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Common Ground

Photo of clover growing after cotton at WTREC

Comprehensive Study Documents Cover Crops' Value to No-till

A twenty-nine-year study to thoroughly investigate the profitability and benefits of adding cover crops in an erosion management strategy for no-till cotton is the focus of an article in Agronomy Journal. The evaluation has its roots in the pioneering no-till research of the late Don Tyler, whose studies continue today at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson. The paper's lead author is Chris Boyer, associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. Boyer says while the research found that cover crops can cut into profitability in the short term, over time their adoption brings a number of benefits.

Message from the Chancellor

UTIA's work showcased in President DiPietro's State of the University address several weeks ago in Nashville made me proud. From the 4-H Health Rocks! program in Gibson County that teaches young people the risks posed by illegal and legal substances, to our faculty in BESS who assist farmers in adapting their practices in ways that improve water quality while also improving crop and livestock production, our positive impact on the University and Tennessee was evident. And, of course, Elizabeth Strand being honored with the President's Connect Award for her efforts in veterinary social work made for a truly special day.

Recognitions like these are a reminder that we have plenty of work ahead, and I am excited about the future. After months of hard work by strategic planning team members, and through significant input by faculty and staff, our draft strategic plan is set to go before the Board of Trustees for approval. I thank everyone who has participated in the development of this plan and, through the planning process, has helped to chart the direction of our Institute for the next decade.

I also appreciated the CASNR and CVM students who took time to participate in the My Campus Experience survey. With a response rate of almost 40 percent, it's clear our students are engaged and a vital part of our UTIA family. Thanks to Noma Anderson for sharing the results with us last month. If you'd like to see her presentation and the results, visit mycampus.tennessee.edu/results.


P.S. Be sure to follow me and the latest Institute developments on Twitter at @UTIAChancellor.

Photo of a Zamorano student in the lab

Collaborative Partnerships Expand with Leading Central American Agriculture University

The challenge of internationalizing UTIA involves not just UT faculty, staff, and students going beyond our borders, but also bringing the world to UTIA. One way to do this is by inviting visiting scholars and students for training and developing collaborative long-term partnerships with foreign institutions.

The Panamerican Agricultural University, Zamorano (or Zamorano for short), is one of the best agricultural institutes in all of Latin America, recruiting high-quality undergraduates from across the region for practical degree programs that emphasize experiential learning—all qualities, in fact, shared by CASNR. Our ongoing internship program and current participants were highlighted today in a Smith International Center Seminar. Learn more about our collaborations with Zamorano by clicking here.

Watching, and Listening to, Our History

Agricultural research, Extension, and academics have always been a part of UT, and in 1968, the Institute was formed to highlight the university's statewide impact through all three of these areas. Together they represent the core of our land-grant mission. Click here to watch a video to learn more about our Institute. There's also a podcast (click here to listen) that reflects upon our anniversary year. Both are by Charles Denney of Marketing and Communications.

A Moment in UTIA's History

Fifty years ago this month, a feasibility study authorized by the UT Board of Trustees recommended the establishment of a veterinary school in Knoxville. In 1974, just six years later, legislation establishing a veterinary college in Tennessee passed the house by a unanimous vote and a 32-1 vote in the senate. Governor Winfield Dunn signed the legislation March 19, 1974, and that summer Dr. William Armistead became the first dean of the UT College of Veterinary Medicine (UTCVM).

In a 1993 interview for A Recent Past, an Unlimited Future, a publication recognizing the College's twentieth anniversary, UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson said there was never any question Knoxville would be its location. "That was the only logical place to put a veterinary school because of the land-grant mission of the university, the Institute of Agriculture, and UT's large faculty."

The first class of forty students (class of 1979, shown above graduating) was admitted in September 1976 and began a three-year, year-round veterinary curriculum. While construction on the veterinary facility was underway, students attended classes on Cherokee Farm. In the fall of 1978, faculty, staff, and students moved into the new building that, according to Johnson, was "designed on schedule, built on schedule, and with the money allotted."


Common Ground is published monthly by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Send comments and suggestions to commonground@tennessee.edu. The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

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