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Today is Tuesday, September 26, 2017

State Speaker

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Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton stands with Mayor Ken Wilber and  Red Barn Owners Sara Ann and Johnny Crafton.
Mayor Ken Wilber welcomes Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton to Portland
Young farmer Ben Freeman, Denise Geminden, Commissioner Jai Templeton, and Joey Collins stand in front of the “Commissioner’s Choice” tractors at Days Gone By Museum. SUBMITTED
PHS students Mason Bradley, Ashley Bewley, and Will Brewer present Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton with a strawberry crate with Portland strawberry preserves and a framed original Strawberry Growers Association Decal from the 1950’s. The original decal was provided by Jim Donoho. SUBMITTED

Officials welcomed Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton to Portland on Aug. 25. Templeton was given a tour of several businesses in the area related to agriculture which began at Days Gone By Museum owned by Joey Collins.

The museum features antique farm equipment to educate people on the history of agriculture and also attracts people who are interested in products from the past such as washing machines, toys, and cooking stoves.

The group also visited Crafton Farm where they viewed the farm operation and had lunch at The Red Barn.

"It's clear that Portland has a vision for the future and strong support for agriculture," Templeton said. "Crafton Farms and the Days Gone By Museum are two prime examples of the success that ag businesses can have in our rural communities.

"I'm thankful for the opportunity to spend time with local leaders and citizens who understand the value in building on those successes to benefit all."

Portland High School ag teachers Brad Kirkham and Elizabeth Reed attended the lunch along with agriculture students.

"We appreciate the commissioner taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Portland. We think of Portland now as an industrial community, but agriculture is still the number one product in the State. We have many farms along with ag tourism in our community which we are thankful for," Mayor Ken Wilber said.

City of Portland Office of Economic & Community Development Director Denise Geminden commented, "We were honored to host a visit by Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton and his team. The Commissioner spoke regarding the robust impact of agriculture on Tennessee's Economy.

"He encouraged those in attendance to review opportunities available through the state website for new and expanding agriculture related businesses.

"It was a pleasure to introduce Portland High School Agriculture students and farmers of the area. The visit to our community provided valuable exposure for state administrators which can provide benefits to Portland for years to come."

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