The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture is launching the UT Center of Farm Management, with a dedicated purpose of enhancing the long-term profitability and sustainability of agricultural enterprises in the state and across the Southeast. Launching July 2022, the center will integrate established institute programs and responsively develop new ones to meet the needs of Tennessee producers.
Established and successful programs that will now be centralized at the center include Income Tax Seminars, Tennessee Master Farm Manager, and UT Farming Fundamentals, to name a few. The center will be comprised of three branches: research, extension and teaching.
The research branch is responsible for data-driven solutions for producers and stakeholders and will also focus on policy that affects producers in Tennessee and the Southeast. The extension branch will develop curriculum and deliver programming based on the latest research findings, while the teaching branch provides unique opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics that include first-hand farm and financial management experiences. These experiences, in tandem with research and extension influences, provide students with a competitive edge for employment and advanced graduate programs.
“The center will provide an organized and collaborative environment to implement grant-funded research and UT Extension programing, while also providing students with real-life farm management opportunities,” said Charley Martinez, center director. “Additionally, the center positions the Institute for collaborations on numerous farm management and policy issues with other centers and universities, expanding the reach to benefit even more agricultural producers.”
The center will also host annual conferences, bringing together Tennessee producers and stakeholders in farm financial management to discuss current issues, research priorities and UT Extension programming needs.
In addition to Martinez, the center will be led by codirectors Chris Boyer and Aaron Smith, also from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. The UT Center of Farm Management is comprised of MANAGE Program agents, affiliated faculty, and undergraduate and graduate student research assistants.