West to Lead Lone Oaks Farm Development, Powell to Serve as Interim Director


Ben West, University of Tennessee Extension

Dr. Ben West (above) will assume the role of Interim Director of Lone Oaks Farm for the next two years. He will be responsible for guiding the initial plans, staffing and development for the 4-H and Conference Center. Richard Powell (below) will assume the role of Interim Western Region Director during Dr. West's reassignment. A search will soon be initiated to fill the Western Region Agriculture Program Leader position, which Powell is vacating to assume his new role. Photos by G. Rowsey, courtesy UTIA. Dowload West's imageDownload  Powell's image​.





JACKSON, Tenn. – As the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture completes the real estate closing process of Lone Oaks Farm, the site of the future West Tennessee 4-H and Conference Center, UT Extension administrators are shifting positions in order to optimize the development of this multipurpose facility.

Ben West, who has served as Western Region Director of UT Extension s
ince 2010, will assume the role of Interim Director for Lone Oaks Farm. For the next two years, West will be responsible for guiding the initial plans, staffing and program development for the 4-H and Conference Center. At the end of his two-year appointment, West will return to his position as Western Region Director, and a national search will be conducted to provide ongoing leadership at Lone Oaks Farm.

During West’s reassignment, Richard Powell will assume the role of Interim Western Region Director. Powell will provide continued leadership and direction within the region to ensure growth and success of UT Extension’s educational programs. A search will soon be initiated to fill the Western Region Agriculture Program Leader position, which Powell is vacating to assume his new role. All changes are effective October 1.

“We need excellent leadership to achieve our vision of establishing one of the best 4-H Centers in the world,” says Tim Cross, dean of UT Extension. “Dr. West possesses the skills and passion required to organize the creation of this new premier center.”

“Mr. Powell also brings experience and leadership to the Interim Western Region Director position and will make certain our standards of success are maintained,” says Cross.

“It is an honor to lead the Western Region Extension as we continue to develop programs and present research-based information to our producers, families and our 4-H youth,” says Powell. “We must continue these measures as the development of Lone Oaks Farm progresses.”

Lone Oaks Farm is a unique property in Hardeman County comprised of 1,200 acres of forests, pastures and lakes. With meeting and entertainment spaces, multiple residences, a state-of-the-art cattle handling facility and world-class horse stables and riding facilities, Lone Oaks can serve as a site for teaching youth about agriculture, natural resources and science, as well as a site for organizational retreats and business or group meetings.

“I am proud and humbled by the opportunity to help Lone Oaks Farm become a premier youth education center and world-class destination for small conferences, retreats and getaways,” says West. “It will be a tremendous asset for the region and state. I look forward to working with our friends and partners to realize this vision.”

4-H is the largest youth development program in the nation. Here in Tennessee, hundreds of thousands of children, families and communities are engaged in 4-H through school and community clubs, service projects, volunteer activities, year-round educational programs and summer camps.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.
ag.tennessee.edu

###

Contacts:

Dr. Tim Cross, dean, UT Extension, 865-974-7114,
tlcross@utk.edu

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


 ​