Institute honors past professor and Tennessee farmers for achievements

Dr. Charlie Goan, 2014, UTIA

Dr. Charlie Goan was surprised with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture's Meritorius Service Award at the Institute's annual Ag Day Celebration on October 4, 2014. Photo by R. Maxey, courtesty UTIA. Download image.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With a theme of “Brag About Ag,” the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture did some bragging about some of its own this past weekend – as well as honoring some of Tennessee’s best farmers. UTIA presented several awards at its “Ag Day” celebration this Saturday, and even managed to keep the top honor a secret from the winner.

Former UT Extension poultry specialist Dr. Charlie Goan admits he was surprised to hear his name called when the Institute announced its Meritorious Service Award winner for 2014. The award recognizes distinguished friends and supporters who have been instrumental to the success of UTIA programs.

“It was a surprise, definitely so,” Goan said. “It made me reflect back on the many years I’ve had here.”

UTIA has been part of Charlie’s life since he was a freshman here in 1961. He earned bachelors and masters degrees from UTIA, and then his doctorate from Michigan State. He came back to UT Extension, and served as a poultry specialist until 2002. The following year he was named department head for Food Science and Technology, and also served as interim dean for UT Extension and interim director for the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.

Goan was praised for his work as a poultry researcher, and serving as a mentor to many students seeking a career in animal science and agriculture. He also served as a faculty advisor to Alpha Gamma Rho, the national fraternity for agriculture. Goan is in the AGR Hall of Fame, and has been named a “Brother of the Century” by the local chapter. He also has a scholarship named in his honor. Today he is enjoying his retirement, but is still active in UTIA events.

Goan says simple and friendly communication was always a key to having success in his career. “Communication is extremely important,” he says. “Even though we’ve gone to the days of texting and email, that still doesn’t beat the face-to-face effort that we need to put forth in visiting with people all across the state.”

“Dr. Goan’s impact has been an incredible benefit to the poultry industry, farmers statewide, to Extension agents and AgResearchers, and to a countless number of students who’ve passed through this campus,” says Dr. Larry Arrington, Chancellor of the UT Institute of Agriculture. “Charlie and Pat Goan continue to bless this Institute with their generosity and support, giving not only their money, but their time.”

The Institute named Henry County pork and grain producer Jamey Tosh as the winner of its Horizon Award – to honor young professionals for early career accomplishments and leadership potential. Along with his father Jimmy and brother Jonathon, Jamey runs Tosh Farms, which includes Tosh Pork, LLC, and Bacon By Gosh, Inc. Their facility is the largest swine production operation in Tennessee, with more than 600,000 hogs marketed each year. The operation also has 13,000 acres of row crops, including corn, canola, wheat, barley, soybeans and cotton. Tosh has served on the National Pork Board, and held leadership roles with the Henry County Young Farmers and Ranchers and the Henry County Fair.

The Institute also recognized the Kellers of Blount County as the UT Extension Farm Family of the Year. John Keller is the owner of Kelmont Farms in Maryville. His wife Susan and son Sam are also involved in the operation, which includes nearly 800 acres and more than 70 cattle. They raise livestock, corn, soybeans, hay and wheat – and also the farm includes an agritourism business where they produce miniature hay bales and corn stalk bundles for fall decorations. John is involved with the Blount County Farm Bureau and the County Livestock Association. He is a 1964 graduate of UTIA in Agricultural Engineering. He is representing Tennessee in the Southeastern Farmer of the Year competition in Moultrie, Georgia.

The UT Institute of Agriculture provides teaching, research and outreach through the colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and Veterinary Medicine; UT AgResearch, including its system of 10 AgResearch and Education centers; and UT Extension with offices in every Tennessee county.


Contact: Chuck Denney, 865-382-8058 (mobile),