Media Release - Over $110,000 Raised for Education 7-12-2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 12, 2018

Over $110,000 Raised for Education at Agricenter’s Feast on the Farm

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MEMPHIS, TN --- Surrounded by a sea of sunflowers and cowboy boots, more than 400 guests helped raise over $110,000 in net proceeds for Agricenter International’s education program at the June 23rd Feast on the Farm Gala. Guests dined on a myriad of tastings from the area’s finest chefs while bidding on unique silent auction items.  The spirited live auction led by Jeff Morris of Morris Realty & Auction captivated bidders with hunting trips, diamonds, and sporting adventures.  Entertainment by the Wolf River Rednecks rounded out the fun-filled evening. 

All proceeds from the event support Agricenter International’s education program which educates 10,000 students each year.  Christine Donhardt, Event Chair, said, “This gala provides critical funding for our extensive education programs and we could not provide this without the help of generous supporters!”

Did you miss the fun but still want in on the action?  New online auction items are available now with bidding starting at $5!  Support the cause today by clicking this link: http://Feast2018.givesmart.com.

The event was made possible by generous event sponsors including:

Platinum sponsor:  Helena Agri-Enterprises.

Silver sponsors: Boyle Investment Company, Asgrow-DEKALB-Deltapine, and Crop Production Services

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Bronze sponsors: TN Department of Agriculture, Cargill, and C.R. Narayanan & Co

Copper sponsors: Staplcotn, F&F Construction, FedEx Employees Credit Assoc., and Lowe’s #1526

Raffle sponsor: Trustmark Bank

Featured sponsors: Hicks Convention Services and Special Events, Nolan Production Group, Doron Diamonds Direct, and Archer Malmo

Photos from the evening can be viewed on our Facebook page here:  https://tinyurl.com/yblpwmr9

For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777.

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Media release - Hands-on learning at Agricenter 7-11-18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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July 11, 2018

Students Have a Farm-to-Table Experience

MEMPHIS, TN --- Over 500 students, in small groups, experienced hands-on learning at Agricenter throughout the months of June and July.  The students from the Superintendent’s Learning Academy, a program of the Shelby County School system, learned about the science of wheat and bread as well as observation skills in nature. 

Eighth grade students harvested wheat from Agricenter’s farm, learned about chaffing, grinding, making wheat flour, and the botany of wheat.  They made the dough rise and learned about the chemical process of yeast.  They also enjoyed learning about the history of wheat, commercial milling, food safety, and commercial production of bread. 

Tim Roberts, Director of Education, adds, “This is the first year Agricenter has offered this program and is one of the many ways we reach 10,000 students a year.” 

Sixth and seventh grade students learned math and engineering in a program called Observation Skills in Nature.  They learned nature’s secret code, made fly catchers, observed symmetry in nature, and learned about Fibonacci numbers.

Melisa Knirr, Educator of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources, said, “We are delighted to teach these students about the wonders of nature through agriculture here on our farm.”

 

Please mark your calendars for:

FFA Field Day - September 19, 2018.  Teachers must RSVP through this webpage (this is not just for FFA students but anyone interested in agricultural careers): http://www.agricenter.org/ffafieldday

 

Agricenter International, a 1,000 acre farm, is a non-profit dedicated to advancing the knowledge and understanding of agriculture.  It has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates 10,000 students a year. For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777.

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Media release - Rep Ron Lollar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 6, 2018

Statement on the Passing of Rep. Ron Lollar

MEMPHIS, TN --- We are saddened to hear of the passing of Representative Ron Lollar, who was a great supporter of Agricenter.  Representative Lollar was an integral part of the formation of Agricenter as he came to work here in 1985 as project manager for construction of the Expo Center and stayed on until 1995 as VP of Administration.  Lollar has always been a great supporter of the local farmers and the agricultural industry.  Most recently he has supported our endeavors to renovate the ShowPlace Arena and in June was a guest at our annual gala.  Our heartfelt sympathy is with his family and friends.

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Media release - Feast on the Farm gala fundraiser

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 14, 2018

Agricenter’s Feast on the Farm Gala

MEMPHIS, TN --- Join your friends at Agricenter International for a country chic evening of fun with the area’s finest chefs. Enjoy an exciting live and silent auction, entertainment, dancing and more benefiting our agricultural education programs.

Saturday June 23, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Agricenter's Expo Center

VIP Table of 8: $1,500 with preferred event seating, wine at the table, and valet parking.

Individual ticket: $125 in open seating.

Buy tickets online today: www.agricenter.org/feast

All proceeds from the event support Agricenter International, a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research, education, and conservation which educates 10,000 students a year.

Tasting with Fabulous Chefs. Live and Silent Auction. 

Entertainment and Dancing with the Wolf River Rednecks.

Thank you to our sponsors! 

Platinum sponsor:  Helena Agri-Enterprises.

Silver sponsors: Boyle Investment Company, Asgrow-DEKALB-Deltapine, and Crop Production Services.

Bronze sponsors: TN Department of Agriculture, Cargill, and C.R. Narayanan & Co.

Copper sponsors: Staplcotn, F&F Construction, FedEx Employees Credit Assoc., and Lowe’s #1526.

Raffle sponsor: Trustmark Bank.

Featured sponsors: Hicks Convention Services and Special Events, Nolan Production Group, Doron Diamonds Direct, and Archer Malmo.

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Media release - Agricenter Jr Fishing Rodeo 5-19-18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 10, 2018

Agricenter’s Junior Fishing Rodeo

Saturday, May 19, 2018

7am-10am

MEMPHIS, TN --- Join us for a day of fishing and fun at Agricenter’s Catch'em Lakes on Saturday, May 19th!  There will be door prizes as well as awards for the first catfish, the largest catfish, and the most catfish caught!  This event is rain or shine. Children ages 5-13 years will be eligible to participate. 

Thank you to our Gold Sponsor: Helena Agri-Enterprises!

Thank you to our Event Sponsor: TN Department of Agriculture!

Schedule:

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7:00 am - Registration

7:30 am - 9:00 am - Fishing

9:00 am - 10:00 am - Measuring and prizes

Print out the registration form (one per child) located at www.agricenter.org/rodeo and bring it with you the day of the event. Copies will also be available on site.  A $10 donation (per child) is encouraged.  All proceeds go to our education programs. We accept checks, cash, and credit cards. 

Agricenter International, the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub of the Mid-South has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates 10,000 students each year.  For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777.

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Agricenter Awarded Farm Credit Mid-America Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2018

Agricenter Awarded Farm Credit Mid-America Grant

 Scott Horner & John Butler

Scott Horner & John Butler

MEMPHIS, TN --- On Monday, agricultural lender Farm Credit Mid-America announced a partnership with Agricenter International to install a commercial and culinary kitchen in the Expo Center.  This will provide youth and adults the opportunity to harvest vegetables on the demonstration farm and then learn how to prepare healthy meals for themselves and their families. 

Scott Horner, Senior Financial Officer at Farm Credit Mid-America, presented the award during the monthly Memphis Agriculture Club luncheon.  Horner said, “For more than a century, we have been supporting farmers and communities by not only providing financial products and services, but by investing in capital projects that strengthen our communities.  By partnering with Agricenter in building this kitchen, together we’re able to connect with consumers, explain how food is grown and share agriculture’s positive story.”

 Jim Todd, Anita Keller, Scott Horner, Jody Wade

Jim Todd, Anita Keller, Scott Horner, Jody Wade

Agricenter’s commercial and culinary kitchen will be an educational center where nutrition and cooking classes will be offered to youth and adults as part of a farm-to-table education program in partnership with UT/TSU Extension and Knowledge Quest.  There are 10,000 students participating annually in the Agricenter’s current educational offerings.

John Butler, President of Agricenter International, stated, “We are pleased to receive this grant from Farm Credit Mid-America, who is a great community partner and we look forward to having this kitchen completed by fall of 2018.”

Agricenter International, the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub of the Mid-South has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates 10,000 students each year.  For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777. 

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Agricenter’s Ag Day Art Contest Results

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 3, 2018

Agricenter’s Ag Day Art Contest Results

MEMPHIS, TN – Agricenter honored the winners of the Ag Day Student Art Contest with a luncheon and guest speakers on March 29th.  Over 140 people attended the Celebration and Exhibition at the Farmer’s Market. 

Jim Jaggers, News Channel 3 Meteorologist, was emcee. Commissioner David Reaves and President John Butler gave welcome remarks. Commissioner Jai Templeton of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture spoke on the economic impact of agriculture. A panel discussion on “Innovation in Ag” featured Mark Pryor, The Seam; Pete Nelson, AgLaunch; and Brad Godwin, Indigo Ag. After the luncheon, the exhibition hall was opened and many Ag companies displayed.

There were 430 art entries from Shelby & DeSoto Counties.  Judges of the student were:  Joyce Peterson with WMCTV, Jim Todd with UT Extension, Pamela Hassler local artist, and Lesley Landry of Sullivan Branding.  Cash prizes were given to each student ($100, $50, $25) and the teacher of the first-place students ($100).  The teacher whose name was drawn at random, Anne Smith, received $250 toward classroom supplies. 

Winners of the Ag Day Student Art Contest

3rd - 6th Grade Division

1st Place: Jacob Wielgosz - 6th Grade, Arlington Middle School (teacher: Diane Graves)

2nd Place: Oscar Liu - 5th Grade, Riverdale School (teacher: Melissa Cychowski)

3rd Place: Ava Freeman - 6th Grade, Briarcrest Christian School (teacher: Melody Weintraub)

7th - 9th Grade Division

1st Place: Annie Holley - 9th Grade, Houston High School (teacher: Amanda Shulter)

2nd Place: Julia Cutchin - 7th Grade, Briarcrest Christian School (teacher: Melody Weintraub)

3rd Place: Ben Borwick - 8th Grade, Arlington Middle School (teacher: Diane Graves)

10th - 12th Grade Division

1st Place: Macy Clanton - 10th Grade, Arlington High School (teacher: Melanie Anderson)

2nd Place: Jenna-Claire Comella - 11th Grade, Arlington High School (teacher: Carrol McTyre)

3rd Place: Cara McMorran - 12th Grade, Arlington High School (teacher: Melanie Anderson)

Sponsors

Agricenter would like to thank generous sponsors of this contest and exhibition: Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Sullivan Branding, and Mid-South National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).

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Agricenter’s Ag Day Celebration + Exhibition on March 29th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 20, 2018

Agricenter’s Ag Day Celebration + Exhibition

MEMPHIS, TN – The public is invited to attend Agricenter’s Ag Day Celebration and Exhibition on Thursday, March 29th at the Agricenter Farmer’s Market. 

Lunch, Speakers, and Ceremony  11am-1pm

Free, but registration required by March 22: www.agricenter.org/agday

Exhibition  1pm-3pm

No registration required, drop-in format

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This year, Jim Jaggers, News Channel 3 Meteorologist will serve as emcee.  Welcome remarks will be given by Agricenter President John Butler.  Commissioner Jai Templeton of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture will speak on the economic impact of agriculture.  A panel discussion on “Innovation in Ag” will feature CEO’s Mark Pryor, The Seam; Pete Nelson, AgLaunch; and Barry Knight, Indigo Ag. 

Agricenter will then have a ceremony honoring the winners of the Ag Day Student Art Contest that was open to all 3rd through 12th graders in Shelby and DeSoto Counties.  The contest was designed to stretch the imagination of students as they envision and promote the role and importance of agriculture in our lives through their creative entries within the theme of “Farm of the Future.” 

Tim Roberts, University of Tennessee Extension Agent & Agricenter International Director of Education, said “We are thrilled with the amount and quality of submissions we received from the students.  We can’t wait to see what the judges will decide.”  Judges this year include:  Joyce Peterson with WMCTV, Jim Todd with UT Extension, Pamela Hassler of L Ross Art Gallery, and Lesley Landry of Sullivan Branding.

At 1:00pm, the public will adjourn to the exhibition area and be treated to ice cream while viewing the booths of local Ag-related businesses.  Everyone is welcome to attend the exhibition which is a drop-in between 1:00pm and 3:00pm at the Farmer’s Market, no reservation required. 

Sponsors

Agricenter would like to thank generous sponsors of this contest and exhibition: Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Sullivan Branding, and Mid-South National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).

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Digital Sign Vandalism at Agricenter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 21, 2018

Digital Sign Vandalism at Agricenter

MEMPHIS, TN – The digital sign on Walnut Grove Road has been the target of felony vandalism.  The sign was shot at by someone driving east along Walnut Grove during the night of February 14.  “This is dangerous as the bullet could have gone through the billboard and could easily have hit a runner or one of our other guests on the property,” said John Butler, President of Agricenter International. 

The Shelby County Sherriff’s Office has been notified and are investigating.  There is a $2,500 reward offered leading to the arrest and conviction of the offender.  Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.  Callers can remain anonymous.

As you may remember, in May 2015 the sign had been hit over 15 times and again three times in February 2016. 

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Agricenter’s Ag Day Student Art Contest + Exhibition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 23, 2018

Agricenter’s Ag Day Student Art Contest + Exhibition

MEMPHIS, TN – Calling all 3rd through 12th graders in Shelby and DeSoto Counties!  Enter Agricenter’s inaugural Ag Day Student Art Contest and Exhibition with your creative entries in these six categories: drawing, painting, collage, photography, graphic design and short video. 

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Winners will be announced and entries on display at the Ag Day Celebration on March 29 (11am-1pm) at the Farmer’s Market at Agricenter International. In addition to the announcement of the Student Art Contest + Exhibition winners, the Ag Day Celebration will feature additional exhibits and speakers on Agriculture.  The public is invited to attend. 

The contest is designed to stretch the imagination of students as they envision and promote the role and importance of agriculture in our lives through their creative entries. We want participants to be as imaginative and expressive as possible within the theme of “Farm of the Future,” which pairs perfectly with 2018 National Ag Day theme “How Agriculture Will Feed the World.” 

Agriculture is as old as time, but the world is changing fast. From incredible advances in technology, biology and genetics to an expected population boom – farms of the future will be optimized to provide more than ever before. This year we’ll tap into the limitless imaginations of students across the Mid-South in a challenge to visualize what future farms could look like. 

Details

Artwork submission period is January 16 – March 9, 2018. Artwork can be created inside or outside of school. 

In each category: First Place ($100), Second Place ($50), Third Place ($25), and teacher of First Place winners receive $100.  In addition, all participating teachers are eligible for a drawing for $250 toward classroom supplies. 

For more information, contest rules, and judging criteria, please visit www.agricenter.org/art.

Sponsors

Agricenter would like to thank generous sponsors of this contest and exhibition: Sullivan Branding, National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA), and Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

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Strategic Plan Open House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2018

Agricenter International Embarks on a New Chapter

MEMPHIS, TN – Agricenter International is embarking on a Strategic Business Plan and Conceptual Master Plan.  The public is invited to attend a drop-in on January 29, 2018 from 4:30-6:30pm at Ducks Unlimited on the Agricenter Campus. 

Open House

January 29, 2018

4:30-6:30pm

Ducks Unlimited (1 Waterfowl Way)

This Strategic Business Plan and Conceptual Master Plan will serve as the guide for the next 20 years of growth.  The goal is to have it completed by May 2018.  The plan is funded by a local Anonymous Foundation, FedEx Corporation, Shelby County Commission, Agricenter International, Helena Chemical, and Asgrow.  

Long range goals for Agricenter are to serve as a hub for agricultural networking and innovation, to showcase food and fiber as a pathway to increased educational and career opportunities, and to promote the efficacy and commercialization of new agricultural technologies and practices. Agricenter will be positioned as a leading center of agricultural innovation, education, and outreach that works in the nexus of environmental sustainability, water, soil, urban-rural interface, technology, poverty, and entrepreneurship. 

Steven Spalding of Point A Consulting LLC from Louisville, KY leads the team which has deep expertise in farming and agriculture, land planning, real estate development and the related economics and finances of large projects and complex organizations.  According to Spalding, “The planning now underway will not only develop a mission for Agricenter that is readily visible to the public and has a positive impact on agriculture, but also extend its reach and impact tremendously in the Mid-South, across the state, even nationally and internationally.”

Point A will be joined by two internationally recognized partners: Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW) of New York City and Charlottesville, and HR&A Advisors, Inc. from New York City. 

John Butler, President of Agricenter International, added “We are excited to have Point A and their team on board to help us in this planning process.  We are humbled with the support we have received from the community in the past and look forward to a bright future.”

Spalding adds, “We’ve done a lot of research and analysis to date; now we’re looking forward to hearing from the people of Memphis—folks who work at or visit Agricenter.  What do they want to see this place become?”

Background:

Point A started this project in 2016 with a preliminary assessment. In addition to Spalding and Dawn Riley, team members include: Mark Scholl, president of his farm holding company and Chairman of the Farm Foundation Board of Directors, with experience both as a start-up entrepreneur and agribusiness executive; and Bill Morlok, who collaborates with Point A on research park engagements across the country, and has pioneered in establishing the concept of Knowledge Communities as the standard for next generation research parks.

Thomas Woltz, FASLA leads the designers at NBW in the Conceptual Master Plan for Agricenter.  Their past design projects include continuing work with the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (Monticello); the $25 billion Hudson Yards project in New York City; Nashville’s Centennial Park; St. Louis’ Citygarden; and West Tennessee’s Lone Oaks Farm. Woltz stated, “This could be an exciting addition to the current offerings of ShowPlace Arena, Expo Center, nature trails and the Farmer’s Market. A farm experience center could offer support to regional farmers through coursework and be a community destination for the public to learn about the important history of the site and various scales of agricultural production.”

Candace Damon, Vice Chairman of HR&A has experience working on the business plan for Shelby Farms Park, and brings an understanding of the history and context of the overall district. HR&A also has been part of a team working on the revitalization plan for 11 miles of the Memphis Riverfront and on another project to re-envision Research Triangle Park, to transform it from a 1960’s style research park into a Live, Work & Play community. Damon stated, “Working on this project is great opportunity to advance that civic vision by engaging all segments of the greater Memphis community in achieving a better understanding and appreciation of our food systems, as well as to more closely knit the future of Memphis' rural and urban communities.”

Agricenter International, the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub of the Mid-South has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and has educated tens of thousands of students.  For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777. 

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Agricenter International Welcomes New Board Members

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 19, 2017

Agricenter International Welcomes New Board Members

MEMPHIS, TN – As of December 13, 2017, Agricenter International welcomes the addition of two new members of the Board of Directors: Mark Pryor, CEO of The Seam, and Garner Williams, a Manager at The Marston Group.  The Board of Directors, made up of 30 members, has oversight of the non-profit that was formed in 1979.  The board members serve a three-year term and provide direction of the operation including research, education, and rentals.  They also participate in fundraising and activities. 

 Mark Pryor

Mark Pryor

Mark Pryor joined The Seam in 2000 and is CEO. The Seam, the world’s first online, neutral exchange for cotton trading, has processed over $8 billion in multi-commodity transactions through its agribusiness software platforms. The company is currently working with leading agribusinesses and industry organizations on a digital transformation initiative to bring traceability and transparency to the global supply chain. Pryor is a resident from Somerville, TN, is an avid sportsman and enjoys running.

 Garner Williams

Garner Williams

Garner Williams is a Certified Public Accountant with extensive experience in audits and financial reporting matters. He leads the growing financial reporting and analysis sector of The Marston Group’s agribusiness group and serves a diverse clientele of agribusiness clients, including crop producers, sales and distribution, farm machinery manufacturing, seed production and supply, as well as other clients throughout the industry. He received his Master of Accountancy from the University of Mississippi. He also serves on the Board of The 100 Club of Memphis and is active in other organizations, including The Greater Memphis Chambers’ Young Professional’s Council.

Nominating Committee Chair Wayne Morris added, “We are extremely proud and pleased to have these fine gentleman as new members of our Board of Directors.  The expertise they bring to the board is invaluable.”

Agricenter International, the education, agribusiness, research and agricultural hub of the Mid-South has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and has educated tens of thousands of students.  For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777. 

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