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Rural Routes

In This Issue

Commissioner's Message

2013 Tennessee State Fair

Staying Healthy at the Fair

Tennessee's Award-Winning Wines

New Appointments at TDA

Recent EAB Quarantined Counties

Wild Hog Transport Order Revised

Virtual Equine Trails Map


Aug. 21-31

Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, Shelbyville

Sept. 6-15

Tennessee State Fair, Nashville

Tennessee Valley Fair, Knoxville

Sept. 10-15

West Tenn. State Fair, Jackson

Sept. 20-22

State 4-H Council Meeting, Lebanon

Oct. 3-4

TN ECD 60th Annual Governor's Conference, Nashville

Oct. 6-12

National 4-H Week

Oct. 10

Northeast Tenn. Beef Expo, Greenville

Oct. 12

Ames Plantations Heritage Festival, Grand Junction

Oct. 19-20

Music and Molasses Arts and Crafts Festival, Nashville



From Commissioner Julius Johnson...

Last year, Gov. 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 number one in the Southeast in the development of agriculture and forestry, and he emphasized opportunities to increase farm income and agribusiness investment.

We are half way through the year and the process of developing a strategic plan. We have already received considerable input from a variety of sources, including a blue-ribbon panel of industry leaders who are providing valuable guidance and insight.

You can be a part of this process too, and we invite you to read more about the Governor's Rural Challenge and to take a brief online survey at We are also proud to join with Farm Credit Services of Mid-America in hosting an agricultural leadership summit in the fall to hear from industry experts and to discuss proposed recommendations. We will be providing more information as plans are finalized. In the meantime, we appreciate your input as we seek to complete the strategic plan over the next few months.

2013 Tennessee State Fair Will Epitomize the Best of Tennessee

The 107th Tennessee State Fair is themed, "Come Grow With Us", and will take place September 6 - 15 at the Nashville Fairgrounds.

This year's State Fair will showcase the culture and promise of the entire state of Tennessee, making it a true state fair. The emphasis will be on agriculture and youth, heritage and future, all in an educational and entertaining atmosphere. During the fair, the Tennessee State Fairgrounds will come alive with traditional competitions, thrilling rides and a wide variety of events.

Some of the highlights include the Taste of Tennessee Craft Brewers Festival, wrestling, the Flying Houndz, pageants and the Volunteer Village.

For a complete list of events and information, visit

Staying Healthy at the Fair

While the Tennessee State Fair is still a couple of weeks away, we are right in the middle of county fair season, so many of you may have already consumed your fair share of cotton candy and funnel cakes. But if the your county fair or the state fair is still on your summer to do list, it's a good idea to take a few precautions to make your trip to the fair a healthy one.

Livestock exhibits are popular attractions and are an important part of agricultural youth programs and industry. Fairgoers are encouraged to visit these areas while also being mindful that, while the instances are rare, livestock can sometimes spread diseases such as E coli and H3N2 swine flu to humans, especially the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems.

Last year, there were several cases in other states of swine flu infecting pigs and, in some cases, humans who came into contact with them at fairs around the country. To minimize risk, those prone to developing severe complications from influenza or in poor health should limit their exposure to swine.

Fair goers visiting swine or any other livestock area should practice the following safety precautions.

  • Wash hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
  • Do not eat or drink in livestock areas.
  • Do not bring pacifiers, sipping cups or strollers into the livestock area.

"We want the public to enjoy and support their local fair but to also observe good health practices while around livestock for their own protection and that of the animals," State Veterinarian Charles Hatcher, DVM said. "Fair officials should be mindful that only healthy animals are displayed on the grounds."

Any sick animals found at the fairgrounds should be sent home and reported to the state veterinarian's office at 615-837-5120.

Tennessee's Award-Winning Wines

Tennessee wineries took home 21 medals from the recent Indy International Wine Competition at Purdue University, one of the nation's largest wine competitions.

The West Lafayette, Indiana event attracted more than 2,300 wines from 39 states and 14 countries as far away as France, Australia, Chile and Greece. The wines were judged by 44 international experts in a completely blind taste competition based on appearance, aroma, taste and aftertaste.

For their port wine, "Apropos," Beans Creek Winery in Manchester was awarded a prestigious Double Gold Medal, meaning that every one of the 44 judges at the event voted for that wine to receive a gold medal.

The Indy is the largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition in the United States, which is the world's largest wine market. The competition is closely watched by wine writers, winemakers, winegrowers and enologists, chefs and sommeliers, wine distributors and retailers.

Arrington Vineyards near Franklin took gold medals for their 2010 Merlot, 2012 Noiret Chambourcin and 2012 Viognier. Beachaven Vineyards & Winery in Clarksville also won gold for their 2012 Chardonnay.

Amber Falls Winery & Cellars, located in Hampshire, won silver medals for their 2012 Cottage Rose and 2012 Romance blends. Arrington's 2010 Syrah, 2011 Vidal Blanc Chardonnay, 2012 Chardonel Barrel Reserve and 2012 Riesling also took silvers. Beachaven Vineyards & Winery was awarded a silver medal for a 2011 Chambourcin, Beans Creek Winery won a silver medal for their Sparkling Strawberry, and Eagle Springs Winery in Kodak won silver medals for their Honeymoon and Nectar wines.

Bronze medals went to Beachaven Vineyards & Winery for both 2012 Blackberry and Cynthiana varietals, while Arrington Vineyards got a bronze award for a 2012 Chardonnay. A Beans Creek Winery Chardonel also took home bronze, as did Eagle Springs Winery's 2012 Pride of the South, Screaming Apricot and Wildfire wines.

For more information about Tennessee wines and wineries, contact Tennessee Department of Agriculture viticulture marketing specialist Tammy Algood at For a directory of Tennessee wineries, wine trails, and recipes paired with or using Tennessee wines, visit

New Appointments at TDA

David Todd and Shanna Lively have both been appointed to positions at TDA.

Todd, a 12-year Division of Forestry veteran, has been promoted to assistant state forester. He will direct several program areas within the Division of Forestry and assist state forester Jere Jeter in maintaining existing programs and developing new ones as needed to ensure healthy and productive forests for the people of Tennessee.

Shanna Lively has been named TDA food and dairy administrator. Lively previously worked in the private sector food safety industry. In her new position, she will be responsible for the statewide inspection program and enforcement activities related to retail food and dairy laws and regulations.

Lively replaces food and dairy administrator Bill Walls, who will be assuming other management duties within the department’s food safety program.

Three More TN Counties Quarantined for EAB

This summer, just like last year, purple box traps were set in ash trees across the state to find where the Emerald Ash Borer had taken hold. And just like last summer, EAB has spread to even more areas. Hamilton, Jackson and Scott counties have now been confirmed by USDA to have the invasive insect.

In Hamilton County , at least a dozen trees adjacent to the rail lines in Chattanooga and an EAB trap located in a park near the rail hub tested positive.

"While it's not possible to say with absolute confidence at this time where the origin of the infestation began in Chattanooga, detection surveys indicates it is located near a rail hub," Gray Haun, TDA Plant Certification Administrator said. "EAB travels on firewood and unprocessed ash materials, so it’s likely wood products already infested with the insect arrived near that vicinity."

"In Jackson and Scott counties, it appears the newly found infestations probably originated through the movement of infested firewood used in camping."

Campers are urged to buy firewood locally where they are camping to help stop the spread of EAB.

EAB was first discovered in Tennessee in 2010 at a truck stop along I-40 in Knox County. In addition to Knox, 20 other counties in Tennessee including Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Loudon, Monroe, Roane, Scott, Sevier, Smith, and Union counties are under state and federal quarantines.

The EAB quarantine prohibits the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber and other material that can spread EAB. With the new discoveries, citizens can expect expanded surveys and should report any symptomatic ash trees to TDA.

State Veterinarian Revises Wild Hog Transport Order

Wild hogs are wreaking havoc on farmland, crops and forests in Tennessee and the problem continues to grow. To help investigators strengthen the enforcement of illegally transporting these hogs, the state veterinarian has revised the wild hog transport order.

The revised order, which went into effect June 10, is in support of legislation passed last year by the Tennessee General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam making it illegal to transport and release wild-appearing hogs without documentation from the department.

"Wild hogs have the propensity to reproduce in great numbers, carry diseases, destroy crops and cause serious ecological damage," state veterinarian Charles Hatcher, DVM, said. "The new order strengthens efforts to prevent the illegal transportation and releasing of wild hogs by requiring individual animal identification and documentation for all wild-appearing hogs being moved."

Wild hogs are typically two to three feet tall and up to five feet long with larger heads and heavier shoulders compared to domesticated breeds. Wild hogs also have smaller, pointed and heavily furred ears, longer snouts, tusks and straight tails.

The previous order exempted individual animal identification in specific cases. The revised order requires all wild-appearing swine being moved within Tennessee to have state or federally approved individual animal identification and:

  • Proof that each individual animal has tested negative for Pseudorabies and Brucellosis within 90 days of movement; or
  • Proof that each individual animal originated from a Validated Brucellosis-free and Qualifed Pseudorabies-negative herd; or
  • Have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection from a Tennessee licensed and USDA accredited veterinarian listing each animal; or
  • A movement authorization number from the state veterinarian’s office for wild-appearing hogs being moved directly to an approved slaughter facility or slaughter-only market.

Authorization numbers for wild-appearing hogs intended for slaughter can be obtained by phone Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. central time by calling the state veterinarian's office at 615-837-5120. Producers will be required to provide information including the number of swine and the place of origin and destination.

For more information or to view the state veterinarian's order visit TDA at and click on the Animal Health Information link.

Pick Tennessee Products Makes Finding Trails to Ride Even Easier

The Pick Tennessee Products website,, is now host to a "live" equine resources map that links visitors directly to 196 different equine hot spots from one end of the state to the other.

"This interactive map is taking our Tennessee trail guide to a whole new level," state equine marketing specialist Wendy Sneed said. "Finding a place to ride is a lot easier now, whether you're searching around your own county or are visiting another part of the state. Travelers from out of state driving through for shows or other trails can now just click through the map to see if there are facilities near them. That's a big help if they need to stable somewhere for the night, or would like to do some riding along the way."

The web map not only shows trails, but indicates overnight stabling, show and sale facilities, equine education and other related equine services.

The new live trails map is a practical, welcome benefit to serious equine enthusiasts, but horse lovers don't necessarily have to own their own horses to enjoy a nice ride along a Tennessee trail. A number of trails on the live web map offer horse rentals.

"New trails are added as we connect with them, so the live map can stay more current than a printed version," Sneed said. "In fact, we encourage anyone who offers trails, stabling, or show facilities to please go to and submit an application so we can get you added."

The printed version is still available by going to the Pick Tennessee Products website, clicking on Equine Resources and requesting a trail guide booklet to be sent through the mail.

The Upcoming Show and Event Calendar for Equine is another service posted on the PTP site under Equine Resources. Visit for more information or contact Wendy Sneed at


Ellington Agricultural Center | 440 Hogan Road | Nashville, TN 37220