Start 2015 with some hands-on learning

Berry production in Tennessee

Blackberries, like these at Bee Sweet Berry Farm in Marshall County, are among several favorite Tennessee pick-your-own crops. Photo by M. Leffew, courtesy UTIA.  Download image

SPRING HILL, Tenn. – Fruit production and marketing are among the first topics to be discussed by University of Tennessee Extension experts in 2015.  The UT Center for Profitable Agriculture is offering day-long workshops to producers interested in growing and direct marketing fruit through pick-your-own and on-farm retail markets.

These workshops will include educational sessions about fruit production, good agricultural practices and food safety, financial analysis, risk management and marketing. Instructors for the workshop will be UT Extension’s Dave Lockwood, Faith Critzer, Megan Bruch Leffew and Alan Galloway. Participants will also hear from a fruit producer with real-world experience in pick-your-own and on-farm retail. Weather permitting, each workshop will include a farm tour.

The workshop will be repeated four times in four locations:

● January 21, Hardeman County at Bolivar City Hall, with a tour of Falcon Ridge Farm

● January 22, Marshall County at Forgie’s Fruit Farm

● January 27, Greene County at the Clyde Austin 4-H Camp, with a tour of Buffalo Trail Orchards

January 28, Monroe County at the Farm Bureau Building, with a tour of Tsali Notch Vineyard.

Registration and networking will begin at 8:30 a.m. (local time) each day, and sessions will begin at 9 a.m. The workshop will end by 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is required by five business days prior to the workshop date. The fee of $15 per person must be received to complete registration. Register online with a credit card at or call the Center for Profitable Agriculture at 931-486-2777.

This workshop qualifies as one course toward the educational requirements to receive 50 percent TAEP cost share for ONLY: Fruits and Vegetables and Value-Added sectors. These workshops are funded, in part, through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant and administered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Additional information is available on the Center for Profitable Agriculture’s website: Contact Megan Bruch Leffew with questions at

The Center for Profitable Agriculture is a partnership between the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation and the UT Institute of Agriculture supporting the efforts of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. The center is committed to increasing the value of Tennessee's economy through new, expanded and improved processing and marketing of agricultural and forestry products.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.



Megan Bruch Leffew, Marketing Specialist, and Rob Holland, Director, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777,