What is in this article?:
- Richard Jameson: Sunbelt Farmer of the Year for Tennessee
- Marketing peace of mind
- Farm open to visitors
- State awards
• As a result of his success as a diversified crop farmer, Richard Jameson has been selected as the Tennessee state winner of the 2013 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year award.
Marketing peace of mind
He uses CAMS (Cargill AgHorizons Marketing Service) for marketing advice. This service provides peace of mind for the stressful chore of selling crops. “Farming is rewarding but stressful, and managing that stress is critical to the viability of my farm,” he adds.
“I now have fewer employees than I ever had,” says Jameson. “These employees are better trained and better paid and have helped improve the efficiency of the operation.”
He further reduced stress and risk by adopting precision farming. He says, “I hired competent young employees and service providers to help me learn how to use this technology. With this technology, young people who grew up with screens in front of them have a bright future working on farms.”
He has been cautious in expanding his farming operation and reluctant to pay too much for buying or renting land. Instead, he focused on improving land currently farmed.
One of his goals was to reduce soil erosion. Jameson has used continuous no-till planting since 1985. Much of his land is highly erodible and, if unprotected, would lose 20 or more tons of soil per acre per year.
His conservation practices include more than 44 miles of terraces and more than 64 acres of grassed waterways. Some of the first contour terraces in west Tennessee were constructed on his farm. He also planted 82 acres of native warm season grasses to benefit wildlife.
Jameson added irrigation on 1,200 acres during the past 10 years. Soil moisture sensors help in scheduling irrigation. He is also exploring the use of natural gas to run his five center pivot systems.
“I’m a second generation farmer,” says Jameson. “My wife and I are farming land our ancestors homesteaded in the early 1800s.” He started farming with his father after graduating from the University of Tennessee in 1976. His family raised beef until 1999 when he sold the cattle to concentrate on crops. Jameson also farmed with his brother until 2007 when he bought out his brother’s interests.
Jameson has been active in local organizations. He serves as an elected commissioner for Haywood County and on the board of Haywood County’s Soil Conservation District.
He served on the boards of Mid-South Farmers Cooperative and the Haywood County Boys and Girls Club. He is active in Brownsville’s First United Methodist Church. He was a founder of Haywood Literacy Volunteers. He served on a local Extension advisory committee and as president of the University of Tennessee Alumni Association in Haywood County.