The Northwest Tennessee Food Processing and Agri-Business Conference will be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Oct. 10, in the University of Tennessee at Martin Boling University Center. The conference is free, but advanced registration is required by Oct. 3.
Dr. Charlie Hatcher, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, and Pete Nelson, CEO and president of AgLaunch, will both serve as keynote speakers at the event. U.S. Rep. David Kustoff, 8th Congressional District, will welcome the group.
Hatcher is a 10th-generation American farmer and founder of Rock-N-Country Veterinary Services in College Grove. Prior to becoming commissioner in January 2019, he served for 10 years as the state veterinarian for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. In that role, he promoted the marketability of animals and worked to protect their health and welfare.
Nelson has more than two decades of experience developing regional ecosystems to support new innovation in agriculture. His work has also led to more than $40 million in direct investments in research and commercialization to grow the agriculture industry and continues to assist dozens of companies.
Throughout the day, participants can attend their choice of focus panels on topics including agriculture and rural community, grant opportunities, sustainability, labor market, young talent, hemp production and food processing safety.
The conference includes a continental breakfast and a “Tennessee Lunch” featuring products made or produced in Tennessee. The UT Martin Department of Agriculture will also host a career fair from 9 a.m. – noon in the university ballroom for students pursuing careers in this field.
LabCanna, UT Martin, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Valley Authority are co-sponsors for this event.
Registration is available online at utm.edu/nondegree/agconference. For more information, contact Debbie Mount, director, UT Martin Outreach, at 731-881-7104.