State Legislature’s “Ag Day on the Hill” to Feature TSU Agricultural Research, Extension March 24-25

Dr. Jason de Koff’s Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration lab will be on display at the “Ag Day on the Hill” celebration on March 24-25. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at Tennessee State University will be a prominent player in this year’s “Ag Day on the Hill” celebration Monday, March 24 and Tuesday, March 25.

The celebration at Legislative Plaza, which coincides with what Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has proclaimed “Agriculture Day” in Tennessee, is part of the annual national observance to recognize the important contributions of farmers and forestland owners to the state and nation.

According to a Tennessee Department of Agriculture release, on Monday at 5 p.m., the official start of the celebration, two General Assembly joint resolutions will be presented to honor Dr. George Washington Carver, and the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service. Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of the CAHNS, and other prominent TSU representatives are expected to speak.

Festivities on Tuesday will begin at 8 a.m. with a silent auction, to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and Tennessee’s Ag in the Classroom educational program. This will be followed by the traditional cow-milking contest between the House and the Senate.

Festivities will also include displays and expositions by various agricultural institutions, farmers and other stakeholders from across the state and the nation, the release said.

Several TSU entities, projects and representatives will be on hand to provide educational materials and demonstrations. They include the Otis L. Floyd Research Center in McMinnville, Cooperative Extension, Dr.  Suping Zhou’s Pathogen-free Organic Strawberry project, Dr. Dharma Pitchay’s Hydroponic Production method, and Dr. Jason de Koff’s Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration.

The event will also feature for the first time the Drive to Feed the World Tour, a unique, interactive road show traveling the nation to heighten awareness about world hunger and sustainable food production.

Tennessee has 76,000 farms representing 10.8 million acres in production. More than half of the state, 14 million acres, is in mostly privately owned hardwood forests. Tennessee’s top agricultural commodities include cattle, soybeans, corn, poultry, cotton, timber, greenhouse and nursery products, dairy products, wheat, tobacco and hay. The industry has a $66 billion a year impact on the state’s economy and supports nearly 337,900 jobs.



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