Family Farm School under way

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Family Family School began last Thursday with the annual meeting but you still have plenty of time to learn and enjoy!

Farm Family school moves to Murfreesboro on January 17th. Cowboy Poet and Humorist Baxter Black will be the featured speaker at the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association 2013 Annual Convention and Trade Show being held January 17-19th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Murfreesboro. Best known for his appearances on RFD TV and Hee Haw before that, Baxter will bring his unique brand of cowboy humor to Tennessee. There will be sessions discussing cattle marketing, health and nutrition as well as a panel discussion on retail trends in the cattle industry. The Convention includes over 60 vendors in the trade show and it is a great chance for producers to come and learn new information from industry professionals. Everyone is invited to come to convention for only $10 a day or $15 for both days with pre-registration. This includes the trade show, educational sessions and Baxter Black program. Meals are extra. For more information on attending the TCA 2013 Convention and a complete schedule of events visit or call 615-896-2333.

The Tennessee Cattlemen's Association (TCA) was founded in 1985 and has over 5,000 members from across the state. The organization works to provide the cattlemen of Tennessee with an organization through which they may function collectively to protect their interests and work toward the solution of cattle industry problems and to build the necessary goodwill that will bring both governmental esteem and recognition to the industry.

The Tennessee Horticultural Expo is scheduled for January 24th thru the 26th at the Airport Marriot in Nashville. The Hort Expo is a collective meeting of the following organizations in Tennessee. TAC Tennessee Agritourism Conference, TFWA Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance, TFMA Tennessee Farmers Market Association and Agritourism, TFGA Tennessee Flower Growers Association, TFVA Tennessee Fruit and Vegetable Association. The expo offers educational sessions, trade show exhibits, networking opportunities and association meetings for current agritourism operators and farmers interested in agritourism; fruit and vegetable growers; grape growers and wine makers; flower growers; and farmers market managers.

Early registration ($50) or late registration ($75) includes access to conference sessions and the Expo trade show, lunch and reception on Friday. A few sessions requiring special materials may require a minimal extra charge.  Online registration is available at register online at

January 31st is the annual Middle Tennessee Grain Conference in Manchester, TN. at the Coffee County Fairgrounds. The eighth annual Middle Tennessee Grain Conference set for Thursday, January 31, at Coffee County's Fairground in Manchester offers farmers insight to a number of emerging corn, soybean, and wheat production concerns.

The conference is scheduled to get underway with registration beginning at 7:30 am. Registration is twenty dollars at the door or participants can pre-register for ten dollars by Monday, January 28 at the Cannon County Extension office. Registration fees include the program and materials, refreshments, lunch, a copy of the conference proceedings, and a grain conference cap. This year's lunch at the Middle Tennessee Grain Conference is sponsored by the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative.

A trade show of various seed, chemical and equipment dealers will begin at 8:00 am followed by a slate of speakers addressing current production topics for corn, wheat and soybeans beginning at 9:00 am.

Dr. Fred Below will provide the keynote presentation "Unlocking the Secrets to Higher Corn Yields". Below, a professor of plant physiology in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Champaign has categorized the results of his research into seven management practices or "wonders" that can result in high yielding corn. His study helps growers answer the question of what the latest products and practices contribute to corn yield. Below's unique "omission plots" allow him and his research team to see the bushel impact when an individual "high tech" practice or input is added or subtracted, then compare it to other plots in which all "high tech" actions were in place in the same research plot. Replicated in various locations over various years, the test results have allowed Dr. Below to identify and rank those seven factors as having the greatest impact on corn yield.

On February 7th, Greg Brann, USDA/NRCS/TN Grazing Specialist will discuss grazing management practices to maximize yields, reduce weed pressure and efficient grass utilization. Debbie Joines will also assist with the meeting on the 7th to provide an update on nutrient management and trends occurring in the soil testing. This meeting is sponsored by the Cannon County Farm Bureau.

The National Farm Machinery Show is scheduled for February 13 thru the 16th. The future of farming is coming to the 48th National Farm Machinery Show, as the nation's largest indoor farm show returns to the
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