Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

July 10, 2014

Looney TACD Middle TN Farmer of the Year

CROSSVILLE — The Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts (TACD) recently recognized Tom Looney as the TACD Middle Tennessee Conservation Farmer of the Year at the TACD Middle Tennessee Summer Meeting held at Ellington Agriculture Center in Nashville. Looney was the recipient of the Cumberland County Soil Conservation District’s (CCSCD) 2013 Conservation Farmer of the Year award and the CCSCD nominated him for this award. He was first selected as the 2014 TACD Area IV Conservation Farmer of the year competing against 14 other counties and then competed against the other middle Tennessee areas for this award.

Tom and his wife, Ann, live in the Tansi Community and have three children, Ruth Ann, Tom and Scott. They also have two grandchildren, Tyler and Kennedy, and another grandchild on the way.

The Looney beef cattle operation began in the spring of 1973 and is going strong today. Tom and his brother, Jack, currently manage their beef cow/calf operation on approximately 425 acres of pasture and 200 acres of hayland. They put up about 1,000 rolls of hay of which half is haylage. They were one of the first cattle producers in our area to use haylage to feed their livestock.

Their present operation consists of 150 Chiangus cows and their makeup is 25% Chianina and 75% Angus. They sell their best calves for herd bulls and replacement heifers and the rest are shipped to a feedlot in Nebraska.

Some of the Best Management Practices (BMPs) that Tom incorporates in his farming operation are rotational grazing, cross fencing, a water distribution system and riparian livestock exclusion areas. Some of the cost-shared items he has installed are 6,800 feet of cross fence, 7,150 feet of exclusion fence, a well and pumping station, three (3) freeze proof water tanks, a 9,900 square foot heavy use pad, 4,000 feet of pipeline and a stream crossing.

He effectively utilizes the services and cost-share programs of the Cumberland County Soil Conservation District, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Looney demonstrates a strong soil conservation and land stewardship ethic in his farming operation. As a farmer he continually makes a very positive impact in his community and county and readily adopts new technology and applies a wide range of conservation systems on his farm.

Tom was presented with a plaque and a monetary award for both the Area IV and the Middle Tennessee Award. These awards were sponsored by Farm Credit Services. His will compete for the TACD State Conservation Farmer of the Year Award that will be selected and awarded at the TACD Annual Convention in Jackson, TN, in February 2015.

All programs and services of the Cumberland County Soil Conservation District (SCD) are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, marital status, or handicap.

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