UT Organic Crops Field Tour Features Tips for Commercial Growers and Home Gardeners

The University of Tennessee East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center will present its third annual Organic Crops Field Tour on Thursday. A trade show will open at 7:30 a.m., and tours and talks will begin at 8:30.

The event should be of interest to home gardeners as well as commercial growers interested in the production of organically grown fruits and vegetables. The 90-acre Organic Crops Unit is dedicated to organic crop research, and the field day will highlight current research projects and discuss organic crop production techniques and recommendations.

Topics to be presented by UT experts include the use of high tunnels, alternatives to soil fumigants and rainwater collection; soil fertility, weed management and forage production; and fruits/nuts, heirloom tomatoes, bees and wildflowers.

Pre-registration is just $10 per person and is strongly encouraged. The day's activities will include a lunch and feature presentation by Chef John Antun, director of the UT Culinary Institute. Following lunch, visitors may participate in either a walking tour of the facility or an equipment demonstration, weather permitting. Participants will also receive a proceedings booklet. On-site registration the morning of the program will be $15 per person.

To register, please visit this website: http://organics.tennessee.edu/FieldTour.html. Alternatively, call the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at 865-974-7201 by Monday. If you need to request an accommodation for accessibility, please contact us at 865-974-7161.

UT AgResearch, in cooperation with UT Extension and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, launched the organic agriculture initiative to involve more Tennessee farmers in organic production for the purpose of increasing farm income. For additional information, visit the Web site: http://organics.tennessee.edu/

The East Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is one of 10 outdoor laboratories operated by UT AgResearch, a division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, the Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

Mark Hairr Named New UT Parking and Transit Services Director

Mark Hairr, program director for the Center for Energy, Transportation and the Environment at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been named the new director of Parking and Transit Services for UT.

Hairr will start on May 1.

Prior to working at UT Chattanooga, Hairr was director of development and then general manager of Knoxville Area Transit, the city's public transportation system.

"We're pleased that Mark has agreed to come back to Knoxville and take this critical leadership position at UT," said Jeff Maples, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration. "His years of experience at KAT and at UTC make him the ideal choice for the job."

Hairr takes over for Mary Lynn Holloway, who retired this year after more than 30 years of service to UT.

During his time at UT-Chattanooga, Hairr authored a comprehensive transit plan for the UTC campus. He also managed the campus's role in the deployment of a dynamic message sign system for campus bus stops with the city of Chattanooga's public transportation system and led the planning effort for a new parking and transportation center at UTC.

While at KAT, Hairr worked closely with UT Parking and Transit Services on providing shuttle services during the academic year and for home football games in the fall. In addition, he was instrumental in the planning and implementation of "The T," the current campus transit system.

UT Parking and Transit Services manages parking for students, faculty, staff and visitors in more than 20 surface lots and parking garages around campus. The office also manages public transit in support of academic, athletic and public service programs on the Knoxville and agricultural campuses.

For more information, visit http://web.utk.edu/~pso/.

Workshop for Tennessee Nursery Producers on Pesticide Application Techniques

The nursery business in Tennessee generates more than $177 million in sales each year — making the Volunteer State one of the top producers of ornamental plants in the nation. There are more than 800 nurseries in the state, mostly concentrated in the rolling hills about halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga.

To assist the many producers in this area, UT Extension is offering an Airblast Sprayer Workshop for nursery owners and employees.

The Airblast Sprayer Workshop will be May 4 at the Pro-Gro Nursery in McMinnville. The event starts at 8 a.m., and the cost is $15 per participant if registered before Saturday. The cost will be $25 after that.

The event offers instruction in correctly adjusting sprayers for optimal coverage and pest control.

Pesticide Points will be offered: two points for categories C1, C2, C3, C10 and C12.

Other points of instruction include how tractor speed and row spacing impacts pesticide application and coverage. Other workshop speakers include experts from Ohio State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

UT Extension operates in each of Tennessee's 95 counties as the off-campus division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. An educational and outreach organization funded by federal, state and local governments, UT Extension, in cooperation with Tennessee State University, brings research-based information about agriculture, family and consumer sciences and youth and community development to the people of Tennessee where they live and work.