to best utilize it.

“We’re here to ask and figure out the best way to do a business,” said Sosa. “We’re trying to build something for the future.”

He said they are considering growing healthy produce, life vegetables and green, because “people want better health.”

“How long you live is about the quality you have while you are here,” said Sosa.

The highlight of the expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” This year’s winner is Judith Reeder of Cream Valley Farms in Livingston, Tennessee. Reeder was also recognized for “Best Management Practices.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Agriculture, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/agriculture/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

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.