Agriculture is a highly under recognized aspect of each person’s daily life. From clothing to nutrition, it all starts with agriculture. Americans must understand the value of farming and recognize the importance it holds. President Donald Trump proclaimed that March 14, 2019 be recognized as National Ag Day across America as a salute to the contributions of America’s farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses.
Valued Partners in Agriculture
Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton, Deputy Commissioner Tom Womack and Assistant Commissioner, Administration & Grants Larry Maxwell recently visited Seven Springs Farm to Table and The Winery at Seven Springs Farm. Commissioner Templeton was able to view first-hand how much help their valued partnership through the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement Program and the Tennessee Agriculture Enterprise Grant has been to Seven Springs Farm. Farming is inherently a risky business and having valued partners is important, especially for young and beginning farmers. As early as February 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicted a decline in net farm income to its lowest level since 2002 (adjusted for inflation), with median farm income projected at negative $1,316.00. From 2007 to 2012, farm income declined by 20% in Union County and the number of farms declined by 17%. Average farm income in Union County is just over $8,000.00 with livestock sales accounting for 86 percent of farm income.
There is some hope for local farming. In Tennessee, initiatives like the PickTN (http://www.picktnproducts.org/) program provide consumers with the knowledge that their food was locally grown, and it’s been quite successful since its implementation. It represents a growing social trend, principally with younger generations, that’s putting emphasis on locally-grown foodstuffs. Commissioner Templeton had good news to share with Union County 4-H All Stars Savannah Jones and Kennedy Hill and local 4-H participants Jonathan and Jeremiah Tindell. He noted that the Tennessee Board of Regents had just approved a new Certificate of Farming Operations which will be available through Tennessee Schools of Applied Technology and he is encouraging farmers to get ready to hire these new graduates. Commissioner Templeton and his staff were also able to talk about Tennessee’s Agricultural future with UT Extension Agents Shannon Perrin DeWitt and Anthony Carver and discuss issues in our rural community with Debra Shell Keck, Union County 6th District Commissioner, and USDA’s Bobby Ellison.
Farmland covers about 44% of the state of Tennessee. Tennessee farming is far from the mule-and-plow stereotype of the past. Staying attuned to the technological times, embracing sustainability and fostering innovation in an ever-changing industry is how agriculture and forestry have remained vital sectors in the Volunteer State, contributing approximately $74.8 billion to Tennessee’s economy each year. In terms of revenue generated, Tennessee's top five agricultural products are beef cattle and calves, broilers (young chickens), soybeans, greenhouse and nursery products, and cotton.
Diversification and direct marketing is driving growth in many areas of Tennessee Agriculture. As of 2017, Tennessee had 129 farmers markets, compared with only 99 in 2013. As of the last Census of Agriculture, Tennessee had 616 agritourism venues. These venues range in variety and include corn and hay mazes, cut-your-own Christmas trees, farm tours, pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, pumpkin patches, weddings, festivals, fairs and museums. Grape acreage in Tennessee increased 56.0 percent between 2007 and 2012 and out of the 95 counties in Tennessee, 43 have at least one winery.
Commissioner Templeton congratulated Donna Riddle of Seven Springs Farm for her work in establishing the Union County Farmer's Market and support of Tennessee’s Broadband initiative in Union County. Seven Springs Farm committed the largest matching funds contribution to the recent Broadband Accessibility Grant submitted by Sunset Digital Communications, which if funded, will begin next generation fiber optic communications deployment to rural Union County. He noted the importance of rural broadband to overall economic growth in Tennessee and its importance to Tennessee Agriculture.
With a renewed emphasis on rural Tennessee by Governor Elect Bill Lee, a brighter future for Tennessee Agriculture may be just around the corner.
Don’t believe it. I found out the hard way that ignorance is not always bliss.
While attending college, I worked part-time in a hematology lab. Part of my duties there were prepping blood slides for pathologists to study under a microscope. One day, I snatched a flask full of slides off the counter and quickly spun around.
Being the klutz that I am, I should’ve known better.
Chiropractors offer several adjunctive therapies that can help treat arthritis. Ultrasound: Many think of ultrasound as imaging technology, but when applied to soft tissues and joints, sound waves can also produce a massaging effect that helps reduce swelling and decrease pain and stiffness.
Electrotherapy: These tiny electric pulses are not painful. They treat soft tissue injuries by stimulating nerves and muscles.
What child doesn't like a decorated cookie? What mother likes to do the decorating? Some do. Some don't. If you have a couple preschoolers tearing up the house, the last thing you have time to tackle is decorating fancy cookies.
The word “COOKIE” has a magic sound to a child's ears. You might even get them to lie down for a nap, if you promise cookies when they wake up. I know. I used bribery as a parenting tool when mine were at that changeable stage between diapers and pull-ups. It works, if you vary the bribe.
Having faith can sometimes be a struggle. Have you ever believed your faith was strong only to discover it wasn’t where you thought it was? We believe God for a miracle, we believe Him to bring about a change in our life. We believe it is going to happen, it has been ordained, however we get anxious because what we are believing Him for hasn’t come to pass yet.
Something I like to do when hiking in the woods is to look out for old house sites. It’s maybe not as grand as finding ancient ruins in Rome or South America, but it’s still historic evidence that someone was here during an earlier time and impacted the land. It’s still archeology, just more recent, say within the last 200 years. Like ancient ruins, usually the only manmade structures remaining are stonework, such as chimneys, foundations, and retaining walls.
Can you sing? I can't. Does your bucket have a hole in it? Mine looks like it was used for shot gun target practice. Let me tell you about it. I was looking through an old photo album the other day and came across a picture of my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, singing with her high school chorale group. She even learned to read music.
Homemaking soaps is a centuries old skill that many have the desire to learn. Recently, Big Ridge State Park has offered a class teaching these skills to pupils from the community. Ranger Hannah Paschall, who has been with the park for ten years, has led three sessions, only generating more interest. Classes were held in January, February, and are scheduled for March at the Big Ridge State Park Rec Hall. Ranger Hannah says that she expected the first class to fill up quickly, but she did not realize a second class would fill up in a day.
Union County’s JC Baker Lodge hosted a Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast on Saturday, February 16. Members began to arrive for preparation at 4:00am with the breakfast being served from 7:00 – 11:00am. The goal of the breakfast was for lodge members to do their part in helping students from the community further their educations. Initially the goal was to kick this off as an annual event and with much support and success that goal seems hopeful.
Small Business Expo
Hosted by Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St, Maynardville, Tennessee 37807
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 9 AM – 1 PM
Our 3rd Annual Expo to showcase the many small businesses in Union County. Drop by to see what our county has to offer and support these local businesses.
If you are a business owner looking to attend fill out the following google form by March 15th
"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.
Stephen E. Griffith, age 65, of Corryton, TN received his angel wings Monday, March 18, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Claude Warner Griffith and Doris Jacqueline Griffith. He is survived by his wife, Debbie; children, Carrie Griffith, Samantha (Frank) Lord, Marcus (Kayla) Atkins and Chris Griffith; sister, Susan (Bob) Tebbitt; brother, Scott (Laura) Griffith; grandchildren, Samuel, Ethan, Sarah Elizabeth, Ella Kate, Zane, Caleb, Daniel and Ava.
Michael E. Nicley age 61 of Maynardville passed away on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at his home. Retired auto mechanic from Treece Auto Repair. Preceded in death by his father Edward Nicley and sister, Christine Nicley. Survived by his wife of 38 years, Shelia Nicley; mother, Madge Workman; children, Jonya Coffey (Bryan), Bubby King, Jonathan Nicley (Christy), Jamie Cheeks, Jennifer Graham (Jay); fifteen grandchildren; one great-grandchild.
Earl B. Walker-age 100 of Knoxville passed away Monday morning, March 18, 2019 at his home. He was a U. S. Army Veteran of World War II. He loved singing with the old harp singers. Earl loved his family and his happiest memories were of his family. He was also very proud of reaching his 100th birthday and celebrated it March 10, 2019 with his friends and new family at Deane Hill Place where he had lived the last 10 years. Preceded in death by wife: Cleo Nicely Walker; infant son, Bobby Walker; parents, Oscar and Coker Walker; siblings, twin-sister, Ireland D.
Helen M. Harris Burrell, 87 of Knoxville, passed away on March 17, 2019 following a short illness. She was a member of Redemption Harvest Church of Knoxville.
She was preceded in death by her parents Dotha Hughes and Eunice Hughes; first husband Verlon Lionel Harris; second husband Max E. Burrell; as well as all her brothers and sisters.
She is survived by her son David Harris (Sharon), grandson Timothy Harris (Christy) and two great-grandsons Nolan and Luke Harris, in addition to many nieces and nephews.
John W Dukes of Maryville passed away Friday, March 15 2019. He is preceded in death by wife Jo Dukes; parents Robert & Vina Mae; brother Larry “Bud” (Sue); and sister Nancy. He is survived by daughters Anita Craig of Ooltewah; Lori Nelson (Bryan) of Sweetwater and son Spencer of Nashville; grandchildren Jason (Jessica) Cooper of Maryville and Hillary Cooper of Indianapolis; 6 great-grandchildren; several nieces & nephews; and Dr. Bob Dukes, Rock Dukes and Susan Pilkay with whom he had a special bond.
Alvin Doyle Atkins, age 78, passed away March 15, 2019. Preceded in death by mother, Ruth Keeney and father, Dana Atkins. Survived by wife Dorothy Williams Atkins, sons Alvin and Tonya Atkins and Brian and Leslie Atkins, grandchildren Charles, Elizabeth, Bridget, Brandon, and Brayden, step-grandson Austin (Charity), great-grandchildren Mercedes, Aiden, and Thea, several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Monday, March 18, 2019, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow.
John Thomas Keck-age 27 of Corryton passed away Tuesday evening, March 12, 2019 at his home. Preceded in death by mother, Regina Ann Keck.
Survivors: father, Carl Johnny Keck, Corryton; sisters, Emily Keck of Maynardville; Hannah Gillespie of Lebanon, TN; brothers, Justin Keck of Nashville; Aaron Anderson of Huntland, TN; grandmother, Linda and Rodney O’Brien of Blaine; uncle, David Kitts of Halls. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.
James Douglas "J.D." Killion passed away, March 15, 2019, at Norris Health and Rehab Center, following a lengthy illness. He was born November 2, 1933 in New Tazewell, TN. He was a member of Emory Pike American Christian Church. J.D. was a member of the U.S. Air Force. He is preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Mossie V. Killion; his first wife, D. Blanche Cox Killion and by his second wife M. Jane Cole Killion. J.D. is survived by his daughter Sheila K.
Fred Parrott, Jr., age 85, passed away March 13, 2019. He was a member of Alice Bell Baptist Church. Fred was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving during the Korean War. He was a devoted father and grandfather who loved his family deeply. Left to cherish his memory are wife of 66 years, Marykate "Katie" Parrott; sons Phil (Connie) and Todd (Chris); grandchildren Christopher (Melissa), Krystle (Daniel) and Abbey (Sean). In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Alice Bell Baptist Church Building Fund, 3305 Alice Bell Road, Knoxville, TN., 37917.
Volley H. Cunningham age 60 of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. He was such a kind and loving person, and was always concerned for his family. He loved his family, friends and the family pets. Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone in need. He loved woodworking and making things, one of his hobbies was building things including houses for the family pets and other various projects. He loved gardening and created many family garden projects. He grew prize winning tomatoes which he lovingly gave away to others. He enjoyed singing country and gospel songs.