Event offers opportunity to volunteer

Milan No-Till participants volunteer to pack food for the hungry

In 2012, Milan No-Till Field Day volunteers packaged more than 17,000 meals for local food banks at the Farmers vs. Hunger tour. In 2014, organizers have increased their goal to 30,000 meals. Volunteers are welcome to participate from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. on July 24. Photo by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA. Download image.

MILAN, Tenn. – At the Milan No-Till Field Day, farmers learn management practices that will help them combat damaging weeds, insects and diseases. 

They’ll also take on another problem in many Tennessee families and communities…hunger.

For the second time, a tour stop titled “Farmers vs. Hunger” will be part of the field day program. It’s an opportunity for volunteers to form an assembly line and package thousands of meals to be distributed to local food banks.

“Around 17 percent of the state’s population is food insecure; this includes about 25 percent of the children of Tennessee,” says Blake Brown, director, University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Milan.  “We may not think about it often, but hunger is a real issue in our communities.” 

The food to be packaged is a macaroni and cheese meal that is fortified with soy protein and vitamins. Thanks to the soybean’s unique protein content, this meal will be nutritious and substantial for children and adults. Soybeans are grown on more than 1 million acres in Tennessee, and are the largest row crop in the state.

At the last Milan No-Till Field Day in 2012, volunteers packaged more than 17,000 macaroni and cheese meals. This year organizers have significantly increased the goal to 30,000 meals.    

“This is one way we can utilize soybeans grown in our state to help those in need in our community,” says Brown, who is encouraging civic organizations and church groups to stop by the field day to lend a hand.

“Farmers vs. Hunger” will begin at 9 a.m. inside the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum and continue throughout the day. Field day visitors are welcome to come and go between other tour presentations.

Field day registration begins at 6 a.m. There are 15 other tours on the program, which can be found online here. You can also call the office at 731-686-7362 for more information.

The AgResearch and Education Center at Milan is one of 10 research facilities operated by the UT Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, UTIA also provides instruction research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



Blake Brown, director, UT AgResearch and Education Center at Milan, 731-686-7362, bbrown12@utk.edu

Ginger Rowsey UTIA Marketing and Communications Services, 731-425-4768, gtrice@tennessee.edu