Minton Recognized for Excellence in Service
NASHVILLE – Governor Bill Lee has recognized Terry Minton of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture with the Governor’s Excellence in Service Award. The biannual award recognizes outstanding state employees who are at the forefront of improving the way Tennessee State Government delivers services.
Minton has worked with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) for 36 years and has served as the Commodity Distribution Administrator in the Administration and Grants Division for the last 24 years. As administrator, she works to make sure Tennesseans of all ages have food through two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition assistance programs—the Tennessee Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Distribution Program for schools.
“Terry’s efficiency in working with our food distribution programs is remarkable,” Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. said. “Getting nutritious food to schoolchildren and low-income families is one of TDA’s critical functions. This was never more important than last year when Terry and her team met challenges brought on by the pandemic. Her attitude, responsiveness, and agility attribute to her long and successful service.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic increased need for healthy foods for vulnerable populations, an additional $5.2 million federal funding was allocated to food assistance programs. Minton administered the influx of dollars and reporting requirements without additional staff or resources while she and her staff adapted to a remote work environment.
Minton has a clear pattern of creative thinking, innovating processes, and developing solutions. In 2014, she worked with USDA to develop a rebate project to offset schools’ expenses. TDA issued rebates to schools using USDA administrative funds that went unspent at the end of the fiscal year. This additional funding enabled schools to reduce their warehousing expenses. The rebates have grown to $1.4 million per year.
“Healthy meals aren’t readily available for everyone,” Minton said. “Food distribution and assistance for low-income families is crucial for many across the state. It’s fulfilling to see how we are serving families and I’m proud to be a part of the food distribution programs that meet needs for families and for agricultural producers.”
Terry and her husband, Phil, live in Nashville and have three grown children and two grandchildren.