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Third Thursday

From Chancellor Larry Arrington


UTIA was well represented at Ag Day on the Hill in Nashville on March 25. This event gives us an opportunity to educate our state legislators about agriculture in Tennessee and our programs that support the industry. We had several displays representing CVM, CASNR, UT Extension and AgResearch. John Hodges worked in collaboration with several of the directors of our AgResearch and Education Centers to display Tennessee agricultural products. Shown here are Rob Ellis, right, director of the AgResearch and Education Center in Greeneville, with Rep. Andy Holt, vice chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Thanks to Vice Chancellor Lisa Stearns and our Marketing and Communications team for their support of Ag Day on the Hill.

UT 4-H Congress was a tremendous success this year. Congratulations to the 4-H'ers for planning a tremendous program around the theme "Geared for Greatness." Thanks to our 4-H agents and state 4-H leadership team for their hard work on Congress. Congress leadership for next year will be Tony Eskridge, Shelby County, governor; Haile Adams, Warren County, speaker of the Senate; and Andy Huffer, Moore County, speaker of the House.

We have worked closely with our three UTIA Regional Advisory Councils regarding priorities for UTIA out of the "Governor’s Rural Challenge." Review the summary document to learn more about their feedback.

Go Vols,


P.S. Be sure to follow me and the latest Institute developments on Twitter at @UTIAChancellor.

Appraising the Factors that Grow Research Funding

UT AgResearch Dean Bill Brown discusses the findings of a recent survey that focused on identifying the most important factors that contribute to growth in research funding at major research universities. The survey identified tangible and intangible factors that have a positive influence on research growth.
Read more ...

UT AgResearcher Wins UT Research Spinoff Competition

Two-thirds of Contest Finalists were UTIA Inventors


One of the Institute's Four Pillars is to excel in delivering discoveries. That's just what happened when UTIA scientists made up four of the six finalists in the UT Research Foundation’s Tennessee Venture Challenge. We’re proud of that achievement and especially proud that UTIA turfgrass scientist John Sorochan was both the overall winner and recipient of the Crowd Favorite Award. Read more ...

First Quarter External Funding Tops $6.9M

Sponsored projects for the first quarter of 2014 total $6.95 million. Congratulations to the principal and co-principal investigators! See the report.

External funding remains vital to our overall program, and UTIA appreciates the support and efforts of everyone engaged in enhancing our external funding.

More than 300 State Youth Participate in 4-H Congress

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam teamed up with Tennessee 4-H Gov. John Calvin Bryant, a 10th grader in Lawrence County, at 4-H Congress held recently in Nashville.

This year more than 322 youth from 84 counties participated in 4-H Congress, along with 78 volunteer leaders. The four-day event, in its 67th year, was full of legislative visits, workshops, educational assemblies and fun.

Since its beginning Congress has given more than 33,900 Tennessee 4-H'ers and volunteer leaders firsthand experience in state government. For the state's youth, Congress is truly a citizenship experience. In addition to experiencing life in the state capital, they learn about civic engagement, servant leadership, how state government functions, and the electoral process. Learn more about 4-H Congress.


The Institute is gearing up for our second annual Grow More, Give More service project. Through Grow More, Give More, people donate and we collect produce for our hungry neighbors in the Knoxville area. Consider planting a little extra in your garden and visit ag.tennessee.edu/gmgm for more information and volunteer opportunities.


UT Extension Farm Management Specialist Chuck Danehower says financially successful farmers share at least six traits. Following them can help producers boost their bottom lines. Read more.


UTIA is now on LinkedIn! This latest addition to our social media family of sites, which includes Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, will allow us to share news and information about the Institute with more than 225 million LinkedIn members, including you! Visit UTIA on the web and click on the LinkedIn logo to visit.

Blount County’s John Keller named Farmer of the Year


Blount County’s John Keller has raised cattle, harvested corn, soybeans, hay and wheat, and even sold beef directly to consumers. Now, after 50 years on the farm, he is also UT Extension's Tennessee Farmer of the Year.

Pictured here with wife and farming partner Susan, Keller is a dedicated and capable leader in his agricultural community, according to John Wilson, agent and county director of UT Extension Blount County. Wilson nominated him for the honor.

"John has demonstrated a desire to promote the advancement of and appreciation for family farms in Tennessee. He and his family are ready at a moment’s notice to share the story of agriculture with the public," Wilson says. "John is a conscientious and innovative farmer with a mind for the business, a ready hand for the farm task and a passion for the land and livestock." Read More ...

Fast-Growing Trees Hold Promise for Biorefineries

Cottonwood and hybrid poplar trees have promise as affordable, sustainable substitutes for petroleum-based fuels and products, and the Southeastern Partnership for Integrated Biomass Supply Systems (IBSS), led by the Institute's Center for Renewable Carbon, is conducting a commercial demonstration of their suitability. Read more. Read More …

Exciting Award for Madison County 4-H Agent Sharon Tubbs

Sharon Tubbs, a UT Extension 4-H agent in Madison County, has been named one of the 20 most influential women in West Tennessee for 2014. The honor came from a joint project with the Jackson Sun newspaper and Jackson area business and professional women. An attorney who is the parent of a 4-H'er nominated Tubbs because of the influence she has had on the attorney’s child, family and community.

"This is an outstanding honor for Sharon that recognizes the positive impact in the lives of families that she and other Extension agents across the state accomplish through their work to teach important life skills," says Laura Stephenson, assistant dean, UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences.

How to Treat a Lion With a Toothache


If you're the King of the Beasts and have a toothache, there are not a lot of dentists to choose from. And when it came to putting his hand in the mouth of a lion, Dr. Ed Ramsey with the UT Veterinary Medical Center didn't blink. And we ain’t lion! His skillful work administering a root canal solved a pain problem for a big cat named Africa from East Tennessee's Tiger Haven. Watch a WBIR news segment about the surgery and view Ramsey's interview by the station.


If you or someone you know has experienced a loss, either recent or in the past, that still affects your life, then consider taking a seven-week program on the grief recovery method offered by the UT Veterinary Social Work program. Read more.


Robertson County 4-H’er Zach Suell had standout scores on the environmental and technology categories of the 4-H LifeSmarts competition, and they netted him a $1,250 renewable scholarship from Toyota. Read more.


Public horticulture M.S. student Amanda Plante was honored as a UT Quest Scholar last week. She has been awarded the prestigious Leese Fellowship from the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

CVM Students’ Josh Service Project a Winner!

The UT CVM chapter of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association beat out other North American veterinary colleges to win first place in raising funds for the Josh Project. The project helps lessen children’s anxiety associated with hospital stays. The money is used to buy kits consisting of a book and a stuffed dog that are donated to hospitals. UT veterinary students recently made a second delivery to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Standout Pix!

Student Utsala Shrestha took this image of a research demonstration at the UT Plateau AgResearch and Education Center in Crossville. Shrestha is a Ph.D. student at the Institute majoring in sustainable agriculture in the Department of Plant Sciences. She is also a Chancellor's Distinguished Graduate Fellow. Her photo is among 307 images that members of the Institute entered in the UTIA-wide Photo Competition. You can see all entries by logging in here. Winners will be announced soon.


Third Thursday is published monthly by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Send comments and suggestions to Margot Emery. The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

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