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Governor's Rural Challenge: A 10-Year Strategic Plan

In December 2012, Gov. Bill Haslam challenged the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the UT Institute of Agriculture to help develop a strategy for ensuring the growth and prosperity of agriculture and forestry over the next decade. He set a goal of making Tennessee the number one in the Southeast in the development of agriculture and forestry and emphasized opportunities to increase farm income and agribusiness investment. The governor asked for "practical, affordable, actionable steps that we can take to propel the industry into the future." The governor asked that a strategic plan be developed by the time the Legislature convenes in 2014.

Governor's Rural Challenge: A 10-Year Strategic Plan, December 2013 [PDF, 4 Mb]

Expectations:

  • Continue to focus on rural job creation and economic development
  • Cultivate new agribusiness investments that lead to job creation and farm markets
  • Increase farm profitability
  • Develop public/private partnerships

Guiding Principles:

  • Facilitate and enhance private enterprise and initiative
  • Motivate private equity and identify innovative business relationships
  • Instill confidence in entrepreneurship and risk management
  • Take advantage of strengths and assets
  • Address supply chain gaps
  • Seek inclusive, broad-based input
  • Emphasize cooperation and collaboration

View the Governor's Address to the Farm Bureau

Organization

Organization

The strategic planning process will involve opportunities for public input and will utilize a variety of sources and means for gathering information. For quantitative evaluation and analysis, support will be provided by the UT Agri-Industry Modeling and Analysis Group, the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture. The process will also utilize testimony from private sector experts representing industry, logistics and infrastructure, and additional support from institutional partners including academia and USDA. Qualitative insight will be sought from stakeholders and the public through a steering committee, focus groups, surveys and public meetings.

Executive Committee:

  • Mr. Lacy Upchurch, President, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation
  • Dr. Larry Arrington, Chancellor, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
  • Commissioner Julius Johnson, Tennessee Department of Agriculture

Steering Committee:

To facilitate strategic plan development, a steering committee of industry leaders is providing guidance in identifying key measures of success and making final recommendations. Steering committee members represent a broad range of agricultural and forestry interest including livestock, specialty and row crop production, financing, supply and service, cooperatives, wood products industry and agribusiness.

Members:

  • Jeff Aiken, Telford
  • Steve Bennett, Thompson Station
  • Barry Brandstetter, Memphis
  • Mike Brundige, Martin
  • Mark Burnett, Pikeville
  • Brent Carter, Fayetteville
  • Tim Chowning, Springfield
  • Don Collier, Seymour
  • Amy Delvin, College Grove
  • Mike Estes, Murfreesboro
  • Bobby Goode, Nashville
  • Steve Harrison, Loudon
  • Johnny Heard, Collinwood
  • Willis Jepson, Orlinda
  • Renea Jones-Rogers, Unicoi
  • Dwight King, Piney Flatts
  • Bart Krisle, LaVergne
  • John Lindamood, Tiptonville
  • Eric Maupin, Dyersburg
  • Eric Mayberry, Hurricane Mills
  • Jimmy Moody, Dyersburg
  • Ben Moore, Dresden
  • Reyes Rich, Moss
  • Chelsea Rose, Hickman
  • Ray Sneed, Covington
  • Jimmy Tosh, Henry
  • Catherine Via, Bells
  • Stephen Worley, Hampshire

Public Survey

Take a public survey to help identify key issues and challenges affecting the growth and development of agriculture and forestry in Tennessee. The survey is completely anonymous and involves a series of 27 multiple choice questions covering topics ranging from land availability and access to markets to agribusiness incentives, labor and research. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The results will be used to help the Steering Committee identify areas of focus. Take the survey now.

For More Information:

Contact Louis E. Buck - lebuck@comcast.net - (615) 522-4028.

Tennessee AgroForestry Information

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