Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

September 27, 2013

Down on the farm

Third-graders get a taste of farm life at annual Ag in the Classroom event

CROSSVILLE — The University of Tennessee's Plateau Research & Education Center was abuzz on Thursday, Sept. 19 with virtually every third grade student in Cumberland County. This was the 21st year for the Bill Wheeler Ag-In-The Classroom Day, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance. Plateau Center Director Walt Hitch rolled out the proverbial grass carpet, providing teaching areas complete with chairs, tables and tents to help educate local elementary school children on agricultural subjects.

This year, there were 14 centers for short classes taught by experts in their perspective fields. The classes and experts are listed as follows: Swine – Greg Upchurch; Sheep – Katie Hardt; Livestock Working and Handling – Russell Hayes; Farm Machinery – Danny Smith; Poultry – Hillary Hayes; Beef Cattle – Wendell Wilson; Dairy Cattle – Danny Kemmer; Field Crops – Roger Thackston; Forestry – Charles Daugherty; Environment – Eddie Clark; Wildlife – Casey Mullen; Soils – Phillip Dixon; Fruits and Vegetables – Joel Green and Jim Hamby; and 4-H, presented by Taunee Whittenbarger.

More than 600 of Cumberland County's third graders spent the day touring the UT farm. It was a unique opportunity that most Americans don't get to experience anymore. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are more than 313 million people living in the United States. Of that population, less than one percent claim farming as an occupation. The number of farms in the U.S. stands at about 2.2 million. The number of farms in the U.S. peaked at 6.8 million in 1935, a time when the population was just over 127 million citizens. Farming in the United States is a dwindling occupation. In fact, about 60 percent of farmers are 55 years old, or older. Initiatives like the Ag-In-The Classroom Day are crucial to preserving an American institution. 

"A lot of these kids have no idea where milk comes from. They think it comes from a super market," said Farm Bureau Agent Randy Brown.

Dillon Brown, a student from North Cumberland Elementary was excited about the field trip. "I learned a lot about crops, so now I can help my family in the garden," Dillon said.

It took more than 70 volunteers working to ensure the day ran smoothly. County Mayor Kenneth Carey, Jr. came out to help with the event.

"I think it's a wonderful event to educate the youth of the county. It's a good opportunity for them to learn where their food comes from. We really appreciate the University of Tennessee for hosting the event and Farm Bureau for sponsoring it," said Carey.

State Representative Cameron Sexton was also on hand.

The event is named in honor of Bill Wheeler, who started the program 21 years ago. Wheeler was an ardent supporter of agriculture education for young people.

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Celebrating a year of writing our area's history

    Now that this column has passed its first birthday, I’d like to send thanks to those of you from our county and around the country who have sent messages and questions about things you’ve read in the Uncle Gib section. It is hard to cover many of these events in 500 words, and I try not go cover the same event more than three weeks. Research must be cut way down, and the most interesting information on each subject included.

    July 25, 2014

  • IMG_1806.jpg Celebrate Farmers Market Week Aug. 3-9

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, “National Farmers Market Week.” Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate the nation’s thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ayers2.jpg County OKs resolution for CMC/Covenant refinance deal

    Cumberland County commissioners passed a resolution Monday evening giving its approval for Covenant Health to refund its bonds to refinance $40 million for Cumberland Medical Center.
    The request was made by Covenant Health, a Tennessee nonprofit corporation which now operates Cumberland Medical Center.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea includes ban from all Wal-Mart stores

    A Crossville man who was facing two counts of theft of more than $500, relating to shoplifting incidents at the Crossville Wal-mart, has entered a guilty plea, and part of his sentence is being banned from all Wal-Mart stores.

    July 24, 2014

  • Forgery charges net six months in jail

    A Crossville woman already on parole because of a felony theft conviction has pleaded guilty to two felony counts relating to forged checks and received a split sentence with six months to be serve in jail.

    July 24, 2014

  • Unfunded mandates a challenge for schools

    Director of Schools Donald Andrews has expressed local concerns regarding unfunded state mandates in education to Gov. Bill Haslam in an informal meeting between the governor and area administrators and teachers.

    July 24, 2014

  • IMG_3745.jpg Vote early to avoid delays

    Cumberland County Election Administrator Suzanne Smith is encouraging Cumberland County voters to take advantage of the early voting period, which continues through Aug. 2 at the Election Commission Office at 2 S. Main St.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • state park boat dock.jpg Showcase of driving tours set today at Cumberland Mountain

    Discover the hidden gems of The Promised Land and Pie in the Sky Trails during the showcase 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, at Cumberland Mountain State Park. This special event is free and open to the public.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • waterfest2013.jpg Get on the water this weekend

    Volunteers from the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association offer basic instruction for kayakers at the 2013 Waterfest. This year’s event is set for Saturday at Meadow Park Lake from 2 to 8 p.m. There will be activities for the whole family, with food, exhibits, kids games, live music and water activities, with TSRA instructors offering rides on canoes, kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks. There will also be pontoon tours of Meadow Park Lake from 3 to 7 p.m., offering a chance to look for wildlife. The University of Tennessee Concrete Canoe Team will be demonstrating their craft, as well, at 2:30 p.m.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Link

  • haslam 3.jpg Haslam makes stop in county

    Gov. Bill Haslam stopped by Cumberland County for breakfast Tuesday morning, encouraging everyone to get out and vote during the early voting period.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014