Local student wins regional 4-H public speaking

Kaleb Hanna, Union County 4-Her to attend Western National Roundup

It’s public speaking time in Union County! One of the most exciting 4-H competitions is just around the corner: the 4-H Public Speaking Contest.
This experience really boosts your confidence. Almost everyone has fears of public speaking, but it sure is an excellent way to turn your weakness into strength. Preparing a speech makes you look inward to personal thoughts or ideas that you would like your audience to hear about.

Big Ridge students spend the day in the boots of a farmer

Students of Big Ridge Elementary with Raleigh Korth and Jerry Hurst of StoneHurst Miniature Horses

Wearing overalls, boots and cowboy hats, the students of Big Ridge Elementary ventured out to the green space and found some fun farm activities as part of the 26th Annual Union County Farm Day on Thursday, September 26. The 250 students made their rounds to 17 stations demonstrating and teaching Ag in the Classroom activities led by more than 40 volunteers.
Farm Day is hosted annually by Union County Farm Bureau, which is putting efforts in to teach the youths of the community the importance of agriculture in their daily lives and give them some knowledge to take home.

Farm Fresh Fun at Paulette Elementary School

4-H and FFA member, Keena Witt, assists Paulette Elementary students in learning about Swine in a hands on lesson

Agriculture partners joined forces in a pleasurable and educational event for Paulette Elementary School students on May 15. This was the 25th Annual Farm Day hosted in Union County. The event is hosted at one of the county’s five elementary schools each year, in rotation, so that every student in the county gets at least one attendance.

Let Your Swine Shine

Kennedy Hill showing at the State 4-H Hog Show

On January 10-12, the 2019 Tennessee State Junior Swine Show was hosted in Murfreesboro, TN. The show was held in conjunction with the Tennessee Pork Producers Association annual meeting. Union County was represented well at the state show. In addition to individual hog show classes, youth competed in showmanship, skillathon, and the ultrasound carcass class.

Union County is Lit

Bobby Hampshire, Individual Winner

Union County is a beautiful place to live and visit during any season, but this winter was even more sparkling than expected. The Light Up Union County Event, hosted by partnership UT Extension and Union County Chamber of Commerce, generated twenty three divine holiday light displays. The contest was split into three categories this year including Individual, Organization, and Commercial Business. A Facebook poll was conducted, running about two weeks, for each category.

4-H is Full Force

Abigail Foust, Grand Champion Senior Level I Showmanship at the Region Show

The Union County 4-H Program is very active in projects and activities providing many opportunities to youth in our area. Heading into the new year, Union County youngsters will be ready to kick off several 4-H events and contests.

4-H Campaigns

Kaylee Venable and Kelsey Holt examine a plastinated cow heart from LMU's anatomy lab.

Our 4-Hers are an active group of youth vested in the community. Currently, Tennessee 4-H Foundation has launched a Friends and Family Campaign to provide county 4-H clubs with an opportunity to grow funds, gain new support, and increase awareness of 4-H. Union County joined the movement and is looking to raise funds towards a goal to grow the county’s established endowment fund. This trust provides a quarterly payout to be applied to educational 4-H programs as well as camp and conference scholarships, right here in Union County for years to come.

Extension Gives Back

The true spirit of the season is giving and doing for others with no expectation of return. The simple act of kindness can work magic on a person’s heart. Gifts are not always in the form of an item but more so in the love that it takes to make or volunteer to do something. Being oriented in service learning, this season UT Extension Union County groups are in a giving spirit.

Beef Cattle Education

Pictured Left to Right: Back- Justin Utley, Jacob Mason, Robert Loy, Stephen Mitchell, James Yarber Jr., Robert Stooksbury, David Gray; Center- Curt Sawyer, Rick Roberts, Chris George; Front- Tim George, Kern Elkins, Jason West, Bobby Ray, Danny Stooksbury, Denny Bates

Raising beef is a very complex business. Knowing how to safely and sustainably run a beef cattle operation is key to profit and success. More Tennesseans are involved in beef production than any other agricultural enterprise. There are 79,000 farms in Tennessee and beef cattle are found on fifty-three percent of those. Tennessee is one of the top beef-producing states in the nation. Our great state ranks ninth in the nation in beef cow numbers and fifteenth in total cattle.

Decorate the Town

Decorate the Town

The cool air is wisping through Union County as November peeps around the corner. With the cool air and festivities surrounding the town, excitement for the upcoming holidays begins. As lights are strewn up in window seals and trees become aglow, the county will glisten with Christmas spirit. Opportunities will arise for a car ride through town with the family, Christmas carols on the radio and hot peppermint cocoa in hand to gaze at the town through the frosty windows and admire the holiday decorations.

Corn Producers VOTE!

Corn Producers VOTE!

The Tennessee Corn Referendum will be held on Wednesday, November 28 and Thursday, November 29 from 8am - 5pm. The question on the referendum ballot will be “shall the producers of corn assess themselves at the rate of one cent ($0.01) per bushel of corn sold”. If passed, the funds will be paid over to the Tennessee Corn Promotion Board to finance programs of research, education, market development, marketing, advertising and other methods to promote the increased production, consumption, use and sale of corn products.

Tennessee Ag Literacy Week

Tennessee Ag Literacy Week

In an effort to encourage sharing the positive message about agriculture, November 11 – 17, 2018, will be celebrated as “Agriculture Literacy Week in Tennessee”. Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week will allow everyone involved in agriculture to focus attention toward our vibrant industry through literacy promotions in local school systems. Volunteers are encouraged to contact local school systems and schedule a visit to read agriculturally themed books to school students. Many segments of Tennessee’s agriculture industry have
strong literacy outreach programs.

FCE Club Happenings

FCE Club Happenings

Family and Community Education (FCE) Clubs, organized under the direction of the University of Tennessee, are dedicated to the purpose of helping persons become better homemakers and community members. Home Economics activities are carried out through monthly meetings, special interest activities, workshops, mass media, and individual contacts. Union County currently has two very active FCE Groups, Big Ridge FCE meeting on the second Thursday monthly and Sharps Chapel FCE meeting on the third Thursday monthly.

Finding Hidden Holiday Expenses

While holiday shopping can get you into the spirit of the season, it’s often accompanied by a nagging feeling that you’re overspending. Listening to that nagging little voice will be the best thing you can do! Busting the budget is a holiday tradition that you may pay for months into the new year. A holiday spending plan can help you feel comfortable and in control, but a common mistake is not considering the hidden expenses that come with the holidays. Here are tips for making sure your budget covers even those hidden costs:

Ag Committee Welcomes New Members

The UT Extension Agricultural Committee is set to meet on November 6th to welcome new members. UT Extension is an off-campus division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. Extension is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state, and local governments, bringing research based information to Tennesseans where they work and live. Information is available in a wide array of categories including Ag and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, and Community Economic Development.

Leadership Thrives in Union County

Leadership Thrives in Union County

A community thrives on leaders taking initiative and pushing themselves and others to full potential. Leadership Union County (LUC) is a local organization that focuses on developing leaders to help create a unified and progressive community by identifying opportunities and challenges, developing strategies, and providing resources to achieve community goals. LUC’s charter class began in 2000. On September 20th, Leadership Union County is honored to have added six graduates to the leadership program.

4-H at the Fair

4-H at the Fair

It is tradition to ring in autumn with trips to the fairs across East Tennessee, especially as a 4-Her. This year the Tennessee Valley Fair was held from September 7-16 with much participation from Union County 4-Her’s. On Thursday the 13th, Union County sent two teams of 4-H members to the Kerr Building to bake biscuits for fair goers all the whilst learning themselves, cooking together, kitchen safety, mannerisms, and more. The teams were assisted by volunteer leader Elizabeth Tindell as well as a few parents who stayed to help as needed.

4-H Chickens Auctioned

Golden Comet Winners l to r - Chesney, Richardson, Eubanks, Holt, Sexton, Malone, Smith, Farmer

It is common knowledge that 4-H is a club for kids to learn valuable skills and get their hands dirty. This summer, fifteen Union County 4-Hers were busy carrying water, cleaning cages, and gathering eggs as they indulged in the 2018 Poultry Project. They each received twenty chicks in early March and raised the birds from one day old to young laying hens at twenty six weeks old.

A Quilt Trail of Hay Bales

A Quilt Trail of Hay Bales

As the departure of the summer season nears, autumn is slowly breezing in on the dewy sunrise mornings and early sunset evenings. It is well-known that attending the Annual Union County Heritage Festival is a kick-off to the magical fall season here in Union County. The festival attracts all realms of people as there are vendors, contests, foods, and demonstrations to meet every expectation.