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(SPRING HILL, Tenn.) - Robert W. Holland, Jr., has been appointed Director for the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture. A partnership between the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation and University of Tennessee Extension, the center's mission is to add value to

Tennessee's economy through new, expanded and improved processing and marketing of agricultural commodities and farm resources.

As director, Holland - who goes by the name “Rob” - will be responsible for leading and managing the educational programs offered by the Center for Profitable Agriculture. He will work with other staff members to extend information from faculty at the University of Tennessee and from other state value-added centers to individual entrepreneurs, producer groups, commodity associations, and other state and federal agencies. The center offers one-on-one assistance with value-added projects, conducts educational programs for groups, and collaborates with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development and others to conduct projects focused on adding value to agriculture and forest products.

Holland joined UT Extension in 1993 as an area specialist in farm management. In 1998, he was appointed Assistant Extension Specialist in the Agricultural Development Center, which grew to become the Center for Profitable Agriculture and moved from Knoxville to Spring Hill in 2002.

Since 2002, Holland has served as a financial feasibility specialist for the center and has authored numerous publications, news articles, and teaching curricula. He has helped to develop project reports and feasibility summaries for many farmers and value-added entrepreneurs across the state, evaluating ideas ranging from specialty food products to agritourism enterprises to new forest products.

Dr. Charles Goan, interim dean of UT Extension, praised Holland's appointment. “I am confident that Rob will provide excellent leadership and will continue the good work that the center has become known for in the state, in the region, and nationally.” Goan also voiced the University's appreciation for the continued partnership with the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation to support the center. “The partnership between UT Extension and the Farm Bureau is serving our clientele well. With Rob's guidance, we look forward to new projects, opportunities, and ideas that the center will generate in the years to come.”

Lacy Upchurch, president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, echoed Goan's sentiments. "We are excited that Rob Holland has accepted the position as the new director for the Center for Profitable Agriculture," Upchurch said. "We have had a great opportunity to serve the agricultural industry of our state as a partner with UT in offering the programs available through the center. Since its early beginnings, Rob has been an important part of the many value-added successes that the center has implemented on Tennessee's farms. We look forward to many more under Rob's leadership."

Holland praised his co-workers and CPA partners in his first statement as director, saying, “I am excited to provide leadership to a great team of co-workers and to our exceptional partners with other agencies.”

Holland holds a master's degree in agricultural economics from UT Knoxville and a bachelor's degree in agricultural business from UT Martin. His work has been recognized with awards at the state, regional and national levels.

Holland replaces Dan Wheeler, former state Commissioner of Agriculture and first director for the center. Wheeler retired June 30, 2007, after years of public service.

For more information about Holland or the Center for Profitable Agriculture, visit the center's Web site:


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