New Teaching/Learning Hub for CVM

Featured image: UTIA administrators and CVM students, faculty and staff celebrate a physically distant groundbreaking for the new Teaching and Learning Center on Joe Johnson Drive.

Construction crews broke ground in October for an extension to the UT College of Veterinary Medicine. Located on Joe Johnson Drive adjacent to the college complex, the $10 million Teaching and Learning Center will contain the college’s Clinical Skills Simulation Lab, a 130-seat central lecture hall, new teaching laboratory classrooms and informal group study areas. The center also will connect directly with Pendergrass Library, creating convenience for students and faculty.

Made possible by the state of Tennessee and philanthropic gifts from John and Ann Tickle, the Teaching and Learning Center will be a state-of-the-art hub for current and prospective students. Completion of the center is targeted for spring 2022. The UT College of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 30 veterinary colleges in the U.S., and this addition will serve as one more reason for prospective veterinarians to choose Tennessee for their home and future.

College Roadshow Comes to Visit

UTIA was highlighted for a recent episode of “U.S. Farm Report”—part of its “College Roadshow” that aired in more than 150 television markets.

UTIA is one of six schools featured this fall. The segment included interviews with talented students in the Herbert College of Agriculture about their studies and future plans as well as how they’re navigating academics during the pandemic.

The program also includes a virtual roundtable with agricultural and resource economics faculty, and stories about food science. These stories include efforts to develop and market “Power T” cheese and the science behind the favor of Tennessee whiskey.

Check out the show online at

Acres of green farmland in the valley of the Appalachian mountains
The AgResearch and Education Center at Greeneville is refocusing its efforts. Research is transitioning beyond tobacco to commodities of more interest to producers in the region, like forage, cattle and hemp. The name of the center has changed, too. It’s now the Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.

Outreach Expands with Regional Projects

Faculty with UT Extension received two U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to provide leadership and coordination to efforts to benefit regional rural communities.

Heather Sedges, associate professor of family and consumer sciences, is leading the effort to develop a Southern Region Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to improve behavioral health by providing stress-management assistance for people in farming, ranching and other agriculture-related occupations as well as assistance for their families. The $7.2 million effort spans 13 states and two territories.

Liz Eckelkamp, the UT Extension dairy specialist, and Hal Pepper, a financial specialist with the Center for Profitable Agriculture, have received a $6 million USDA grant to assist dairy producers in Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina with developing diversified income streams, including through innovative value-added products.

students work on packaging aged cheese in face masks, hairnets and protective gloves
Herbert College of Agriculture students learn the value of on-farm creameries by working and learning at Sweetwater Valley Farm in Loudon, which is owned and operated by John Harrison (Knoxville ’81).