Raising healthy hardwoods. Producing quality beef. Growing fresh fruits and vegetables in your own backyard. These are just a few of the topics Tennesseans can learn about at the 2009 University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Field Days.

Each field day season provides producers and consumers with the latest information in agriculture and gardening. Between May and October, eight field days plus a number of special events will take place at UT AgResearch and Education Centers across the state. At each event, UT experts will bring their latest scientific findings to the field.

Visitors can see new demonstrations, examine research trial results and speak with university specialists to get up-to-date recommendations on topics like beef production, forestry, turfgrass management, fruit and vegetable production at home and crop production on the farm. In addition, many field days feature a trade show of vendors who exhibit the latest technologies or artisans who exhibit their creations for the garden and home.

The 2009 field day season kicks off with two new events. Organic vegetable production will be featured at a new educational event in Knoxville at the East Tennessee AgResearch and Education on May 15, and “Tennessee Healthy Hardwoods” premiers May 30 at the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center at Oak Ridge.

The complete schedule is as follows:

May 15, Organic Vegetable Production, East Tennessee REC, Knoxville.

May 30, Tennessee Healthy Hardwoods, Forest Resources REC, Oak Ridge.

June 11, Beef & Forage, East Tennessee REC, Blount Co.

June 16, Fruits of the Backyard, Middle Tennessee REC, Spring Hill.

June 25, Tobacco, Beef & More, Highland Rim REC, Springfield.

July 9, Summer Celebration, West Tennessee REC, Jackson.

July 16, Tobacco & Forage Production, Greeneville REC.

Aug. 4, Steak and Potatoes, Plateau REC, Crossville.

Sept. 3, Turfgrass, East Tennessee REC, Knoxville.

Two previously scheduled events, the Dairy Field Day on June 2 in Lewisburg and the Making Forages Work Field Day on July 23 in Spring Hill, have been cancelled for 2009.

The UT AgResearch Field Days were originally created to be hands-on educational tools for the state’s farmers, who continue to fully utilize the events. Adding to the success are field days that cater to a different sector of agriculture, the homeowner. The events focus on home gardening and landscaping. Last year almost 20,000 Tennesseans took advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the UT experts.

A complete listing of times and locations is available at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Web site. Additional information for each event will be posted as it becomes available. Make plans now to attend!