In the news: MTSU ag leader discusses federal farm...

In the news: MTSU ag leader discusses federal farm bill with WKRN

As video journalist Armondo Moralez, left, shoots footage, WKRN-TV News2 reporter Heather Jensen interviews MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience Director Warren Gill Nov. 4 at the university’s 438-acre farm in Lascassas, Tenn., about revisions to the federal farm bill. (MTSU photos by News and Media Relations)

Dr. Warren Gill knows plenty about most topics related to agriculture. As director of the MTSU School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, he must be in the know.

So when WKRN-TV, Nashville’s News2, needed an expert and a venue as a backdrop for a story on the federal farm bill that could cause milk prices to rise drastically, their reporter called on Gill and the MTSU Experiential Learning and Research Center in Lascassas, Tenn., also known as the 438-acre MTSU farm.

“The farm bill protects dairy farmers by assuring a fair price, an equal price,” said Gill, who was interviewed by “News2 This Morning” reporter Heather Jensen, an alumna of MTSU’s College of Mass Communication.

MTSU Farm Laboratories Director Matthew Wade, right, tells WKRN-TV News2 reporter Heather Jensen about haylege, a variation of hay with a higher moisture content, for MTSU’s herd of 70 dairy cows.

“It is balanced across the country to make sure that we keep these dairy farmers in business, so that we can keep a fair price, a good price for both the dairy producers and the people out there buying milk.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said the farm bill is important legislation that provides authorization for services and programs that have an impact on every American and millions of people around the world.

The university’s dairy operations include about 70 cows milked twice each day by both MTSU students and staff.

Every five years, U.S. lawmakers rewrite the farm bill, an action that ultimately sets the formula for milk prices. Nearly a year ago, lawmakers extended the conditions of the previous bill, forcing another debate.

Gill said during the interview that “people will not pay $8 for a gallon of milk, and so milk production could go down. The whole idea is stability.”

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The School of Agribusiness and Agriscience is one of 10 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

— Randy Weiler (