MTSU will show off its picturesque property in Lascassas, Tenn., and introduce first-year Farm Lab Director Matthew Wade at the annual MTSU Farms Open House Thursday, Sept. 19.
The open house will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at the MTSU Experiential Learning and Research Center — otherwise known as the 438-acre MTSU farm at 3211 Guy James Road — that recently hosted the first Dairy Hill Stampede 5K and Fun Run. About 300 people attended last year’s ag event.
The open house, formerly called MTSU Ag Field Day, is open to the public. School of Ag alumni especially are encouraged to attend. A number of locally elected officials are expected to attend.
“I think it looks better than it’s ever looked,” said School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Director Warren Gill, who added that the combination of a very good rain year has helped the farm recover from 2012’s extreme heat and draught conditions.
Gill said it will be the first public introduction of Wade, who came on board this summer after serving as Tennessee Livestock Center manager. Wade replaced Tim Redd, who retired in late February after 32 years in the position.
Gill said the transition from Redd, who recently received the state dairy processors’ Distinguished Service Award in a presentation at the Tennessee State Fair in Nashville, “could not be better.”
Wade said he is looking forward to the open house and thinks it “will be one of the largest open houses (we’ve had) from the response we’ve been getting from people.”
“It looks to be a great event,” Wade said. “We’re just looking for a good time.”
Wade said the farm crew — Liz and Danny Troup, Jason Tanner, Ralph Smith, Daniel Boyer and several students — have been cleaning and bush hogging in preparation for the event.
“It’s their chance to showcase their hard work and efforts throughout the year,” he said, adding, “Tim left me with a great crew.”
In addition to the introduction of Wade, other open house activities will include:
• The dairy calf barn, highlighting many new Holstein and Jersey calves;
• The student gardens featuring their fall selection;
• The apiary (honey bees) with a new crop of honey;
• A fencing demonstration; and
• A children’s farm craft area.
A free dinner, featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, cookies, soft drinks and chocolate milk, will be served at 6 p.m.
The farm is located in east Rutherford County. It is reachable from Murfreesboro by taking Halls Hill Pike, from the intersection of Greenland Drive and Rutherford Boulevard, to Guy James Road, or taking Browns Mill Road, off Lascassas Pike (state Highway 96), to Guy James Road.The School of Agribusiness and Agriscience is one of 10 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.
For more information about the open house or the School of Ag program, call 615-898-2523.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)