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Common Ground

Photo of Jim and Judi Herbert with UTIA Chancellor Tim Cross and Dean Caula Beyl

Announcing the New Herbert College of Agriculture

Thanks to a special gift from distinguished alumni Jim and Judi Herbert, the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees formally announced on June 22 the new name for the College will be the Herbert College of Agriculture. The name was officially approved by the board at a specially called meeting on April 17.

With this action, the Herbert College of Agriculture becomes the third named college in UT's 224-year history and only the second land-grant agricultural college in the nation named from a philanthropic gift. The College is a partnership of UTIA and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

I encourage you to learn more about the changes ahead for Herbert and its students, faculty, and staff, and to also learn more about the UT alumni who made them possible. The resources here are good places to start.

UTIA's announcement of the College's naming

A video interview of the Herberts

A second video on Twitter

Tennessee Today article

Message from the Chancellor

Last month marked a real milestone in UTIA's history. It's very fitting that in the midst of our fiftieth year, we announced a transformative gift from Jim and Judi Herbert, and a new name for our College, the Herbert College of Agriculture. This will certainly benefit all our College students, faculty, and staff for the next fifty years and beyond, and it will also serve to advance the entire Institute by assisting us in achieving our strategic goals, including to expand real-life learning and grow and diversify our resources.

While it's tempting to think that we can slow down and reflect on this milestone, the reality is that throughout the Institute, we have a flurry of activity always taking place. The Milan No-Till Field Day happens on July 26, and that's sure to generate a crowd of interested farmers, industry professionals, and government officials. UT Extension is finalizing all the details associated with hosting an expected crowd of more than 1,200 agricultural Extension agents in Chattanooga July 29-August 2 at the National Association of Agricultural Agents and Specialists annual meeting. And program planning and design tasks are the focus of faculty and administrators who are working on the new Teaching and Learning Center addition to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

I hope you're enjoying your summer, both personally and professionally. We'll keep our focus on providing Real. Life. Solutions. and meeting the needs of our students, our stakeholders, and all our faculty and staff, but we might work in a trip to the beach or the mountains, too, as we spend a little time with family and friends!


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

Save the date for Ag Day now! Saturday, September 22

The Milan No-Till Field Day logo

It's an Anniversary Year for the Milan No-Till Field Day

On July 26, the nation's largest field day devoted to improving the production of no-till crops marks its thirtieth year. Held in West Tennessee at the UT AgResearch and Education Center in Milan, the event is one of the most far-ranging agricultural field days in the nation, serving producers with interests as varied as row crop sustainability, beef cattle production, natural resource management, and precision agriculture.

"Although we've diversified the field day program over the years, our goal remains the same as the first No-Till Field Day—to provide farmers with in-depth information that will help them maximize productivity and exercise stewardship," says Blake Brown, director of the UT AgResearch and Education Center at Milan.

Photo of the NACAA logo

UT Extension Members Host National Convention for Agents

When the National Association of County Agricultural Agents kicks off its Annual Convention and Professional Improvement Conference (AM/PIC) on July 29 in Chattanooga, the event will culminate more than two years of dedicated work by UT Extension agents and specialists.

Members of UT Extension and TSU Extension and the Tennessee Association of Agricultural Agents and Specialists (TAAA&S) joined with the organization's committees, council chairs, and officers in planning and hosting the wide-ranging convention and conference. UT area farm management specialist Alan Galloway is the president of the group. Serving as conference cochairs are Jeff Via, agent and director of UT Extension Fayette County, and Extension area information technology specialist David Yates. Assisting are more than one hundred members of UT Extension who have served on numerous committees contributing to the five-day conference. Some 1,300 professionals have registered to attend.

Honors for UTIA Advancement

Photo of Keith Barber and Evan Beech

Keith Barber, UTIA vice chancellor for advancement, and Evan Beech, assistant director of advancement, have been honored by the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association.

Barber received the Founders Distinguished Service Award in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to the NAADA organization. He led the organization as president from 2016 to 2017 and has served in various other roles, as well. Beech is a 2015 graduate of UT who began his advancement career at UTIA. He received the Up and Coming Award, which recognizes professionals in agricultural advancement whose early success is promising for future leadership.

A Moment in UTIA's Fifty Years

The first students to enter the Herbert College of Agriculture under its new name have broad smiles and college spirit.

A photo of students at the Herbert College of Agriculture


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 and admission without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, and parental status.

Real. Life. Solutions.