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Retirees Association

Volume 29, Number 2

June 2017

Message from the President

As I sit and write in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with my four energetic grandkids (thankfully asleep at the moment), it's difficult to believe that another year for our association is in the books. Like most retirement years, it passed much too quickly. Nevertheless, 2016-2017 has been productive thanks entirely to the great effort so many of you gave to make it happen. Allow me to share a few of the many accomplishments you made possible.

Area Meetings-Area officers are to be commended for doing an outstanding job of planning, organizing, and conducting excellent spring meetings across the state. Delicious food, wonderful fellowship, lots of reminiscing, and inspiring programs were enjoyed at each location. Continue reading...

Headline News

Feature Article and Eastern Meeting Highlights

By: Ken Goddard, Eastern Area Vice President

Two years ago, Linda and I were driving around campus. We were amazed over the many changes, improvements, and construction projects throughout UT Knoxville. How different it is compared to the mid-sixties.

Remembering my time as a student, I was such a naive country boy back then. Cornelius Dixon, retired Ames Plantation researcher, and I moved into newly built Reese Hall (1966). We enrolled for classes inside Memorial Gym, bought books, paid our fees, and discovered from a mimeographed map where Ag Econ 110 would be held on Tuesday morning.

To make it to class in plenty of time, we decided to cross Third Creek by balancing on an exposed drainage pipe rather than walk to Highway 129 then back to McCord Hall. We made it, then introduced ourselves to a few of our new classmates. Little did I know sitting with Cornelius and me were freshmen I would know throughout the rest of my life: Julius Johnson, Hale Moss, John Hodges III, Phil Baggett, and many others who (also) became leaders in their communities and in Tennessee agriculture. More...

Officers for 2017-2018

By: Brenda Voiles, Past President and State Nominating Committee Chair

State: State President-John Jared, State Secretary-Treasurer-Martha Jo Tolley
Central Area: Vice President-Pat Whitaker, Secretary-Treasurer-Warren Gill
Cumberland Area: Vice President-Gene Medley, Secretary-Treasurer-Linda Tinch
Eastern Area: Vice President-Steve Sutton, Secretary-Treasurer-George Grandle
We are currently working with the Western Area to find new area officers and will inform the membership when these officers are in place.

Congratulations to all our officers, and we do appreciate your willingness to provide leadership and interaction opportunities for UTIA Retirees across the state.

UTIA Email Access for Faculty and Staff after Leaving UT

Faculty and Staff who leave in good standing will retain access to their email account for one year after leaving the university. Faculty or staff still performing work for, but no longer paid by the university, can retain access to email and other IT services by being sponsored by a department. The request for sponsorship form is online at oit.utk.edu/forms.

Faculty members with emeritus status retain access to most IT services. However, OIT recommends working with your department to make sure your emeritus status is set in IRIS. Retirees with at least ten years of service are eligible for OIT email accounts. Retirees will need to submit the Request for E-mail Account and Retention of University Email Address Form to Retirement Services. If you have any questions, please contact the OIT HelpDesk at 865-975-9900 or help.utk.edu.

UTIA Extension Search Update

Jim Thompson, Dean and Professor, Search Committee Chair

The UTIA Extension Dean Search Committee contacted more than ninety nominees and conducted preliminary interviews of individuals they felt would make excellent candidates for our Extension dean position. The committee is now pleased to announce four finalists have been selected and invited for campus interviews.

On-campus interviews will be held June 19-28 and we encourage your full engagement in this next phase of the process. The finalists will visit both Knoxville and Jackson for meetings with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. There will be group interview meetings and seminars as part of this search process. More...

UTIA Chancellor Recognized with National Award for Extension and Land-Grant Leadership

Tim Cross Receives Award from Association of Southern Region Extension Directors

Tim Cross is well respected for his leadership of UTIA within the state of Tennessee, and that admiration extends across the southern United States.

Cross is the recipient of the Southern Extension Service Award for Excellence in Leadership from the Association of Southern Region Extension Directors (ASRED). More...

Lone Oaks Farm Hosts BioBlitz

Event Kicks Off Master Plan for Future 4-H Center

"Look at this!" It was a phrase commonly heard at the recent BioBlitz at Lone Oaks Farm. During this three-day event, scientists and conservationists from across the state surveyed the University of Tennessee's 1,200-acre farm, documenting as many different plant and animal species as possible. With each new find, be it a salamander or a sumac, the excitement was evident.

"We assembled some of the top scientists and researchers in their fields to come in and quickly assess the flora and fauna of the farm," says Ben West, director, Lone Oaks Farm. "What they found will now be used to inform the design process for the Lone Oaks master plan. Ultimately, we want to create a place where we can showcase working agriculture while at the same time increasing the biodiversity of the land." More...

Scientists Say Agriculture Benefits Honey Bees

While recent media reports have condemned a commonly used agricultural pesticide as detrimental to honey bee health, scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have found that the overall health of honey bee hives actually improves in the presence of agricultural production.

The study, "Agricultural Landscape and Pesticide Effects on Honey Bee Biological Traits," which was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Economic Entomology, evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Read more...


Former UTIA workers or retirees who have recently joined UTIA Retirees Association as lifetime members are:

Bill Adcock
George Kilgore
Carolyn B. Maples
Micki Heatherly

Robert Childress, 1005 Mountain Creek Rd., Apt. 201, Chattanooga, TN 37405
Faye Hochnedel, 505 Kyker Circle, Seymour, TN 37865
Barbara V. Martin, 785 E. Northfield Blvd., Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Bob H. Pentecost, 4125 Woodlawn Pike, Apt. E14, Knoxville, TN 37920
UT-TSU Extension Sullivan County Office has a new address and phone number: 140 Spurgeon Lane, Blountville, TN 37617, 423-574-1919

Linda J. Tinch, tinchlj1@charter.net
Tom Bundy, tjbundysr1@gmail.com
Shirley Miller, smill4h@comcast.net

Bob Burney: 865-567-1287

What's Happening

Information About Retirees

A Memorial to A. C. Clark

A. C. Clark, who passed away January 19, 2017, was a pioneer in helping establish the Clyde York 4-H Center in Crossville and in developing the Center into the outstanding facility that it is today.

In honor and in memory of his many exemplary contributions, a commemorative portrait of A. C. will be installed in the Recreation Hall at the 4-H Center. The portrait was presented to the Clark family by Eastern Region Vice President Gene Medley at the UTIA Retirees meeting in Cookeville on May 2.

Steve Sutton Recognized

Steve Sutton was selected for induction into the 2017 National 4-H Hall of Fame. This is the highest honor given by 4-H. Steve will be officially inducted Friday, October 6, at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

From his early years growing up on a small farm in East Tennessee, to his successful experience as a 4-H member in the swine project, to his Extension career as a 4-H agent in Washington County, Tennessee, and his tenure as a specialist and director/state 4-H program leader, Steve has been a respected leader and a role model for youth as well as other professionals. The 4-H profession truly has been made better by his example and by his efforts.

A thirty-year member of NAE4-HA, Steve has been recognized with the DSA Award, the 25-Year Service Award, American Spirit Award, Meritorious Service Award, and Air Force Recruiting Award. He is a life member of NAE4-HA. He is also a member of Epsilon Sigma Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Sigma Delta, and the UTIA Retirees Association. He was recognized in 2015 with Tennessee's prestigious Friend of 4-H Award.

Muriel's Memories, Adventures of a Tennessee Farm Girl

John F. Bradley recently published a book, Muriel's Memories, Adventures of a Tennessee Farm Girl, written by his mother and lifetime UTIA Retirees member, Muriel Franks Bradley, in her senior years. The book consists of forty-eight short stories of her childhood on her parents' farm in Hardin County, Tennessee. Of notable interest to UTIA Retirees is the chapter about her childhood dream as one of the first 4-H'ers in Hardin County, of becoming a UT home demonstration agent when she graduated from UT Knoxville (1944). She writes about the first Extension agent and the first home demonstration agent in Hardin County as well as her 4-H projects. An entire chapter is dedicated to her Extension experiences. As you may know, all five of Muriel’s children were very active in 4-H. John and his sister, Jane Ann Bradley-Lane, were also Extension agents after graduating from UT.

For additional information, please contact John at 425 Abrams Road, Lutts, TN 38471, 901-834-1034 cell, 931-724-4396 home, johnbradley@springvalley.farm or murielsmemories.com


Johnny and Shelly Barnes welcomed their new baby boy, Johnny Davis Barnes III, on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at 10:23 a.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Mama and Davis are doing very well. Big sister Ripley is happy to have them all back home!

Macon County 4-H agent Kayla Jenkins and her husband Nathan welcomed their sweet daughter, Jaxie on Monday, May 8. Jaxie weighed 7 pounds and was 19 ¼ inches long. All family members are doing well! Welcome to the Extension family, Jaxie!


A reception honoring UTIA employees with twenty-five or more years of service was held Friday, May 5, in rooms 156/157 of the Plant Biotechnology Building in Knoxville.

Twenty-Five Years of Service: Joe T. Cagle, Gina D. Galyon, Lillian E. Gerhardt, Stephen A. Kania, Jerry D. Lamb, Belinda R. Letto, Bill R. McNutt Jr., Susan M. Schexnayder, Larry A. Tankersley, Rick L. Thomason, Christine M. Weaver
Thirty Years of Service: Jimmie L. Duncan, Kimberly D. Gwinn, Joanne Logan, Cyndi A. Petty, Stephen W. Witherow, Timothy M. Young
Thirty-Five Years of Service: L. Diane Brickey, Rick J. Carlisle, Stephen R. Tinkel
Forty Years of Service: Mary Jean Bryant, Darol H. Copley, Larry L. Moorehead, Betty C. Neilson, Barry T. Rouse

A reception thanking former TDA Assistant Commissioner Jimmy Hopper for his service to UTIA and Tennessee agriculture was held in his honor Thursday, May 4, from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 156-157 Plant Biotechnology Building.

A retirement celebration for Richard Groce from UT Extension in Maury County will be held on Monday, June 26, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Tennessee Farm Bureau Office, 147 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, Tennessee 38401. RSVP to 931-375-5301 or shardin4@utk.edu.

Recent UTIA Retirement and Departures

The UT Human Resources Office reports the following persons retired recently from UTIA:


Lisa Carol Shaddix, Extension Program Assistant II, Knox County, 9 years of service, 6637 Wachese Lane, Knoxville, TN 37912
Beth A. Bell, Extension Agent I and County Director, Dyer County, 38 years of service, 428 North Walker Lane, Dyersburg, TN 38024
Cynthia Heim Zeitz, Extension Agent III and County Director, Jackson County, 35 years of service, 406 Maple Street, Gordonsville, TN 38563
Robert M. Auge, Professor, Plant Sciences, 29 years of service, 6543 S. Richards Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87508
Thelma Jean Carter, Food Technology Assistant, Austin 4-H Center, 17 years of service, 490 Kinser Park Lane, Greeneville, TN 37743
Carolyn F. Scott, IT Specialist IV, Information Technologies, 20 years of service, 1528 Whitower Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919
Karl R. Snyder, Laboratory Section Chief III, CVM, 23 years of service, 1000 West Forest Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37909


Seuing J. Baek, Associate Professor, CVM BDS, 13 years of service, 12206 Springside Lane, Knoxville, TN 37922
Amelia Jane Becker, Extension Agent I, Rutherford County, 6 years of service, 421 Peacock Street, Bell Buckle, TN 37020
Victoria Grace Benelli, Research Associate III, Plant Sciences, 6 years of service, 704 S. Weber Road, Unit 1141, Romeoville, IL 60446
Catherine Elizabeth Floyd-Jennings, Extension Program Assistant II, Washington County, 6 years of service, 20 Autumn Drive, Gray, TN 37615
Jennifer Ann Hinds, Research Coordinator I, Plant Sciences, 8 years of service, 426 Lullwater Road, Chattanooga TN, 37405
Keisha L. Macklin, Extension Agent I, Davidson County, 8 years of service, 479 Sam Ridley Pkwy, Smyrna, TN 37167
Jason Bradley Morrow, Building Services Supervisor III, Ridley 4-H Center, 16 years of service, 1949 Mooresville Pike, Culleoka, TN 38451
Jane Howell Starnes, Research Associate III, Agricultural Economics, 7 years of service, 4825 Ivy Rose Drive, Knoxville, TN 37918
Peggy A. Wyatt, Extension Program Assistant I, Montgomery County, 16 years of service, 872 Dover Road, Clarksville, TN 37042

In Memoriam

Name links to obituary.

Don Malone, who retired in 1992 as Extension agent and county director in Robertson County passed away January 31, 2017. Malone worked first in Montgomery County for nine years and then in Robertson County for twenty-nine years. He retired with thirty-eight years of service at UTIA. The UTIA Reitrees Newletter regrets the omission of this memorial statement in the last issue.

Bill Sanders, former UTIA faculty, passed away on March 16 as a result of lung cancer. Visitation was held at the Feldhaus Memorial Chapel in Shelbyville on March 18 and a celebration of life was planned on March 19 at Shiloh United Methodist Church at Wheel.

Gene Miles, age seventy of Bells, who retired in 2012 as an area specialist in the Entomology and Plant Pathology Pest Management Program, passed away passed away Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Memphis. He was stationed in Dyer County during much of his tenure with Extension.

Tim C. Hicks passed on Saturday, April 28,, 2017. He was a retired 4-H agent in Tipton County.

Milva Opal Boyd Gill of Cordova, Tennessee, was laid to rest on Friday, April 19, 2017. She had celebrated ninety-five birthdays and was employed as secretary for UT Extension Shelby County for forty-two years.

Anne Sortor, former UT Extension Western Region FCS program leader and retired FCS/4-H program leader at University of Arkansas Extension, passed away April 9, 2017.

John B. Sharp Jr., retired professor in Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, passed away on March 5, 2017. An endowment has also been set up through the 4-H Foundation.

Don Tyler, retired professor in Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, passed away May 6, 2017. Tyler was stationed at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Jackson and served the Institute for more than thirty-nine years.

Jean Motlow Tyree, age eighty-seven, passed away Monday, May 15, 2017. Tyree had contributed sixteen years of service as a home economist in the Adult Home Economics Program. She worked in Wilson County.

Luther Whitaker passed away on April 25 in Johnson City. His last employment at UTIA was agriculture program supervisor in the Eastern Extension District (District V). He also served as Extension agent in Anderson County. A committal service was held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017, at Monte Vista Memorial Park in the mausoleum chapel.

Jo Ellen Huffman, administrative assistant for UT Extension DeKalb County, passed away on May 23, 2017. Hailey Perry, a former DeKalb County 4-H member, recently set up a college scholarship fund for 4-H members in that. Perry would like to name this scholarship after Jo Ellen in her memory. Donations in memory of Jo Ellen may be sent to the UT Extension DeKalb County office. Cards to Jo Ellen's mother and stepfather may be sent to Nolan and Polly Turner, 204 Chestnut Oak Ave., Smithville, TN 37166.

Margaret Love, food marketing agent in Shelby County, passed away June 4. Services were Thursday, June 8, 2017, in the Chapel of Northside Methodist Church, 2571 N. Highland Ave., Jackson, Tennessee.

Click here for a FY2017 memorial list.

In Sympathy

We express sincere comfort and speedy healing to the following UTIA employees or retirees:

Tina Williams, the wife of Bob Williams (retired; specializing in the CST variety trials for Tennessee and 4-H agent in Weakley County) passed away March 1, 2017. Please keep Bob and his family in your prayers.

Sympathy is expressed to Alma Pike, who retired in 2000 as administrative assistant to the vice president for agriculture, in the death of her sister, Lois Boyatt, who passed away on Monday, March 6, 2017, at her home in Oneida.

Sympathy is expressed to Janie Pedigo, in the death of her father, Glen Pedigo, age eighty-two, who died Sunday, March 12, 2017, at his home.

Frankie Kathleen Edward Morgan, age ninety-two, of Rockvale, Tennessee, grandmother of Jonathan Johns, UT Extension Franklin County 4-H agent, and Elizabeth (Elizondo) Renfro, FCS agent in Washington County (Eastern Region), passed away Saturday, April 8, 2017.

Ben F. Mays, age sixty-nine, of Greeneville, passed away unexpectedly on April 11, 2017, at Laughlin Memorial Hospital. Ben was George C. Mays's brother.

Georgia Lee West Allen, ninety-one, left this world on Thursday, April 13, 2017. She was the mother of John Allen.

Rebekah Norman's mother, Edna Gilmore Norman, passed away on Sunday, April 16, 2017.

Many of us have worked with Hale Moss who passed away April 17, 2017, at the age of sixty-eight. He was a tremendous supporter of the Wilson County Fair and an advocate for our UTIA programs. Moss, who was recently inducted into the Wilson County Agricultural Hall of Fame, was well known for his work with the Wilson County Fair and his business, Moss' Florist and Garden Center. He taught at Lebanon High School and also served as the Tennessee Department of Agriculture director of fairs and livestock shows.

Spencer Johnson, father of Anna Johnson, Family and Consumer Science/4-H agent in Rhea County, passed away Sunday, April 23. If you would like to send Anna a card, her home address is 2263 Market Street, Dayton, TN 37321.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Opal Hughes, mother of Maury County Extension Agent Dill Hughes. The Wood Mortuary in Greer, South Carolina, is in charge of arrangements. The funeral was held May 25 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Dill's home address is 3002 Williamsport Pike, Columbia, TN 38401.

Sympathy is expressed to Elmer Ashburn, retired professor and leader, Plant and Soil Science, on the passing of his mother, Bernice Ashburn Young, on May 17, 2017. Services were conducted in the chapel of Mundy Funeral Home on May 21 in Clarkrange, Tennessee. You are invited to send cards and notes to Elmer at 7813 Luxmore Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919. Memorials may be made to the Clymersville Baptist Church in Rockwood.

UTIA Faculty-Staff Tidbits

Kristen Johnson, RD, PhD, will join UT Extension July 10 as an assistant professor specializing in nutrition programs. Johnson received her BS in foods and nutrition from Appalachian State University, completed her dietetic internship at East Carolina University, and received her PhD in foods and nutrition and graduate certificate in gerontology from the University of Georgia. She currently is completing a postdoctoral position at the Medical University of South Carolina assisting in design and organization of a large clinical trial at Fort Benning, Georgia.

FY 2017 State and Area UTIA Retirees Association Officers

For a list of FY 2017 State and Area Officers, click here.

Who Can Join UTIA Retirees Association?

Membership in the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Retirees Association is for anyone, and everyone, who has ever worked for the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. The organization's membership includes former employees from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension.

It doesn't matter if you were one of the support staff, a teacher, research scientist, Extension educator, a farm worker, custodian, laboratory technician or an administrator. If you worked at UTIA, we welcome you to join.

A major objective of UTIA Retirees Association is to unite all former University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture workers and to provide channels for communication and friendship after employees leave the Institute. Our newsletter and web pages are communication links with the Institute and current and retired employees.

When employees retire or terminate employment at UTIA, their names are added to our mailing list to receive a complimentary issue of the quaterly newsletter and an invitation to the next area meeting scheduled in the area where they reside. During this period, retirees have the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to continue their contact with former co-workers by joining the UTIA Retirees Association. The cost is $30.00 for a lifetime membership.
Click to access the membership-address update form.


The UTIA Retirees Association newsletter is published quarterly by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

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