Tennessee schedules Ag Day Sept. 22

Agriculture at the University of Tennessee means safe food, affordable fibers, healthier pets, wood products, sustainable environments and now Grassoline.

The public is invited to learn more by joining UT Institute of Agriculture ?alumni at Ag Day, the Institute’s annual celebration of UTIA students, faculty and staff. This event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22, beginning at 3 p.m., prior to the UT — Arkansas State home football game in Knoxville.

Ag Day will include interactive displays and exhibits that highlight the activities of UTIA’s various academic departments, including their research and outreach activities. Contributions to food and fiber production, nutrition, forestry, wildlife and fisheries and human and animal welfare will be highlighted, and the UT Gardens will be open for tours.

Joseph DiPietro, UT vice-president for agriculture, is looking forward to his second Ag Day. “Ag Day is a wonderful, congenial event. It’s a great window into the past and present culture of the Institute, where the study of agriculture, veterinary medicine and natural resource management has something to offer everyone in society,” he said.

New this year will be a display from the Office of Bioenergy Programs outlining the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative, which has been funded by the state to construct a biorefinery to research more efficient methods of producing ethanol from plant materials and other biomass that are not sources of food.

The day’s schedule will also include musical entertainment, an antique tractor display, an insect petting zoo and a visit from UT’s canine mascot “Smokey.” Special activities for children are also planned, and UT President John Petersen will present a short address to Ag Day guests.

Ag Day activities run from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. A variety of free snacks will be available, but those with heartier appetites may purchase a meal from the UT Student Cattlemen’s Association.

The UT Institute of Agriculture is located on Neyland Drive. Visitors should enter campus at the stoplight on Neyland at River Drive and follow the directions of the traffic attendants. A map and directions are available online at http://casnr.tennessee.edu/maps_directions/.

Shuttles to the football game will be available.

For more information about Ag Day call (865) 974-7439.

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