Tennessee State University will host its Sixth Annual Small Farm Expo on Friday, July 31st at the TSU Agricultural Research and Education Center in Ashland City. Registration for the event which is sponsored by the School of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences will begin at 8:15 a.m. Tours will begin promptly at 8:45 a.m. and last until 11:45 a.m.
Our program will culminate with the Tennessee Small Farmer Recognition Program Luncheon which begins at 12:00 p.m. and concludes at 1:00 p.m. With the theme, “Small Farmers: The Heart of Tennessee,” this year’s expo will include general tours of the TSU Agricultural Research and Education Center as well as a host of experts and panels designed to help small farmers reduce spending and improve the marketing of their products. Speakers will include past winners of the Tennessee Small Farmers of the Year Awards. Hank and Cindy Delvin will talk about marketing organic vegetables and having a successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA); Gayle and Jim Tanner will speak about their successes with goats and marketing goat cheese and other products locally; and Trace and Ty Owen of Owen Farms in Cheatham County will share their experiences in operating an Agricultural Tourism enterprise.
United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide two farm loan specialists, James Welborn and Deborah Worthington, to answer questions about finances and funding. A panel which will include USDA National Resource Conservation (NRCS) State Resource Conservationist Jeff Sanders and USDA Rural Development Community Program Specialist Specializing in Energy Will Dodson, will explore ways small
farmers can make their agricultural operation and their homes more efficient. Dr. Ann Peischel, TSU Assistant Professor of Small Ruminants, will give new and fresh ideas on alternatives in livestock production such as
sheep, goats, lamas, alpacas, hogs and poultry, and Dr. Arvazena Clardy, TSU Assistant Professor of Horticulture, will discuss the in’s and out’s of herb production and ornamental grass production. Awards will be
presented at the recognition program in three categories based on two farm income brackets.
Two awards for Best Management Practices, Innovative Marketing, and Alternative Enterprises will be given along with a statewide Overall Small Farmer of the Year Award. The winners will be announced during the awards luncheon at 12:00 noon.
The event is free and open to the public however, registration by July 15th is appreciated. THE DEADLINE DATE FOR REGISTRATION IS JULY 15th. To register, please contact Linda Buchanan at (615) 963-1827 or e-mail .
To reach the TSU Agricultural Research and Education Center from downtown Nashville
- Take I-40 West toward Memphis.
- Then take the US-70/Charlotte Pike, Exit 201.
- Turn right onto Charlotte Pike ( Turn left if coming from Memphis or I-40 East).
- Turn right at the light just past the Wal-Mart Shopping Center onto River Road.
- Then go approximately 11 miles, and look for the sign, “Tennessee State University Demonstration Farm.”
The physical of the center address is 3101 River Road, Ashland City, Tenn. 37015. For further assistance with directions call (615) 566-6460.