Tennessee to be Spotlight State at 2017 Sunbelt Agricultural Expo
by ​Robert Burns, Associate Dean for UT Extension

Tennessee will serve as the “Spotlight State” during the 2017 Sunbelt Agricultural Expo on October 17 – 19, 2017. The Sunbelt Expo is an agricultural-based trade show held annually near Moultrie, Georgia. The Expo draws more than 80,000 people over three days to interact with more than 1,200 vendors and exhibitors. The Expo site has a 100-acre exhibit area with both outdoor and indoor exhibits where Expo attendees can learn about products and services, attend educational sessions and demonstrations, as well as enjoy a variety of entertainment. Cotton, peanut, corn, soybean, and hay harvesting demonstrations can also be seen on an adjoining 600-acre working farm. In 2017 Sunbelt visitors will also have the opportunity to visit a special exhibit that spotlights the state of Tennessee. A planning committee comprised of personnel from the University of Tennessee InstituSunbelt expo2.jpgte of Agriculture, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Farm Bureau, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service, Tennessee State University, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA Farm Services Agency, USDA Rural Development, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation are working on the special Tennessee exhibit, which will be based on the “Soundtrack of America Made in Tennessee” theme. The beauty and diversity of the three grand divisions of Tennessee will be promoted while showcasing Tennessee agricultural production and products.

During the Sunbelt Expo, the 2017 Tennessee Farmer of the Year Mr. Mike Robinson (pictured with family below) will represent Tennessee in the Swisher Sweets /Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Fa2017 farmer of the year.jpgrmer of the Year contest.

Mr. Robinson farms in the Belvidere community of Franklin County, Tennessee, with his wife, Krislyn, and their twin sons, Tracy and Kary, and their daughters, Kaylee and Callie. The Robinsons operate a diversified farmer operation that includes a commercial black angus herd, corn, soybean and wheat production, a feed store that sells bag and bulk feed, hay, and straw, and a Farm King Equipment dealership.

No matter if you are a first-time Sunbelt Expo visitor or have attended many times, the 2017 Sunbelt Agricultural Expo will be a special one for Tennesseans. Please consider joining us in Moultrie, Georgia, over October 17–19, 2017, to help promote Tennessee and celebrate Mr. Mike Robinson as he represents Tennessee in the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Southeastern Farmer of the Year contest. Additional information on the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo can be found at sunbeltexpo.com.

A special thank you to UT Extension Area Specialist C. Dallas Manning for taking the great photo of the Robinsons.