This past September, the family of second-year Haslam Scholar Elle Johnson graciously hosted the scholars at their family farm in Dunlap, Tennessee.
With all of the cohorts represented, we were able to get to know each other a little better over lunch and in between a schedule of activities that included an informal lecture from Mr. Stephan Maupin, the Director of Public Policy at the Tennessee Farm Bureau, one of the day’s co-sponsors. Mr. Maupin’s lecture highlighted the role of the Farm Bureau in protecting farmers’ interests and the agricultural policies implemented to address many of the issues facing local farmers. Mr. Maupin answered questions from scholars regarding genetically modified organisms in food, immigration, and water rights.
Over the course of the afternoon, we had an opportunity to tour the Johnson farm and learn about the beef cattle industry and the many processes involved in beef production. We also learned about the Johnson family history in the region and were able to take in the beauty of nature of the area. We had a fantastic afternoon filled with friends and family, which gave us more time to escape from the business of being a college student.
A big thanks to third-year Haslam Scholar Colleen Ryan for helping organize the event, the local Farm Bureau for co-sponsoring the event, and, of course, to Elle Johnson and her family for welcoming us into their home.