Until I began working for Hamilton County Schools at Birchwood Elementary, I had not heard of the Tennessee Sandhill Crane Festival (or Birchwood TN Sandhill Crane Festival). I don’t know why not. This is a gem of an educational and fun opportunity.
Commitment, complexity, flexibility and sternness are all features you will find in a beef cattle farmer. American cattle farmers are working harder today than ever to be successful in their industry, and it does not come easy. The devotion is met with long hours, rain when you don’t need it and drought when do. Broken fences, leaky barn roofs, breech calves, and flat tractor tires are nails found in the road of cattle farming.
As the spooky October season sneaks around the corner, Big Ridge State Park has some ghostly adventures planned for the community and visitors. As you may know, there are some mysterious stories from past generations that spook the park this time of year. These stories are shared amongst hikers at the Annual Ghost House Hikes which have been happening for more than a decade.
The Horace Maynard FFA is a very busy chapter. Recently, the chapter was awarded a Yearlong Living to Serve Grant in the amount of $3,000 from the National FFA Organization. This nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support yearlong service learning projects that address needs related to community safety, environmental responsibility, hunger, health and nutrition, and community engagement. The program provided over $260,000 to FFA chapters in thirty two states.
When I was glued to my TV set last year watching the rescue of those soccer boys trapped in a cave in Thailand, I thought about times I had been in caves. Most of those experiences were in Tennessee. Caves in Tennessee are fascinating. One of my encounters was in a primitive cave near South Pittsburgh. Usually a primitive cave is one that is undeveloped, with no pathways, no paid guides, and no admission fees. Those types of caves are on private property. Of course, all of the well-known caves were once primitive, until someone saw the opportunity to make a little money.
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.
Jean Underwood Fox and Harry Fox presently own the Albert Miller Lea farm at Richland, and this is the 209th anniversary of Mr. Lea’s birth. What a birthday gift, a Tennessee Historic Marker, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Fox. They have begun working with Grainger County Historian Ken Coffey to have Richland: Albert Miller Lea Farm placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the tenth historic marker to be placed in Grainger County. Mr. Marvin House, who restored the Richland Mill, was also helpful in this process.