Tag Archives: USDA

TSU job fair helps federal agriculture officials recruit graduates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University was one of two higher education institutions selected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help recent graduates find employment in the agricultural field.

TSU hosted a job fair on Feb. 5 that attracted 60 students from several southern colleges and universities. Alabama A&M University hosted a similar event the day before.

William Hayslett, Sr. is academic coordinator for TSU’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. He said he’s honored that USDA officials selected TSU to host one of the job fairs.

“It says that we’re on their radar, and that they thought we have something to offer,” Hayslett said. “We also want to expose our students to job opportunities.”

The USDA Pathways Recent Graduates Program is a one-year program for individuals who have recently graduated and seek a career development program with training and mentorship. Applicants must apply within two years of degree completion.

The benefit of the job fairs, according to USDA officials, is that they allow individuals to apply on the spot and avoid the online process. It’s also an opportunity to ensure diversity in the selection process, said Marcus Brownrigg, deputy director at the USDA’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

“We were tasked to see what we could do to increase the number of diverse student interns and recent graduates we brought onboard USDA,” Brownrigg said. “And this is one of the mechanisms that we’ve been using. Going out where students actually are and taking their applications onsite is part of our overall recruitment strategy.”

Recruiters at the TSU job fair took applications for farm loan officer trainees, who undergo a year of training before full federal employment.

Lauren Brewer, who is majoring in international studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, said she’d like to get one of the positions. But she said the job fairs are also an opportunity to network.

“It’s a good way for students to come together and network with officials,” said the 21-year-old Brewer. “You just can’t get that through an email or a phone call.”

With more than 100,000 employees and 7,000 offices, USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 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.

TSU Professor Lands Half Million-Dollar Award as Part of USDA Food Safety Grants

Research to focus on preventing foodborne illnesses in consumers

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A professor with the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at Tennessee State University has received a $500,000 USDA grant to research new ways of preventing foodborne illness and increase the safety of the food production industry.

Dr. Ankit Patras
Dr. Ankit Patras

Dr. Ankit Patras, assistant professor of Agriculture Science received the grant as part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s $19 million funding awards, including more than $6.7 million for antimicrobial resistance studies to 36 universities across the country including Tennessee State, through the Agriculture and Food Research Food Safety Challenge.

The AFRI Food Safety Challenge is an annual round of federal funding that, according to the USDA, “promotes and enhances the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption.”

Patras’ project, titled “Steering Innovation for Treatment of Liquid Foods to Eliminate Pathogenic Microbes and Toxins Using Low Wave-length UV Irradiation,” will aim to improve the consistency and effectiveness of UV treatments of liquid foods like juice and milk. If successful, the new and improved techniques developed by this research will extend to the food industry and allow for the less expensive, more energy efficient UV treatments to replace traditional heat treatments like pasteurization. This project is supported in part by the Aquafine Corporation, Valencia, California.

“This project will enhance the understanding of irradiation processes and accurate UV dose delivery in different liquid foods,” Patras said. “This will effectively minimize the risk of infections stemming from food contaminations.” Additionally, Patras noted that the project will “foster long-term cooperation, knowledge exchange among students, and integration between academia and industry.”

Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, recognized the opportunity for TSU the grant and the technologies will create.

“It feels great to receive this prestigious award from NIFA/USDA,” Patras said. “This will expand and strengthen our Food Bioscience and Technology program at TSU, allowing us to develop cutting-edge optical technologies and offer customized solutions to many of today’s disinfection problems in the food industry.”

 

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

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

USDA Selects Two Tennessee State University Students to Attend National Summit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Two students from Tennessee State University have been selected to attend a national conference sponsored by the United States Agriculture Department aimed at introducing university students to future trends, scientific research and agricultural policy in today’s real-world environment.

Alexis Allen (left), a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers (right), a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, share a moment with Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, upon the USDA announcement sending the pair to Virginia. Allen and Leathers  are among only thirty students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum.
Alexis Allen (left), a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers (right), a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, share a moment with Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, upon the USDA announcement sending the pair to Virginia. Allen and Leathers are among only thirty students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum.

Alexis Allen, a junior concentrating in Agribusiness, and Alison Leathers, a graduate student concentrating in Agricultural Education, Leadership & Extension, are among only 30 students selected from across the country to attend the USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum February 19-20 in Arlington, Virginia.

The Forum, titled “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century,” is not only designed to introduce students to contemporary agribusiness, future trends, scientific research, and agricultural, as well as give them the chance to lay the groundwork for a future in agriculture, hear speakers from diverse backgrounds, and help them expand their opportunities in their chosen fields.

“This is an excellent opportunity for two of our best and brightest students,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “This forum will allow them to network with some of the USDA’s top officials, leaders in the agricultural industry and their peers from across the country. It will also help set them up for successful futures in agriculture.”

The USDA selected 20 university junior and senior students from across the country to attend the conference based on an essay on “Agriculture as a Career,” and 10 graduate students based on their essay, “The Greatest Challenge Facing Agriculture over the next Five Years.” The students were selected from 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Non-Land-Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities.

Allen, from Detroit, came to TSU in the fall of 2014 after completing an associate’s degree at Wayne County Community College. She is excited about the opportunity to attend the conference and would eventually like to work as a food inspector, either through the USDA or the private sector.

“I think I am most looking forward to the diversity and depths of topics that will be presented,” said Allen. “I hope to gain more in-depth understanding to supplement the things I’m learning in class at TSU.”

Leathers, from Preston, Minnesota, received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and is looking forward to the forum and the opportunities it will create toward helping her achieve her career goal of becoming an Extension agent and a third-generation farmer.

“It will be an excellent learning experience and opportunity to network and meet students and important agricultural leaders,” she said. “I am excited to represent TSU and advocate for our land-grant university system.”

 

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Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Tennessee State University Receives USDA Grant to Aid Veteran, New and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers

Funds focus on outreach and technical assistance to diversify American Agriculture

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University has received funding to help beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, veteran farmers and ranchers build a more resilient agriculture system.

The University’s College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences received $188,055 recently from the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of a $9.7 million grant to educate and provide technical assistance to agriculture businesses.

The grant, distributed through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program, will help faculty and extension agents from the University encourage, educate and assist socially and financially disadvantaged farmers and producers to operate their farms more efficiently, and if able, purchase new farmland and become even more successful farmers and producers.

“We will specifically focus on socially disadvantaged farmers and land owners, and try to educate them on a variety of financial and technical help, and the opportunities available,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean and director of Research and administrator of Extension in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. “We want to make sure that they are on an even footing with large-farm owners when it comes to technical assistance and funding opportunities.”

The grant money, according to Dr. Arvazena Clardy, assistant professor of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, will be used to conduct workshops around the state, and educate farmers and producers on business development and expansion, small herd management, plant nutrition, and food safety and new farm technology among other topics.

The grant will also be used toward a future New Farmer Academy where new owners and potential owners of small acreages receive training on ways to best utilize their land for crops and livestock. The most recent five-month academy graduated nine candidates who learned about opportunities to expand into new areas of production, gain access to and knowledge about federal funds and programs, as well as develop new marketing strategies to make them more successful.

The goal, said Clardy, is to work with small and limited resource producers, farmers and landowners, and work individually with them on specific problems related to their farms and production.

“We are committed to improving the economic conditions of the socially disadvantaged farmers and landowners here in Tennessee,” said Clardy. “This grant will give us the opportunity to educate them about the accessibility of programs and new farm technology, as well as provide hands-on training, and one-on-one outreach and technical assistance.”

The grant was announced December 3 by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who described the funding as part of “our ongoing commitment” to identify, recruit and train a vibrant next generation of farmers and ranchers who can carry American agriculture into the future. “It is also part of our pledge to assist military veterans find economic opportunity as they return to civilian life,” Vilsack added.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

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

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

Tennessee State University Dedicates Cutting-edge Research Facilities to Accommodate “Phenomenal” Growth in Agricultural Sciences

The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences dedicated three new buildings September 17 on campus, including the centerpiece of the additions, the Agricultural Biotechnology Building. The added lab space and updated equipment in the  state-of-the-art $8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Building will provide more room for cutting-edge research, with implications for farmers and consumers in Tennessee and beyond. Helping with the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R) Julius Johnson, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; John Morgan, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor; TSU President Glenda Glover; USDA Mid South assistant area director Archie Tucker; Dean Chandra Reddy; and State Representatives Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love(photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences dedicated three new buildings on campus September 17, including the centerpiece of the additions, the Agricultural Biotechnology Building. The added lab space and updated equipment in the state-of-the-art $8 million Agricultural Biotechnology Building will provide more room for cutting-edge research, with implications for farmers and consumers in Tennessee and beyond. Helping with the ribbon cutting ceremony include (L-R) Julius Johnson, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture; John Morgan, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor; TSU President Glenda Glover; USDA Mid South assistant area director Archie Tucker; Dean Chandra Reddy; and State Representatives Brenda Gilmore and Harold Love (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – With graduate enrollment in agricultural sciences at Tennessee State University more than tripled in five years and an influx of new Ph.D. faculty topping more than 25 in just three years, University officials are celebrating the addition of new facilities to accommodate this “phenomenal” growth.

Today, TSU President Glenda Glover, joined by Dean Chandra Reddy, Chancellor John Morgan, of the Tennessee Board of Regents, and other University officials, federal and state stakeholders and elected official, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for three new buildings on campus.

The buildings, with a combined price tag of more than $12 million, were funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The centerpiece of the new facilities is the 25,000 square-foot Agricultural Biotechnology Building, the first new building constructed at the University in nearly eight years. It contains more than 12 state-of-the-art labs for cutting-edge research, including DNA synthesis and chromatography analysis. The building will also house and support primarily agricultural research, and provide working space for more than 20 new Ph.D.-level scientists, as well as administrative offices.

The other two facilities, called the Agricultural and STEM Education and Training Center, and the Agricultural Research Support Building, are located on the University farm.

“Tennessee State University is preparing students who are ready for the workforce,” said a very upbeat President Glover, as she thanked the USDA, the TBR, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and other stakeholders for their support in making the buildings a reality.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity. With these facilities, our students will benefit tremendously by engaging in cutting-edge research in food safety and security, and by expanding their knowledge in their quest for excellence,” the President added.

Dr. Hongwei Si, Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry, explains some of the research projects going on in the Food Biosciences and Technology Lab, as visitors, including Dean Chandra Reddy, and TBR Chancellor John Morgan, far right, listen. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Hongwei Si, Assistant Professor of Food Chemistry, explains some of the research projects going on in the Food Biosciences and Technology Lab, as visitors, including Dean Chandra Reddy, and TBR Chancellor John Morgan, far right, listen. (photo by Rick Delahaya, TSU Media Relations)

For Dean Reddy, he said research funding in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences has tripled to couple with climbing enrollment on the undergraduate and graduate levels.

“This dedication and these buildings memorialize the ongoing transformation in the college over the last five years,” Reddy said. “We have multiplied every useful metrics during this time, be it student enrollment, research funding and outreach.”

He said the college has integrated academics with research and outreach and extension, established faculty focus groups to provide intellectual leadership to their programs, as well as created new opportunities for students to get involved in research and outreach.

The need for continued investment in agriculture and the food sciences is tremendous, he said, reminding the gathering about the expected growth in human population and the risk of climate change and its effect on food crops, and the impact of food on “our” overall health and wellbeing.

“To address these fundamental problems, our research is focusing on developing crops and products for health, for climate change, for energy, and ultimately alleviate the problems facing the world today and in the future,” added Reddy.

TBR Chancellor Morgan, who described the dedication as very significant, also thanked the USDA, President Glover, Dr. Reddy and other stakeholders for their support.

“This is very significant because it reflects the commitment of this University to excellence and to producing students who are capable and ready for the workforce anywhere in the country and the world.”

While the dedication of the new facilities was the focus of today’s ceremony, a presentation by a TSU student received tremendous cheers from the audience, and caught the attention of several speakers and stakeholders with job offers for the Agricultural Sciences major from Chicago.

Kourtney Daniels
Kourtney Daniels

Kourtney Daniels, a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA, serving as a TSU Student Ambassador, had only to give the welcome remarks, but her “very eloquent,” three-minute presentation drew praises even she did not expect.

“I was just being myself; I did not expect to have such an impact,” said Daniels.

Others also participating in today’s dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony were: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy; State Representative Brenda Gilmore, a TSU alum, who has championed many causes on the state and national levels for her alma mater; and Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner, Julius Johnson.

State Representative Harold Love Jr.; Archie Tucker, assistant director of the Mid South Area for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Services; Steve Gass, of the Tennessee Department of Education; Dr. Roger Sauve, superintendent of the Agricultural Research and Education Center at TSU; and Ron Brooks, associate vice president for Facilities Management, also took part in the dedication.

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 42 undergraduate, 24 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.

TSU’s Farmer Academy Inspires New Generation of Farmers

Academy Coincides with USDA’s Support for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

 

Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, addresses members of The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and other stakeholders during her one-day visit to the University January 21. The USDA recently announced new policy changes meant to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, addresses members of The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and other stakeholders during her one-day visit to the University January 21. The USDA recently announced new policy changes meant to improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service)  – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences (CAHNS) Cooperative Extension Program at Tennessee State University began hosting a “New Farmer Academy” June 16 to help inspire a new generation of farmers, ranchers and returning veterans to develop successful small farm enterprises in Tennessee.

The program, which is directed toward owners and potential owners of small acreages who desire information on how to best utilize their land and other resources to produce crops and raise livestock, meets on the third Monday of each month from June to October, with graduation set for November 17.

According to Dr. Latif Lighari, associate dean for Extension, in addition to helping familiarize beginning farmers with the new USDA policies and website, the New Farmer Academy will provide six months of intensive, hands-on training on the practical aspects of running a farm.

“We also have arranged for a mentorship program with existing successful farmers who can provide valuable tips from their own experience,” said Lighari.

The academy coincides with a recent announcement from the U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden speaking about new policy changes meant to “improve the financial security of new and beginning farmers and ranchers,” according to a USDA news release.

In addition to the policy changes, Deputy Secretary Harden, who visited TSU in January, unveiled a new website—www.usda.gov/newfarmers—to provide a convenient resource to help those farmers and ranchers take advantage of these programs.

“New and beginning farmers are the future of American agriculture,” said Deputy Secretary Harden. “The average age of an American farmer is 58 and rising, so we must help new farmers get started if America is going to continue feeding the world and maintain a strong agriculture economy. The new policies announced today will help give beginning farmers the financial security they need to succeed. Our new online tool will provide one-stop shopping for beginning farmers to learn more about accessing USDA services that can help their operations thrive.”

In May, the USDA announced a $6 million award to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and other materials and train experts to educate producers about several key farm bill programs. TSU received $30,000 under this program to educate farmers on how to use the new risk reduction policies and to develop web-based decision tools.

The cost to attend the academy is $150 per person and includes all educational material and a lunch at each session. To register, contact Rhonda Ewing at 615.963.1351 or rewing1@tnstate.edu.  For more information about this program, contact Finis Stribling at 931.375.5301 or fstribling@tnstate.edu.

 

 

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.

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.

Federal Ag Official Lauds TSU’s Role in Nation’s Agricultural Research, Education and Outreach

Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, addresses members of The College of Agriculture Human and Natural Sciences and other stakeholders during her one-day visit to the University. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)
Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, addresses members of The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, and other stakeholders during her one-day visit to the University. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is playing a major role in agricultural research, education and outreach in the nation, a senior U.S. federal government official said in Nashville Tuesday.

Krysta Harden, deputy secretary of Agriculture, in remarks before farmers, USDA and state agency representatives, as well as TSU students and faculty, said the University “is really committed” to educating young people about the importance of agriculture not only as a discipline but as a viable career option.

“We have a very hungry world, and it is going to get hungrier and bigger,” Harden said. “As such, we need wonderful institutions like TSU to provide the education and research, and folks like the residents of Tennessee to be able to produce more food.”

The Deputy Secretary, who spoke during a one-day visit at TSU, also met with senior University officials, including President Dr. Glenda Glover, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Mark Hardy; and Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources.

Speaking to reporters, Harden described the partnership between TSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “very rewarding and meaningful.” Although she joined the Department only few years ago, she said she is well aware of the relationship between the two.

“Our relationship with TSU goes far back not only in the areas of education, outreach and research, but in infrastructure that supports our mission and that of the University,” Harden said. “We thank you for this partnership.”

Highlighting the Deputy Secretary’s visit was a tour of the new 25,000 square-foot, $8 million USDA-funded state-of-the-art Agricultural Biotechnology Research Building on the University’s main campus. The building, expected to be dedicated in April, will provide laboratory space for more than 10 new Ph.D.-level scientists, research rooms for graduate students, and high-efficiency HVAC systems and laboratories.

“We see this as a remarkable investment in the future of this institution and its students,” Harden said during the tour, accompanied by Dean Reddy and officials of CAHNS.

Earlier in a meeting with other stakeholders including the Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Julius Johnson, Extension workers and faculty of CAHNS, the Secretary announced that negotiations are almost complete on a long-overdue Farm Bill that will set new spending levels for some farming and agricultural priorities.

“Due to progress made so far, I am increasingly optimistic that a workable and effective Farm Bill will be approved by Congress in the very near future,” said Harden. “Passage of the bill will finally help bring some certainty to producers, their lenders, and others.”

In a presentation prior to the Secretary’s remarks, Dean Reddy thanked the USDA for its support and the continuing partnership between the federal agency and TSU. He pointed to the “sustained” growth in his college, including $55 million in research, 1,100 students, among them 150 paid graduate students, and an Extension program that serves 47 counties, up from 12 in 2007.

“Our research efforts have also expanded significantly,” Reddy said. “We have grown to about 100 faculty, 250 employees, and more than 1,000 students, while undergraduate enrollment has doubled in agriculture and allied fields, and the graduate enrollment in agriculture has increased seven-fold.”

He said the visit of Secretary Harden was a significant achievement for TSU.

“In addition to Secretary Harden, to have on our campus the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Farm Bureau representatives, different farm service organizations, and all the heads of USDA state agencies, including the Natural Resource Conservation Services; the Farm Service Agency, and the Rural Development Agency, at the same time is very significant,” the Dean said. “And for the Secretary to see first hand what we are doing, and talk to our students, faculty and staff, really helps and serves as an encouragement for all of us, and we are very thankful.”

Secretary Harden’s visit culminated with a luncheon with University officials, and federal and state agriculture officials, in the President’s Dining Area in Kean Hall.

 

 

 

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.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture to Visit Tennessee State University Jan. 21

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Krysta Harden, will visit TSU on Tuesday, Jan. 21, during which she will meet with senior University officials, tour on-going USDA-funded projects, as well as hold talks with the dean, faculty and students in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences.

According to a CAHNS release, representatives from several state and federal USDA agencies, including Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Julius Johnson, and Tennessee Farm Bureau President, Lacy Upchurch are expected to accompany Harden.

As part of her visit, the Deputy Secretary will participate in a meet-and-greet with students, faculty, and stakeholders in the Ferrell-Westbrook Complex, and tour the new 25,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Agricultural Biotechnology Research Building in the College, the release said.

The visit will begin at 10:15 a.m., with a “Welcome and Introductions” reception in the Dean’s Conference Room in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences, followed by tour of the new research building, and the meet-and-greet and stakeholders’ meeting. See agenda below.

10:15 – 10:30 Welcome & Introductions (Dean’s Conference Room)

10:30 – 10:55 Tour of new Agricultural Biotechnology Research Building

11:00 – 11:30 Meet & Greet with students, stakeholders, and faculty (Ferrell-Westbrook Complex/Barn Auditorium)

11:45 – 12:15 Lunch & Conversation in President’s Dining Area

The Deputy Secretary’s visit Tuesday coincides with the kick-off of several activities in the college including the “Third Tuesday TSU Field Days and Educational Workshops,” featuring presentations, seminars, demonstrations, field visits, and hands-on activities from scientists, extension agents, and other helpful authorities on subjects related to food and agriculture.

The inaugural program on “Insect Control in the Field and the Home” will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Room 118 of the Farrell-Westbrook Complex.

An organic strawberry workshop, “Developing the Logistics for Producing Human Pathogens-Free Organic Strawberries in the State of Tennessee,” sponsored by Wal-Mart, Tennessee State University and the University of Arkansas, will take place simultaneously from 8:30 a.m. – noon in the Agricultural Industrial Technology Center Auditorium on the main campus.

 

 

 

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.