Highlights from the Field - October 2019


This year, AgResearch and Education Centers hosted seventeen field days and special events across the state. 7,670 visitors attended these events, and topics ranged from organic crops to heifer development to horse management. Here are a few additional highlights from our AgResearch and Education Centers. Other highlights include:

  • The AgResearch and Education Center at Greeneville and Highland Rim AgResearch and Education Center began the first harvest of commercial hemp research plots.

  • The West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center hosted thirty-two undergraduate and ten graduate students this summer who conducted agricultural research alongside the Center faculty.

  • The Plateau AgResearch and Education Center hosted the twenty-seventh annual Bill Wheeler Ag In the Classroom for over 600 Cumberland County third graders and one hundred volunteers.

  • The East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center assisted Dr. John Sorochan in setting up for a unique study comparing the effects of LED grow lights versus high-pressure sodium grow lights (that are utilized in professional sports stadiums around the world) on the growth characteristics of bermudagrass and Kentucky bluegrass.

  • The AgResearch and Education Center at Greeneville hosted Kids’ Day on the Farm where 506 third graders learned about agriculture and how it affects their daily lives. Forty-five adults and forty volunteers also participated.

  • This fall Dr. Kyle Mclean will begin a long-term study of varying nutritional planes and implications on beef herd sire fertility at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Lewisburg.

  • The UT Arboretum Society hosted a reception for AgResearch dean Hongwei Xin and professor Toni Wang in late September at the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center.

  • Hosted Community Open House at the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center–Little River Animal and Environmental Unit, where over 300 community members attended and observed milking cows, took wagon rides through the facility, heard about the latest research projects, and enjoyed bluegrass music and kids’ activities.

  • Research associate Jason Reeves and student intern Carson Brown collected data for the All-American Selections research trial at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.

  • At Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center, the state’s Bull Test has just completed its second weigh period of 56 days. The Bull Test Open House will be held December 5, 2019, and Sale Day is scheduled for January 19, 2020.

  • Over 250 4-H and FFA members from across East Tennessee participated in land judging at the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center—Holston Unit.

  • More than thirty colleagues from USDA NRCS attended in-service training (including archaeology training) conducted at the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center—Holston Unit.

  • Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center hosted a group of 860 Maury County fourth grade students for our annual Country Classroom.

  • The East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center provided logistical support for controlled trials associated with Dr. Matt Gray’s National Science Foundation grant involving a novel fungal pathogen and its possible effects on salamanders in North America.

  • Interest in the Tennessee Beef Heifer Development Program at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Lewisburg continues to grow. The partnership between UT AgResearch, UT Extension, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and the Tennessee Farmers’ Cooperative provides an opportunity for beef cattle producers from across the state to send their weaned heifers to the Center to be raised, from weaning through their first breeding season, under management practices that will ensure their best opportunity for remaining in the herd after they return to the producer’s farm.