Tennessee is an agricultural powerhouse, keeping its leading industry strong through growth and innovation.
With 66,600 farms spread across 10 million acres of land, the Volunteer State takes agriculture seriously. The average farm size rings in at about 162 acres each, and with a favorable climate and varied geography, Tennessee is a top place for row crop production, livestock and more. In fact, approximately 80 percent of the land is used for agricultural purposes including forestry.
Some of the state’s top commodities include soybeans, cattle and calves, and poultry and poultry products. Tennessee ranks fourth in the nation in tobacco production behind North Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. However, Macon County produces more burley tobacco than any other county in the country. Tennessee ranks No. 12 in hay.
More than crops and commodities, Tennessee agriculture encompasses everything from conservation practices and environmental efforts to agricultural education and innovation to agribusiness and food processing.
For example, farmers are using new technologies to produce crops more efficiently, including drones, robotic milking in dairies and GPS systems. Tennessee high schools are embracing agriculture by growing their own food. Pick Tennessee Products, the Department of Agriculture program that helps promote products made and grown in the state, currently has more than 2,600 local producers with 10,000 different products.
All of these examples point to the sustainability of Tennessee agriculture as the state’s top industry, which is poised for continued success.
News & Notes
State of Success: Tennessee is a powerhouse of agricultural production. Take a look at a few impressive stats on specific commodities from the different regions below:
Food Festivals/Ag Events
National Cornbread Festival
South Pittsburg, TN
April 28 & 29, 2018
Middle Tennessee Strawberry Festival
May 12, 2018
Grainger County Tomato Festival
July 27, 28, & 29 2018
International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off
September 8, 2018
Music City Food + Wine Festival
September 14-16, 2018
Tennessee State Fair
September 7-16, 2018
Unicoi Apple Festival
October 5 & 6, 2018
National Banana Pudding Festival
October 6 & 7, 2018
The Great Pumpkin Festival and Weigh-Off
October 7, 2018
Whether you’re planning a birthday party, family reunion or simply want a relaxing afternoon, why not head to a Tennessee farm?
Across the state, agritourism destinations, including wineries, pumpkin patches, U-pick berry farms, farm bed-and-breakfasts and more, allow guests to unwind and explore while learning more about agriculture. Agritourism also lets consumers connect with farmers, learning exactly where their food is grown from the people who grow it.
Find more information about the variety of fun, educational farm stops across the state at picktnproducts.org.