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.
A tour stop titled “Farmers vs. Hunger” will be part of the field day program on Thursday, July 28, 2016. 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 of the University of Tennessee's 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 2014, volunteers packaged more than 28,000 meals, just shy of their goal of 30,000. (A volunteer group packaged approximately 3,000 additional meals at a later date.) This year organizers say they hope to hit the 30,000 mark in one day.
“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 until 2 p.m. Field day visitors are welcome to come and go between other tour presentations.
Field day registration begins at 6 a.m. There are 14 other tours on the program, which can be found at http://milan.tennessee.edu/MNTFD/. You can also call the office at 731-686-7362 for more information.
“Farmers vs. Hunger” is sponsored by the Tennessee Soybean Promotion Council, Cargill, Farm Credit Mid-America and Hunters Sharing the Harvest.
Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu
Blake Brown, director, AgResearch & Education Center at Milan, 731-686-7362, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ginger Rowsey UTIA Marketing & Communications Services, 731-425-4768, email@example.com