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September 2021


White background logo with red and black printing 1921-2021 100 YEARS TENNESSEE FARM BUREAUTN AgrAbility with University of TN Institute of Agriculture celebrated TN Farm Bureau's happy 100th birthday! 100 years ago, a group of farmers gathered with the hopes of creating an organization to better the lives of farmers and rural people in Tennessee. 100 years later, TN Farm Bureau is the largest Farm Bureau in the nation and continues to be the strong voice for Tennessee agriculture. TN Farm Bureau is a big supporter of TN AgrAbility.

Happy #NationalFarmersMarketWeek (August 1-7, 2021)! TN Department of Ag promotes buying local. Whether it is one of AgrAbility's farmers or the favorite local Farmers Market, staff look for and support the TN signs like Pick TN Products and National Farmer Veteran Coalition/Homegrown By Heroes.

People sitting in a tin-roofed pavilion on a farm with a red barn in the backgroundThere was another session of TN New Farmer Academy this month, starting with farm tours with the TN State University East TN New Farmer Academy where farmers learned additional information about niche crops, agritourism, Community Supported Ag (CSA), organic production, and AgrAbility services. A HUGE Thank you to the great hosts: Knox County Extension, Oakes Daylilies Farm, and the team at the UT Organic Research Farm.

Another successful grain bin safety/rescue awareness training was held in the Upper Cumberland TN counties on the beautiful Catesa Farms in Upper Cumberland TN. Fifty-four farmers and rescue personnel went through 4 hours of classroom work and 4 hours of hands-on grain bin rescue training. The training was coordinated by TN AgrAbility and taught by TN Association of Rescue Squads. There were 20 Turtle Plastics rescue tubes and five Great Wall rescue tubes distributed throughout eight counties. Frank Averella, a member of the Sparta-White County Volunteer Rescue Squad in a rural part of Tennessee stated, "As members of a special operations team, we constantly train and hone our skills in technical rescue and are ready to respond to emergencies at a moment's notice. Recently, we were invited to participate in the Grain Bin Rescue Awareness Training Class promoted by the TN AgrAbility Program, UT TSU Extension, the Tennessee Association of Rescue Squads, and other very important partners. The skills and knowledge that we obtained in this class will change our and others' lives forever. Anyone who works in the farming industry, those that support that network, and those who are first responders that would respond to an emergency involving agricultural type rescues need this class. Understanding dangers that you have never considered before, keeping your employees, team members, and family safe, having resources ready to go, and learning fundamental steps to mitigate an emergency are some of the skills you will learn. Also, not only will you learn new skills, but your pre-existing skill sets in your specific trades will be reinforced. Personally, I have witnessed when farmers and first responders come together, sharing their passions and eagerness to help, great things will be accomplished. I am proud to say we are all now a part of an exclusive group that we hope to only grow, and share with others, which in turn will save countless lives for generations to come. In other words: Take this Class. Yours and other lives depend on it!"

Grain bins against a cloudy skyA HUGE THANK YOU to UT TSU Extension agents in Smith, Macon, Trousdale, Overton, Putnam, DeKalb, White, and Van Buren counties for going way beyond in getting sponsorships for the rescue tubes and organizing the training. Could not have happened without them. A HUGE THANK YOU to Catesa Farms for hosting the event and numerous sponsors. The event ended with homegrown Catesa Farms watermelon. Watch grain bin training on Facebook. See NCTV report on grain bin training here.

Selfie of Emily in a mirrorMeet Emily Webb, a TN AgrAbility farmer. She and her family operate a beef cattle farm raising straw and hay and riding horses. She has had three back and two knee surgeries. She is like the Energizer Bunny; she keeps on going. Looking behind her while driving the tractor was a big problem for Emily. In order to ease the pain at the end of the day, TN AgrAbility purchased a utility vehicle mirror for the Kubota m6040. "The mirror helps a great deal because I don't have to twist and turn to see what is behind me when driving the tractor. I can sit back and stay relaxed and see everything with the mirror," stated Emily.

Submitted by TN AgrAbility