Tag Archives: Dr. Chandra Reddy

TSU College of Ag hosts Small Farm Outreach and Assistance Workshop

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture is holding its 4th Annual Small Farm Outreach and Assistance Workshop this week.

Workshop attendees hear from Amanda Robertson, regional coordinator for Kentucky and Tennessee at USDA-Farm Service Agency. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU News Service)

TSU officials say the goal of the workshop, June 20-21, is to provide the latest scientific information and hands-on training involving topics pertinent to small farmers and producers.

“We want to help them improve their production capability,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “How do you market what you produce? What are the new rules and regulations that are out there?”

Other workshop topics include loan assistance, food safety, and how to grow healthier produce.

Sylvester Taylor and his wife, Linda, traveled from Whiteville in West Tennessee to attend the workshop. The couple have been farming for about five years and say they want to learn how to grow foods without the use of substances like herbicide.

“We want to produce vegetables and fruits in an organic way that’s healthier,” says Linda Taylor.

The Taylors are among a growing number of black and other minority farmers. Reddy says he knows of one couple that’s had so much success farming, that the husband is leaving his engineering job to farm full time.

Because of such interest, agriculture officials at both the state and federal levels say they want to make sure small farmers get all the information they need to be successful.

Dennis Beavers, Farm Service Agency state executive director for Tennessee, speaks to workshop attendees. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations

“Farmers need these workshops,” said Dennis Beavers, Farm Service Agency state executive director for Tennessee. “The Farm Service Agency stands ready to help Tennessee State in anyway possible, to see that all farmers are taken care of and that we have a solid relationship with everyone in agriculture in Tennessee.”

The topic of food safety is likely to be a highlight of the two-day workshop because of the recent foodborne outbreaks across the country. Last week, TSU’s College of Agriculture had a workshop that focused specifically on food safety and the latest preventive research.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control announced a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to pre-cut melons. Before that, there was a recall on Romaine lettuce contaminated with E. coli.

So far, the salmonella outbreak has caused about 60 illnesses, while the lettuce contamination has made nearly 200 people ill since the outbreak in March, including five deaths.

At this week’s workshop, Dr. James Theuri from the University of Illinois will be presenting on food safety. He suggests farmers put together a “farm safety plan” that emphasizes cleanliness when handling any type of food.

“Food safety begins on the farm,” says Theuri, who is an extension educator of local food systems and small farms. “That means personal health and hygiene.”

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.

TSU helps promote new Agricultural Sciences degree in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has partnered with Motlow State Community College to offer an agriculture degree in Fayetteville.

TSU Ag professor Dr. John Ricketts (left), TSU Ag chair Dr. Samuel Nahashon, and Lisa Smith, assistant dean of the Motlow Fayetteville Campus, outside TSU’s mobile agriscience lab. (TSU Media Relations)

Officials with TSU and MSCC have been talking to media and high school teachers about the “2 + 2” program, which allows students to get a bachelor’s in Agricultural Sciences. There have been two open houses about the program, and an “enrollment event” was held June 12 at the MSCC Fayetteville Campus.

“We’re trying to generate as much buzz in the community as possible,” said Dr. John Ricketts, a professor of agricultural sciences at TSU and a facilitator of the TSU-MSCC Ag program.

Ricketts, along with Dr. Samuel Nahashon, the chair of TSU’s Agricultural Sciences Department, traveled to Fayetteville in the university’s mobile agriscience lab earlier this month.

Under the “2 + 2” Ag program, participants get an associate’s degree at MSCC, then have the option of getting a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences from TSU, which can be conveniently done at MSCC.

“The 2 + 2 program is great because it’s going to allow them to continue to get a four-year degree in the field they love of agriculture, but do it by staying close by in Lincoln County,” said Lisa Smith, assistant dean of the Motlow Fayetteville Campus.

TSU professors will teach in a combination of ways that include traveling to Fayetteville and providing instruction remotely, according to TSU officials.

Ricketts and several TSU administrators spoke to Nashville Public Radio (WPLN) about the program this month.

“We make every effort for the students to see and interact with TSU professors, and to gain the same classroom experience they would if they were on TSU’s main campus,” said Dr. Sharon Peters, executive director of Community College Initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs at TSU.

The program, which is scheduled to start in the fall, is a continued effort by TSU to help students in rural areas meet the demand for trained professionals in different fields.

“We don’t produce, as a country, enough graduates in agriculture to meet all the needs of the employers,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture. “In the rural parts of Tennessee, there are a lot of people engaged in agriculture. This program provides those people access to a higher education.”

The university currently has a similar program at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, that leads to a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and criminal justice. A program on Motlow’s main campus in Tullahoma, Tennessee, leads to a degree in criminal justice; and one is planned for the Motlow-McMinnville, Tennessee, campus in 2019 that will offer a degree in engineering, with a focus on megatronics.

“TSU is committed to the growth of 2+2 programs because they represent sustained growth in our transfer student population and outreach to our neighbors in Tennessee’s rural communities,” said Dr. Alisa Mosley, interim vice president of Academic Affairs at TSU.

TSU Ag professor Dr. John Ricketts and TSU Ag chair Dr. Samuel Nahashon discuss program with marketing representative Sarah MacYoung with Fayetteville Public Utilities Channel 6. (TSU Media Relations)

In the case of the most recent TSU-MSCC partnership, the degree completion program will target adults who began college but never finished, and traditional age students with an interest in agriculture that would prefer to study close to home.

“Students will be able to finish a four-year degree program, which is required for lots of the different types of jobs they want to go into,” said Ricketts. “It’s a benefit all the way around.”

Peters said students who have an associate’s degree and continue their education usually have a “high rate of completion.”

“They’ve demonstrated they can make it through two years of post-secondary education,” she said. “They’re focused. A lot of these students end up being some of our high achievers.”

The TSU-MSCC Ag program is awaiting final approval from the TSU Board of Trustees.

For more information about the Ag program, contact Lisa Smith at 931-433-9350 or lsmith@mscc.edu.

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.

TSU Agriscience Fair provides opportunities to learn, recruit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from area high schools got a chance to showcase their agriculture projects at Tennessee State University’s inaugural Agriscience Fair on Thursday.

Ali Bledsoe, a ninth-grader from Clarkrange High School in Fentress County, receives a check for $500 for taking first place in the plant science category. Presenting the check are Dr. Samuel Nahashon, chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences, left; Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture; and Dr. John Ricketts, TSU Ag professor and fair organizer. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Close to 100 students in grades 9-12 participated in the event sponsored by TSU’s College of Agriculture. The students, from 11 counties, made presentations in categories that included food and nutritional sciences, plant sciences, animal sciences, agricultural engineering and biotechnology. The presentations in each category were judged, with first place winners receiving $500, and $250 for second place.

While the fair was a chance for students to showcase their work, organizers said it was also an opportunity for students to see what TSU has to offer, and hopefully draw them to the university.

“There’s so much out there we do in terms of research, in terms of addressing national priorities,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture. “A lot of times the young people in the school systems don’t know that. So we’re trying to get them to our place … and see how we can blend their goals with what we have here.”

Dr. John Ricketts, a TSU Ag professor and organizer of the fair, said the students got a chance to interact with some of the College of Agriculture’s faculty and discuss topics related to their areas of interest.

“So, in addition to recruiting, it’s really helping them with their research interest in the areas they’re studying,” Ricketts said.

Tenth-grader Elise Russ showcases presentation on diabetes and eating healthier. Russ says she plans to attend TSU. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Elise Russ, a 10th-grader from Hillsboro High School in Nashville who was a presenter at the fair, said she plans to attend TSU and major in agriculture. She said she’s been inspired to work in that field after spending time gardening with her grandmother.

“I like agriculture,” said Russ, whose presentation was about diabetes and eating healthier. “I used to always be in the garden with my grandmother; I just loved doing that with her.”

One of the winner’s at the fair was Ali Bledsoe, a ninth-grader from Clarkrange High School in Fentress Country. She got first place in the plant science category for her presentation about “organic matter in the soil.”

Bledsoe said a large part of her interest in agriculture is due to her older brother, who was in Future Farmers of America, or FFA.

“He introduced me to this,” said Bledsoe, who is also in FFA. “He did a project sort of like this his freshman year.”

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.

College of Ag celebrates its students and studies at inaugural AgFest

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture will showcase its students and cutting-edge research at its inaugural AgFest on Monday, April 9.

Graduate students Kyle Williams and Uzoamaka Abana work in one of the new Ag labs. (photo by Joan Kite, TSU Media Relations)

The free event will kick off at 11 a.m. in the circle in front of the Agricultural Complex. Visitors will learn about some of the vital research being conducted in the College, as well as lucrative career opportunities available to agriculture majors. Live animals such as goats, cattle, guinea fowl, and a Tennessee Walking Horse will be on display.

The Agricultural Education Mobile Laboratory, a mobile classroom that provides agricultural literacy to audiences that are not familiar with the industry, will be parked at the circle.

“Anybody can come out,” says Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College, which recently opened six new laboratories and remodeled several others. “We want them to see the cutting-edge research being conducted at the College.”

Emily Hayes, a graduate student and assistant with the College’s nationally recognized goat research, says she’s looking forward to AgFest.

“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,” says 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.

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.

College of Agriculture opens six new labs

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover and Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association, joined Ag Dean Chandra Reddy at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday to open six new Ag laboratories.

TSU President Glenda Glover (center), Ag Dean Chandra Reddy (right), and Joni McReynolds, president of the TSU National Alumni Association, participate in ribbon-cutting ceremony. (submitted photo

The ceremony, which was held on National Ag Day, included the re-opening of five newly remodeled labs, bringing the total number of state-of-the art laboratories at the College to 35.

“In these labs, graduate and undergraduate students along with post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, and our principal scientists conduct research in national challenge areas such as food security and safety, environmental sustainability, human health and nutrition, and renewable energy,” said Reddy. “The knowledge generated from these labs is shared with the stakeholders and the public to improve agricultural productivity, human health, and community development.”

Open now for active research are the new labs for Plant Nutrition, Wildlife Ecology, Water Resources, Urban Forestry, Entomology, Organic Agriculture and Modeling and Data Analysis. USDA Capacity Building Grants helped fund the creation of the new labs, which were carved from Dr. Reddy’s former office space in the Farrell-Westbrook building.

Before the official tour of the labs, students Kristen Stigger, Taylor Ribeiro, and Durga Khandekar, dressed in crisp, white lab coats, presented Glover with freshly cut flowers. The flowers were grown in the greenhouses at TSU College of Agriculture’s Research and Education Center.

During the tour, the president and McReynolds talked with many of the students who are actively engaged in research projects. The students’ studies range from determining Tennessee’s salamander population through DNA sampling of local streams to research and discovering the best practices for using integrated pest management and biological control to prevent plant and crop destruction.

“I can move forward with my environmental DNA research much more quickly with access to state-of-the-art machines,” said Nicole Witzel, a research assistant in the Wildlife Ecology Lab. “The new lab is allowing us to conduct quality research efficiently, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

To learn more 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 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.

College of Agriculture celebrates National Ag Day with inaugural AgFest

By Joan Kite

Nashville, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s College of Agriculture will celebrate National Ag Day with its inaugural AgFest on March 20.

TSU President Glenda Glover will be present at 2 p.m. to cut the ribbon for the opening of the College’s brand new labs in the university’s Agriculture Complex on the main campus. College Dean Dr. Chandra Reddy will host a tour of those labs and existing ones. Anyone interested will have an opportunity to peer into all 27 labs.

“We want everyone to see our state-of-the-art research facilities,” says Reddy. “We want them to see the cutting-edge research being conducted at the College.”

Food, fun and festivities will be set up on the Circle in front of the complex. This year, National Ag Day’s theme is “Food for Life.” To recognize the diversity of the faculty and staff, College employees are bringing snacks and finger foods that represent their countries of origin for “A Taste of Ag.”

Dexter cattle, goats, and guinea foul from the College’s Agricultural Research and Education Center will star in the livestock show.

Urban Green Lab’s Mobile Sustainability Laboratory, a mobile classroom that offers people free interactive lessons about sustainable living and green careers, will be parked at the Circle.

Emily Hayes, a graduate student and assistant with the College’s nationally recognized goat research, says she’s looking forward to AgFest.

“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,” says 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.

Emoni White, a sophomore in TSU’s College of Agriculture who is majoring in animal science, says she’s proud of the work she’s doing in the College, and continues to be amazed at how far-reaching TSU’s research is.

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.

TSU’s College of Agriculture begins Hemp Research Initiative with workshop

By Joan Kite

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University is launching a major hemp research initiative in collaboration with Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture.

To help educate local farmers and the public, TSU’s College of Agriculture is presenting the Industrial Hemp Producers Workshop, a one-day session featuring experts in the industry from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Farrell-Westbrook building on TSU’s main campus.

Interest is high in this topic as all available workshop slots are already taken attracting more than 100 people, some of whom are flying in from California and Delaware.

“We want to be in this emerging area of Tennessee agriculture,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture. “Our goal is to assist the producers in growing industrial hemp efficiently.“

The College of Agriculture has charged a team of scientists to develop hemp production practices for Tennessee. The research projects also include developing hemp nutritional products for human consumption and studying the economic viability of hemp production in Tennessee.

The workshop on March 2 features hemp industry experts who will discuss licensing requirements, market prospects, business model plans, best practices and other information needed to get into the hemp production business in Tennessee. The workshops will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m.

Hemp, which is a form of Cannabis Sativa (marijuana), but is genetically different, is an ancient crop dating as far back as 12,000 years ago. It flourished in America during the 1800s. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were proponents for the industry. Hemp was used to produce cordage and ropes for the shipping industry, canvas, sacks, and paper. Today, hemp is used for all kinds of products from clothing to food.

Hemp fell out of favor in 1937 when the government passed the Marijuana Tax Act regulating the sale of all cannabis varieties. In 1970, the United States passed the Controlled Substances Act declaring all forms of Cannabis Sativa, including hemp, as a Schedule 1 drug, making hemp possession illegal. Hemp does not have the intoxicating THC levels found in marijuana.

Today, hemp products are imported from 30 countries to the United States. Estimates indicate that retail sales of hemp-based products in the U.S. total $300 million annually.

 

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.

Dean Reddy Reappointed to National Advisory Board on Ag Research, Extension and Economics

Dr. Chandra Reddy
Dr. Chandra Reddy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has announced the reappointment of TSU’s Dr. Chandra Reddy to another term on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education and Economics Advisory Board.

Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, has served on NAREEEAB since 2010 when he was first appointed by Secretary Vilsack. The new appointment ends Sept. 30, 2016.

NAREEEAB, a 25-member board, provides advice to the Secretary of Agriculture and land-grant colleges and universities on top priorities and policies for food and agricultural research, education, extension and economics.

According to a USDA announcement, the board also “seeks stakeholder input on important agricultural issues from a broad and diverse variety of persons and groups across the nation,” which helps the Secretary determine priorities that guide the nation’s agricultural research, outreach, education and economy.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. 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.