"Milan No-Till" field day brings visitors the latest in AG research and technology


Milan hotel till is back in full swing this year, and the event's all about celebrating agriculture in Tennessee and the technology and research that helps farmers continue to feed the world.

Today was the 32nd "Milan No-Till" field day.

The event began back in 1981 when staff from the Milan UT Ag Research and Education center first taught farmers how to plant without tilling the ground.

“A revolutionary new farming technique called no-till before this was invented by a UT professor here at the ag research center. This region had the worst saw erosion in the entire country. But because of no-till now, it's much better," said Randy Boyd, the president of the UT system.

Since then, “Milan No-Till” has grown to bring in thousands. Now research is presented, visitors can see new innovations in farming equipment, tour the facility, hear from speakers, and more.

“We're changing mindsets here. We're changing behaviors because we are leading the country when it comes to the implementation of no-till,"" Carrie Castille the Senior vice-president of UT Institute of Agriculture said.

Agriculture is a crucial part of the economy in Tennessee, but it’s also a vital industry globally.

“Agriculture is the leading economic driver in the state of Tennessee," Tennesee Governor Bill Lee said, "It's the number one component of our economy, which happens to be the fastest growing economy in the country right now. Ag is the leading component of that…we're in a time where global instability is causing food shortages around the world. Everyone's aware of that. And the volatility that happens with global instability. One role that America has is to provide stability. To that food, that chain of food across the globe.”

But feeding the world is becoming increasingly more difficult.

"Well, it's critical because our population in the world is growing. (edit) the land that the farmers have to farm is getting smaller and smaller. So we have to get more and more efficient with how we farm," Boyd said.

That is where new methods and technology come into play. One of the many new techniques presented at the field day was ways to manage water- as farmers are dealing with recent droughts.

Gov. Lee said, “That's the future of agriculture, more efficient production, more technology that makes it easier to produce more with less. That's the that is the future of our ag business in this state.”

The field day also serves to get young people invested in the future of agriculture.

"We want young people to catch fire with; you know what? There's a great place for me in agriculture that it's a big label. And when you think about what's ahead of us feeding the world, there's so much space in there for young people to think about good careers for themselves," said UT Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman.

The next “Milan No-Till”’ is scheduled for 2024.

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