Tennessee Young Farmers and Ranchers and Cumberland County Mayor Allen Foster honored the memory of the late Lacy Upchurch Dec. 29 at the local Cumberland County Farm Bureau office.
Upchurch passed away Oct. 19, 2018, at the age of 72.
He grew up in Jamestown, and was active in 4-H and FFA activities. After graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1967 with bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture and animal science, he worked with the UT Agricultural Extension Service in Madison County before transferring to Cumberland County as the 4-H agent, adult agricultural agent and county director. In 1977, he left Extension and partnered with Ed Lanquist raising hogs and cattle. He was active in state organizations such as the Tennessee Livestock Producers, Tennessee Pork Producers and the Tennessee Farm Bureau.
Elected in 2005, Upchurch served as the seventh president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, the nation's largest Farm Bureau with over 650,000 members. He retired in 2015 and returned to Cumberland County to spend more time with his family, farm and church.
During his tenure, Upchurch championed young people becoming more involved in agriculture and was considered a personal mentor to many in Young Farmers and Ranchers today. His leadership helped shape agriculture all across the country.
Framed proclamations were presented to his wife, Kay Upchurch, and family as numerous friends looked on.
In attendance from the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation were Executive Vice President Rhedona Rose, Field Representative Eddie Clark and Associate Director of Ag in the Classroom Chris Fleming. Making the presentation to Mrs. Upchurch were Young Farmer and Rancher State Executive Committee members Matthew McClanahan, Jessica Lance, Tracy Robinson, Bryan Beason and Mia Beason.
Joining Foster in honoring Upchurch were Cumberland County Commissioners Terry Lowe, Kyle Davis, Jack Davis, Charles Seiber, Sue York, Jim Blalock and Darrell Threet.
The Young Farmers & Ranchers program promotes leadership skills for farmers ages 18-35. Members share a common bond for the agricultural lifestyle, are interested in leadership development, and are dedicated to solving problems facing agriculture. Young Farmers and Ranchers also provides social activities and competitions that recognize young leaders in agriculture.
Tennessee Young Farmers and Ranchers would like to thank Foster, the Cumberland County Commission, the Cumberland County Farm Bureau Board, Agency Manager Ivy Hillis and the Upchurch family friends for making this event a success.