By JOE LOFARO
Special to the Press
State Rep. Andy Holt served as the host for Tennessee lawmakers who celebrated Ag Day on the Hill on Tuesday at Legislative Plaza in Nashville. The day highlighted the importance of farming and forestry to the state of Tennessee.
“I wanted to do it (serve as the host),” Holt said. “I love agriculture and everything about it.”
Ag Day on the Hill featured a variety of exhibits and activities including: A milking contest between Senate and House members; a cattle weighing contest; live animals – cattle, goats, pigs, chicken, sheep, bees, mules and horses; crops and farm equipment; and special presentations to the House Agriculture Committee.
Holt chaired the ag day committee which included Keith Harrison of the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative; Tom Womack of the Department of Agriculture and Pettus Read from Tennessee Farm Bureau.
Ag Day on the Hill benefited Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, which had collection bins available at Legislative Plaza throughout the day. Participants, exhibitors and visitors were encouraged to bring nonperishable items for donation. The Farm and Forest Families of Tennessee organization presented a check to Second Harvest in honor of the milking contest winner.
Tennessee has 77,300 farms representing 10.8 million acres in production. More than half of the state, 14 million acres, is in mostly privately owned hardwood forests. Tennessee’s top agricultural commodities include cattle, soybeans, poultry, corn, cotton, greenhouse and nursery products, timber, dairy products, wheat, tobacco and hay. Agriculture and forestry contribute more than $71 billion a year to the state’s economy and employs nearly 364,000 residents.
“We had a big celebration,” Holt said. “We were able to recognize at least two generations of people removed from production agricultural.
Published in The WCP 4.4.13