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UT Gardens Bicentennial Heritage Festival


Visitors at the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center learn from a local blacksmith.

Blake Brown, Director of the Milan AgResearch and Education Center gives tour of the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center. Brown lived on the property as a child, while his father was director.

Members of the Tennessee River Artist Blacksmith Association
Info from Julia Ewoldt

On Saturday October 9, 2021, UT Gardens in Jackson, Tenn. hosted a Bicentennial Heritage Festival, celebrating more than 200 years of agricultural history in Madison County, Tenn. with exhibits, demonstrations, and presentations about the agricultural and rural history of west Tennessee.

Speakers included Jamie Evans and Dr. Allan Houston of Ames Plantation; Timothy Poole, Park manager at Pinson Mounds; Amy Spencer with Tenn. Wildlife Resource Agency; and Scott Williams, President of Discovery Park of America.

The outdoor event featured twenty vendors showcasing blacksmithing, beekeeping, leatherworking, woodturning and traditional music. There were presentations on Davy Crockett, wildlife in Tennessee, Native American farming and more.

Attendees could take wagon tours of the facility to learn about the research that has contributed towards the agricultural success in West Tennessee. Inside the main building, quilts by the Peace by Piece Quilt Guild were displayed and there was a drawing for a quilt. Food was available for purchase through local food trucks and the 4-H booth.

Julia Ewoldt commented about the day: “Overall, it was a great event. I came home a little more knowledgeable about rural life and agriculture in West Tennessee, and a little happier, too.”

Established in 1907, the West Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center is the oldest AgResearch center in the University of Tennessee System. It is known for its researchers’ work in ornamentals, turfgrass, and horticultural crops.

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