Tag Archives: Dr. Chandra Reddy

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 continues to stay at forefront of hemp research with second workshop this year

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is staying at the forefront of hemp research, a growing topic across the country.

Attendees at Sept. 26 hemp workshop. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

The university’s College of Agriculture hosted a workshop on Wednesday, Sept. 26, to discuss the latest research on the plant. It was the second workshop TSU had this year.  The last one was in March.

“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.”

Dr. Fitzroy Bullock, one of TSU’s leading hemp researchers and coordinator of the latest workshop, agreed.

“Hemp is being grown just about everywhere in the country, but the growers don’t really have a research base,” Bullock said. “So what we’re doing here at Tennessee State University is taking a leadership role in trying to establish a base for research.”

Hemp, or industrial hemp, typically found in the northern hemisphere, is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is used for all kinds of products, from clothing to food.

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.

Channel 2 (WKRN) reporter CB Cotton interviews farmer Michael Walls, who attended the workshop on Sept. 26. (Photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

Currently, the university is growing and evaluating 10 varieties of hemp.

Farmer Michael Walls attended Thursday’s workshop. His family has a 140-acre farm in Hardeman County that is using an acre to grow hemp. He said workshops like the one at TSU are beneficial.

“There’s a lot of potential for what hemp can do,” said Walls, adding that his family plans to grow more hemp next year. “So I’m just trying to get more information to see what other possibilities there are.”

For more information 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, 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.

TSU to highlight innovative research at Urban Ag Conference and Small Farm Expo

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University will highlight the latest research in agriculture this week at its Urban Agricultural Conference and Small Farm Expo.

Registration for the conference is Wednesday, July 18, at 9 a.m. in TSU’s Agricultural Industrial Technology Building, and registration for the expo is Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at the Pavilion Agricultural Research and Education Center (The Farm).

Both events are sponsored by the university’s College of Agriculture. This is the first year, however, for the Urban Ag Conference, and TSU officials anticipate a strong turnout because of the growing interest in methods to grow horticultural crops, like fruits and vegetables.

“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, has 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.

“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.”

According to Reddy, only one percent of the general population is engaged in traditional agricultural production.

“Our goal at TSU is to promote best urban agricultural practices, particularly horticultural crops, for personal consumption and commercial purposes,” he said.

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.

The highlight of the expo is the announcement of the “Small Farmer of the Year.” Last year’s award went to Nicole Riddle of Maynardville, Tennessee. She leased 44 acres of her parents’ land and opened her own winery.

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 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.