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University of Tennessee Southern and UT Extension are teaming up in December to offer four educational workshops for farmers and farm families. The workshops will feature UT Extension specialists addressing topics including specialty crop production, meat marketing, modern technology on the farm and an overview of carbon markets.

The series of workshops is offered under the Reaching Local Farm Initiative, a collaboration recently developed between UT Southern’s Turner Center and UT Extension’s Center for Profitable Agriculture. The initiative is designed to assist southern Middle Tennessee producers, but the workshops are open to all.

 “We hope this is the beginning of a lasting relationship between UT Extension and UT Southern to conduct educational programs for farmers and farm families in the southern Middle Tennessee region,” said Rob Holland, director of the Center for Profitable Agriculture, and interim assistant dean for UT Extension’s agricultural and natural resources programs. “We have scheduled some great presenters and timely topics that we think will be popular for farmers and landowners in the area.”

The workshop schedule includes:

Dec. 8: A General Overview of Carbon Markets and Carbon Credits

Aaron Smith, an assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics with the UT Institute of Agriculture, will discuss proposed policies, current challenges and potential opportunities for farmers to obtain payments for sequestered carbon or payments for production practices that are carbon friendly.

Dec. 9: Considerations for

Growing Various Specialty Crops

David Lockwood, a professor of plant science and UT Extension fruit and nut specialist, will discuss essential production practices, varieties and yields for various specialty crops including tree fruits such as apples and peaches; small fruits including grapes; and tree nuts.

Dec. 15: How Technology Has Changed Farming

Mike Buschermohle, a professor in the UTIA Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, will chronical a journey from the past to the future of agriculture with discussions on how technology has influenced farm production practices, equipment, efficiency, management and yields.   

Dec. 16: Considerations for Direct Marketing Meat and Live Animals for Custom Harvest

Megan Leffew, a marketing specialist with the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture, will share important information about marketing meat directly to consumers from the farm and will discuss valuable details regarding the sale of live animals directly to consumers for custom harvest.

There is no cost to attend any of the workshops, but preregistration is required. The deadline to preregister is 3 p.m. Dec. 1. Seating is limited, so organizers urge you to register in advance. A meal will be provided as part of the educational program. Pre-register by phone at 424-7347 or online at https://bit.ly/UTfarmworkshops.

“Our goal is to be a resource for everyone in our region. We know that, as a rural college, one of the ways we can do that is to support our agribusinesses. We’re excited for this chance to do that in partnership with the Center for Profitability in Agriculture,” said Allen Stanton, director of the Turner Center at UT Southern.

If you have questions about these workshops, call Stanton at UT Southern, 424-7347, or Holland at UT Extension, 931-698-3211.

—UTIA

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