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Third Thursday

A Message from Chancellor Larry Arrington


Thanks to everyone who participated in the UTIA Faculty and Staff Appreciation Picnic on October 3. We had close to 650 in attendance, and it was great to have a time for everyone to visit. Ag Day was also a tremendous success. Even with the early game time, participation was very high. Read about a significant honor for Donnie and Terry Smith and a focus on Tennessee water resources for our Regional Advisory Councils. More ...

Go Vols,


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

We’re Still Bragging About Ag!

With a theme of “Brag About Ag,” the UT Institute of Agriculture did some bragging about some of its own at its annual Ag Day celebration—as well as honoring some of Tennessee’s best farmers. UTIA even managed to keep the top honor a secret from the winner.

Former UT Extension poultry specialist Charlie Goan, shown here with wife, Pat, and Institute advocates Donnie and Terry Smith, says he was surprised to hear his name called when we announced the UTIA Meritorious Service Award winner for 2014. Read more about this and the other awards.

UT Gardens Named a Top University Garden

I’m pleased to report that Best Masters Programs, an online guide that helps students identify master’s degree programs that suit their goals, has published a list of the 50 most stunning university gardens and arboretums.

The list includes famous gardens from across the globe, from California to Copenhagen, and the University of Tennessee Gardens made the grade. Read more ...

From CASNR Dean Caula Beyl

Our Construction Science program is thriving, and students and industry leaders joined for the inaugural Construction Science Advocacy Reception recently.

Read about the event, program director Charlie Parker, and this exciting emphasis for our students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Read more.

Institute to Assist NSF ‘Big Data’ Genomics Project

The National Science Foundation is supporting the data-driven genomic science community with $31 million in awards to develop tools, cyberinfrastructure, and best practices for data science. Meg Staton, an assistant professor of bioinformatics in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, has been named a coprincipal investigator of one of the funded projects.

Staton will work with a team led by researchers from Washington State University on a $1.3 million grant for the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBS) program. The Tripal Gateway project, one of 17 awarded by the NSF, is expected to enhance the capacity of genomic databases to manage, exchange, and process big data. Read more ...

Landscape Architecture Students, Faculty, Alums Win State Awards

The American Society of Landscape Architects–Tennessee Chapter recently gave our landscape architecture program an award of honor in the professional planning and analysis category of its 2014 Design Awards Program. The award lauded UT’s partnership with the Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) regional planning study, which aims to address the region’s watershed challenges. More ...

Bigger Bugs to Battle Hemlock Killers on Signal Mountain

Pat Parkman, director of AgResearch’s Lindsay Young Beneficial Insects Laboratory, and research assistant professor in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, says he has high hopes for LN beetles because they only eat adelgids and they will likely stay and populate in the same area. Read more ...

Veterinary Dermatology Professor Honored for Research Excellence

Dr. Linda Frank has received the 2014 Zoetis Animal Health Award for Veterinary Research Excellence from the College of Veterinary Medicine. The annual award is given to faculty members who, through their dedication and investigation in research, are chosen from among their peers as an outstanding researcher in the field of veterinary medicine. Frank is a professor of dermatology in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences. More ...

Knoxville Celebrates Non-Exempt Staff Member

Members of UT Extension’s Knox area non-exempt staff honored Melinda Jody Marney with their 2014 Award of Excellence earlier this month. Marney is an accounting specialist with the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She was praised for her professionalism, leadership, initiative, flexibility, and caring nature.

In Memoriam

Names link to obituaries.

David Brian, 73, of Knoxville (additional link), UTCVM professor emeritus, a molecular virologist, expert on coronaviruses, and founding faculty member. Brian retired in June after 38 years.

Mary Ruth Kooch of Knoxville, 82, retired District 5 Extension secretary/administrative assistant with 44 years of service.

Mike Shires, 83, of Knysna, South Africa, former head of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, then called Rural Practices, from 1985-1990 and beloved dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, from 1990-2000. Shires also served as president and chairman of the board of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Dine on Buggy Food at the 2014 Insect Smorgasbord

Come join the fun when students in first-year studies seminar, “It’s a Bug’s Life,” host a free Buggy Buffet/Insect Smorgasbord. The event, which is open to the public, takes place in Knoxville from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, October 30, in Hollingsworth Auditorium. Try cookies, stews, appetizers, and main dishes made with, wait for it, bugs! The event is a lot of fun, and it also has a serious purpose to illustrate the importance of insects as food used by about two-thirds of the world’s population.

“The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) just put out a report on edible insects as a feed and food security source for the coming decades,” says Professor Jerome Grant of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. “The earth’s population may reach 9 billion people by 2050. How are we going to feed them? Insect farming is seen as a source for protein to feed the population. It may be important for our future, including right here in Tennessee.” Look for a silent auction of insecty things. (Sales help offset the cost of the meal.) So join in the fun and expand your horizons while you do.


UT’s Organic Crops Field Tour returns next Thursday. Designed for commercial and small-scale producers interested in organic production, the event will focus on soil conservation, high tunnel production and organic pasture, and free-range and small livestock production. Home gardeners and hobby farmers are also welcome to attend. More ...


New York, Paris, and Milan all have their fashion weeks scheduled to the minute, but the annual fashion week for Tennessee forests can be much less predictable.
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Families are invited to come in costume and join the staff of the UT Gardens for the fourth annual Trick or Trees from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. this Saturday. Stroll through the gardens and enjoy trick-or-treating. Learn about Halloween traditions. It’s frightening how much fun you’ll have! More ...


The UT Gardens, Knoxville, is going to the dogs for a Howl-O-Ween Pooch Parade and Pet Expo. The event, sponsored by the Gardens and the College of Veterinary Medicine, caters to dogs and dog lovers and will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. this Sunday in the UT Gardens. More ...


Enrich your October with a trip to the Fall Folklore Jamboree at the AgResearch and Education Center at Milan. This Saturday, nearly 150 folk artists and musicians will gather to re-create rural Tennessee from years gone by. Explore the history, culture, art, and traditions of the area.
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Visitors to the UT Arboretum are catching a glimpse of more than trees. Construction supplies, equipment, and heavy machinery are on-site as the facility starts construction of its long-anticipated auditorium.
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Cooking Up Deliciousness for UTIA Picnic!

How do you cook 650 pork chops for the UTIA Faculty and Staff Appreciation Picnic? Carefully, with great organization, and under a bridge because of rain! Grills were fired up two hours before the event and manned by a spirited team of volunteers. A special thanks to the Tennessee Pork Producers Association for donating the top loin roasts from which the chops were carved. Phyllis Ferguson, executive director of the association, personally oversaw their preparation. The team of chefs included Franklin County pork producer Jamie Weaver, right, and Dwight Loveday, associate professor, Food Science and Technology, left; UTIA department heads Neal Schrick, Animal Science; Scott Senseman, Plant Sciences; Keith Belli, Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries; Parwinder Grewal, Entomology and Plant Pathology; and Delton Gerloff, Agricultural and Resource Economics; along with professor Mike Buschermohle, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science. From all reports, the pork sandwiches were very much enjoyed.


Third Thursday is published monthly by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. Send comments and suggestions to Margot Emery. 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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