June is the month for the official start of summer, and three University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture events are scheduled to herald the occasion.

Sponsored by the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station system, the events are free and open to the public. The Experiment Station system manages 10 research and education centers across the state. Each facility is a working outdoor laboratory.

June 12 is the date for the Beef and Forage Field Day at the East Tennessee Research and Education Center in Knoxville. This event generally attracts 200 or more beef cattle producers from the region and features frank discussions of how producers can improve the genetics of their herd and other techniques for enhancing profits.

For more information, watch the Web site: http://knoxville.tennessee.edu/.

Fruits of the Backyard is a new field day topic for the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center in Spring Hill. On June 17 experts from around the region will explore production of commodities for homeowners. Commercial producers may learn a thing or two as well. Visit the Web site: http://middletennessee.tennessee.edu/ for details.

Finally, methods to enhance the production of tobacco, beef and other commodities will be examined at the Tobacco, Beef and More Field Day at the Highland Rim Research and Education Center in Springfield on June 26.

In addition to tobacco and beef, this event will also include a discussion of switchgrass opportunities for biofuels and no-till tomato and sweet corn varieties. The assembly of a drip irrigation system for vegetable and fruit production will also be demonstrated. Information about this event can be found online at http://highlandrim.tennessee.edu/.

In addition to the research programs of the Tennessee Agricultural Experiment Station, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.

For a complete schedule of field days visit: http://www.agriculture.utk.edu/news/FieldDays/