Agricenter Awarded Community Enhancement Grant

To download a copy of this release click here


FEBRUARY 6, 2017 

Agricenter Awarded Community Enhancement Grant

MEMPHIS, TN --- This afternoon, the Shelby County Commission voted to award a $14,000 Community Enhancement Grant to Agricenter International for their Strategic Business Plan and Campus Master Plan.  Agricenter International, a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research, education, and conservation gives a special thanks to grant sponsor Commissioner Reginald Milton and contributors Commissioners Justin Ford, George Chism, and David Reaves.  This award is in addition to Commissioner Heidi Shafer’s allotment of $100,000 which was awarded in August 2016 for Agricenter’s trail project.

With the help of a local community partner, Agricenter International completed a strategic assessment in March 2016.  The results of this assessment stated that Agricenter can address community aspirations, as well as global Ag trends, by developing a Strategic Business Plan and Campus Master Plan that refocuses on key strengths and ties back to Agricenter’s original mission.

John Butler, President of Agricenter International stated, “We are pleased to receive this grant from the Shelby County Commission and believe this Strategic Business Plan and Campus Master Plan will have a transformational impact on Agricenter and Shelby County.” 

The planning process has an anticipated start date of May 2017 and will be completed by January 2018. 


Agricenter’s Ag Day Poster Contest is Open

Download the media release here.

Click here for the link to the poster contest webpage. 


December 12, 2016

Agricenter’s Ag Day Poster Contest is Open

MEMPHIS, TN -- Each year Agricenter International hosts a poster contest in honor of Agriculture and to recognize students in Shelby County who best describe Agriculture through their artwork on a given subject or theme. Few people realize that 1/10 of 1% of agricultural producers are producing 80% of the food and fiber we consume and use daily. 

This year’s theme was announced today as “Agriculture: Food for Life” and 3rd-8th graders in any school or homeschool in Shelby County are eligible to enter.  Students compete in three divisions: 3rd-4th grade, 5th-6th grade, and 7th-8th grade.  First place winners of each division are awarded $100, second place winners $50, and third place winners receive $25. The first place winners’ teachers also receive $50.

Tim Roberts, Director of Education at Agricenter, says “Each year we are delighted by the creative work that the students produce and are looking forward to what they come up with this year.”

Drawings must be received by February 27, 2017 and be in accordance to the rules posted here:

The winners and their families are honored with a luncheon at Agricenter on Ag Day, March 21 (media are invited to attend). The winning posters are framed and displayed first in Nashville at the War Memorial Building, then on a rotating basis in the Vasco A. Smith Shelby County Administration Building, at Agricenter International, and other agricultural facilities in the Shelby County area. 

To learn about the educational classes offered for K-12 at Agricenter, visit or call 901-757-7777.


Agricenter International, a 1,000 acre farm, is a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research, education, and conservationIt 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.


Agricenter’s FFA Field Day Teaches Students About a Growing Job Market

Over 325 students attended this year's FFA Field Day.  Read more about it from the Memphis Daily News here. 

Agricenter Will Host FFA Field Day


Agricenter Will Host FFA Field Day

MEMPHIS, TN -- Over 300 Future Farmers of America (FFA) will descend on the Agricenter campus September 14, 2016 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.  Students who are in FFA chapters with their schools in the tri-state region are welcome to attend.  There is still time for your chapter to sign-up to attend.  Free lunch is provided.

Tim Roberts, Agricenter’s Director of Education, stated, “There are more job openings in the Ag field than there are graduates to fill them.  FFA Field Day will help students see the variety of opportunities that await them if they pursue an agricultural path.” 

The focus of this field day is on plant science and research. Helena Chemical Company will discuss product discovery, registration, and marketing and BASF will explain why data collection is important and the importance of field research.  They will learn about wildlife management from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and greenhouse management and maintenance from Bayer Crop Science.  Crop Production Services will talk about Ag sales and Waypoint Analytical about soil testing and diagnostics.  Agriculture careers in government will be discussed by TN Department of Agriculture.

The field day showcases careers in agriculture.  The goal is to show the possibilities students have for occupations in the field of agriculture.  Students will rotate from station to station to network with professionals and companies involved in agriculture.  They will also visit with several colleges and universities with agricultural degrees to help further their education in agriculture. 

Agricenter International, a 1,000 acre farm, is a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research, education, and conservationIt has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates over 4,000 students.


Printable version of the media release here.  

Agricenter’s Junior Fishing Rodeo


Agricenter’s Junior Fishing Rodeo

Saturday, Sept 17, 2016


MEMPHIS, TN --- Join us for a day of fishing and fun at Agricenter’s Catch'em Lakes Sept 17th! 

Volunteers needed!  Call 901-757-7777 to volunteer.

Fill out the registration form either online or in person the day of the event (one per child). You can download the registration form here:

There is a $10 entry fee per child.  Agricenter accepts checks, cash, and credit cards.  All proceeds go to our education programs.

Times for the two age groups:

10 year old and under rodeo: Registration for the 10 and under rodeo will begin at 7:00 am. The fishing for this age group will be from 7:30-9:00 am, with their awards between 9:00 and 9:30 am.

11-15 year old rodeo: Registration for the 11-15 year old rodeo will be at 9:30 am. The fishing for this age group will be from 10:00-11:30 am, with their awards between 11:30 to 12:00 pm. In this age group, participants must bait, cast, and land their own catch.

Many door prizes as well as awards for the first catfish, the largest catfish, and the most catfish caught! 

Agricenter International, a 1,000 acre farm, is a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research, education, and conservationIt has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates over 4,000 students. For more information visit or call 901-757-7777.


Printable version of the media release here. 

Agricenter International Receives $100,000 Community Enhancement Grant from Commissioner Heidi Shafer


August 24, 2016

Agricenter International Receives $100,000 Community Enhancement Grant from Commissioner Heidi Shafer


MEMPHIS, TN -- Today, Agricenter International received a $100,000 Shelby County Commission Community Enhancement Grant to further the completion of the Agricenter Trail.  Commissioner Heidi Shafer dedicated her full $100,000 allotment of the non-profit grant to this project.  Commissioner Shafer stated, “Connecting the Agricenter Farmer's Market to the Greenline makes good sense, giving walkers and bike riders reliable access to fresh foods right here in District 5. I want to thank my fellow Commissioners for allowing me to dedicate District 5's portion of the grant money to physical projects that all citizens can enjoy.”


John Butler, President of Agricenter International added, “We are humbled to receive this grant from Commissioner Shafer and are looking forward to furthering the network of greenway connections throughout the Mid-South.” 

Agricenter Trail, a Greenprint Certified Project, is a partially paved path that starts on the west at the Pick Your Own Strawberry Patch and terminates at Agricenter Farmer's Market on the east.  The trail showcases the agricultural character of the region and when completed, will delight the traveler with sights of production crops, research plots, and the solar farm.  The trail leads to the Farmer’s Market which is a cultural resource and historic site as it is the original 1930’s dairy barn from the Shelby County Penal Farm. At the light on Farm Road, the trail connects to the Greenline at Shelby Farms Park.

The vision for this trail started when Agricenter was founded in 1983 and the intention was to pave it to completion. The desire lines on the path are evidence of current community use. In addition, bollards were acquired through a recent IOBY campaign and will be installed during the improvement process.  For video and photos see:

Agricenter International is a non-profit dedicated to agricultural research, education, and conservation.  For more information visit or call 901-757-7777.

 For printable version click here. 


Read Memphis Flyer's article about it here.  

Read Fox 13's article about it here. 

Mid-South Maze unveils new design

Contact: Justin Taylor                             

(901) 870- 6338




The Mid-South Maze is Back for Its 16th Season!


Memphis, TN — September 2016 — With ten acres of corn planted and the new mind-boggling design now created, the Mid-South Maze is bringing the “MAiZE craze” back to the Agricenter.


In honor of Mike Conley’s much anticipated return to the Memphis Grizzlies, this year’s maze design recreates an iconic image of the “Conductor” as seen through the eyes of the “Corn-ductor”.


The Maze will give visitors the chance to "GET LOST" September 15th through October 31st.  The Maze will be open in September on Thursday and Friday from 4-10 pm, Saturday Noon-10 pm, and Sunday from Noon-8 pm. In October, the Maze will become Haunted on Friday and Saturday nights. This year’s maze will feature live music with a lineup soon to be released and a new mobile beer garden presented by TapBox that will pour local craft beer. 

Wednesday nights in October are Family Nights.The Maze will provide a free hayride and bonfire on those nights with the purchase of admission to the maze. The Maze is located at the Agricenter, just south of the Farmer’s Market, across from the RV Park. The cost is $7 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. The Haunted Maze cost is $12 per person. Discounts are offered for groups, birthday parties and field trips. For more information or to make reservations, call (901) 870-6338 or visit

Kyle Weiner received the high point individual award in National 4-H

Not only did the Tennessee Team Earn Second Place at National 4-H Forestry Invitational which we posted last week, but Kyle Weiner, 17, of Arlington received the high point individual award. Kyle will be a senior in high school this year. Kyle is pictured in the center.

A SPOTLIGHT ON KYLE: He has been involved in the Shelby County 4-H Forestry Judging team since eighth-grade and has always been a valuable team member on the Shelby County regional and state teams, accordin...g to coach Weida Ringley, also of Arlington. He has diverse interests and is particularly focused on farming and horticulture. He is an avid gardener and has an amazing garden in his backyard. He even grows rice - which is his favorite food. He has experimented with several different methods of growing rice and has produced and thrashed the rice for his own use. He does his homework first, with extensive research on soil types and plant needs before he plants his garden. He has raised beds and builds his soil according to the plant preference. Kyle was able to purchase his own car and maintain upkeep on it due in part to his gardening skills.

“I remember the first time Kyle came to the forestry team practice and was the high scorer of the leaf identification contest we had at that practice. He had a perfect score and had never been to our practice before,” said coach Ringley. In addition, Kyle is an accomplished musician and plays the piano and ukulele. He also is active in his youth activities at Bellevue Baptist Church. And he has a black belt in karate and teaches the martial art at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett.

Tennessee Team Earns Second Place at National 4-H Forestry Invitational

August 4, 2016




Tennessee Team Earns Second Place at National 4-H Forestry Invitational


Tennessee placed second among 17 states that competed in the 37th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 31, through Thursday, August 4. Teams from Arkansas and Florida placed first and third, respectively. Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin were also represented at this year’s Invitational.


The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event is sponsored by Farm Credit System, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., USDA Forest Service State and Private Southern Region, West Virginia University Extension Service, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Forest Foundation, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals, and National Woodland Owners Association.


While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories.  Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl, and a written forestry exam.


Tennessee was represented by David Crenshaw from Millington, Anna Holt from Bartlett, and Kyle Weiner from Arlington. The team was coached by Weida Ringley also from Arlington.


Kyle Weiner from Tennessee received the high point individual award. Second place high individual award was given to Cade Wilkerson from Arkansas and third place high individual award was given to Henry Keating from Florida.


The Joe Yeager “Spirit of the Invitational” award was given to Holden Doane from Indiana. This award recognizes an outstanding 4-H contestant at the Invitational. It is presented to the individual who takes initiative, is enthusiastic, and is eager to lead academic and social situations.


4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state

land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.


The event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors;


Farm Credit System (FCS) supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. FCS has been helping areas grow and thrive for a century by providing farmers with capital and by financing infrastructure and communication services.


The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI®), Inc. is a fully independent, charitable organization dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management. The SFI® label is a sign you are buying wood and paper products from a certified source, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit.


USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry, Southern Region programs bring forest management assistance and expertise to a diversity of landowners through cost-effective, non-regulatory partnerships. The staffs also play a key role in implementing the National Fire Plan.


West Virginia University (WVU) Extension Service educators and volunteers build and sustain partnerships with people and organizations in West Virginia, to improve their lives and communities. WVU's programs and services strengthen individuals of all ages.


American Farm Bureau Federation, (AFBF) is the unified national voice of agriculture. Working through its grassroots organizations AFBF enhances and strengthens the lives of rural Americans to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.


The American Forest Foundation® (AFF) works with families, educators, and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect our nation’s forest heritage. AFF works with its partners to provide hands-on support for America’s 10 million family forest owners.


Southern Region Extension Forestry serves as a liaison between the USDA Forest Service and the thirteen Extension Forest Resources units in the South. The position has evolved into a regional programming, representation, promotion, and communication role within the forestry and natural resource communities.


The Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) is a professional society for natural resource Extension professionals. The mission of ANREP is to bring Extension professionals together to discuss mutual natural resource issues, needs, and opportunities and to advance natural resource Extension through continuing education.


The National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA) is a nationwide organization made up of non-industrial private woodland owners. Membership includes landowners in all 50 states and Canada. The mission of the NWOA is to use unbiased, research-based, objective and factual information to inform, educate and advocate ensuring a sustainable managed forest resource in the United States.


For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, go to:


Contact: David R. Jackson

               Penn State Cooperative Extension

               Willowbank Building, Room 322

               420 Holmes Ave.

               Bellefonte, PA 16823

               (814) 355-4897



Ultra Cool DIY Wedding at the Memphis Agricenter Farmer’s Market

Kelly Ginn Photography. 

Kelly Ginn Photography. 

"With the help of their family and friends, they transformed the Memphis Agricenter Farmer’s Market into their dream wedding venue — decorated with evergreen wreaths and garland, pine cones, burlap and wood accents, and strands and strands of twinkle lights. Kelly Ginn Photography captured all the details from Kate and Nikita’s big day."

Read about it here.  

You can rent the red barn for your next event here.