First Lady Highlights Tennessee’s Nursery Industry
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | 08:15am
NASHVILLE – Tennessee First Lady Crissy Haslam met today with nursery growers and industry leaders and toured local nurseries to highlight Tennessee’s horticultural industry.
Mrs. Haslam met with a small group of nurserymen at Boskey’s Grille in Manchester for a brief discussion on industry issues and to enlist their support for the landscape renovation project at the Tennessee Residence in Nashville.
[img:01 title=First Lady Crissy Haslam and Commissioner Johnson tour Randall Walker Farms Nursery in Morrison, TN.]“Tennessee has a reputation worldwide as a producer of high quality horticultural products, so it’s only natural that we turn to Tennessee growers first to help with the landscape renovation project at the Tennessee Residence,” Haslam said. “I hope this project also brings much needed attention to an important industry that has had its difficulties in recent years.”
Mrs. Haslam hosted the First Lady’s Luncheon in October last year to announce the next phase of the Tennessee Residence Foundation’s preservation and renovation project and kick-off private fundraising efforts for the landscape project. More than 700 men and women from across the state attended the event, demonstrating their support. The foundation, chaired by Mrs. Haslam, will focus their private fundraising efforts to support the project, intended to bring the Residence grounds back to their original design and health, while focusing on vegetation original to the home and native of Tennessee.
State Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson joined Mrs. Haslam as they met with industry leaders and toured Randall Walker Farms and Hale and Hines Nursery in Warren County, which is known as the “Nursery Capital of the World.”
“Nursery and greenhouse products are among our state’s top agricultural commodities, generating nearly $300 million annually in farm income,” Johnson said. “We appreciate the First Lady highlighting this important industry sector by involving them in this project and recognizing the value of quality, locally grown products.”
Terry Hines of Hale and Hines Nursery in McMinnville said he welcomes the First Lady’s visit. “We’re happy that Mrs. Haslam has come to McMinnville to learn more about our industry. We’re honored that she’s looking to us for help with the Tennessee Residence landscape project. We have a great local industry with good people who produce a great product, so any attention is appreciated as we look to expand markets for our products.”
Tennessee has more than 700 nurseries, 300 greenhouses, 2,500 plant dealers and 400 landscapers certified across the state, producing 21.7 million containers of plants and 48,000 acres of growing area. Tennessee nurseries sell wholesale, retail and farm direct. For help on finding quality Tennessee nursery and greenhouse products, visit www.picktnproducts.org.