The School of Agriculture signed a lease to acquire the Oakley Farm in Livingston, Tenn. The deal, signed on January 1, provides the school with a near 2,000 acres and one of the biggest cattle farms in the state. Pat Bagley, the dean of the School of Agriculture, has big prospects for the Oakley Farm, a place he said, “sticks out like a beauty over the horizon.”
“A lot of agriculture students in bigger cities are limited with what they can experience because of the population and the geography,” Bagley said. “Instead, we’re doing the opposite.”
The farm covers 1,900 acres. By comparison, it is over twenty times the size of Tech’s organic farm, and it is the second largest beef farm in the state.
“One of our big concerns is conservation,” Bagley notes.
Projects are being laid out to prevent soil erosion, create wildlife food plots to attract animals, grow various crops, and among other things to build walking trails for nature goers.
Dr. Bagley hopes to create a diversification for agriculture students, giving them a valuable and enriching experience that is unique to Tech.
Agriculture students will be able to live and work on the farm, and, perhaps, be a place to grow produce.
Grant proposals are in the making to have an “Eagle Brand” produce selection specifically to be sold on campus. Students would be able to buy fresh produce grown by Tech agriculture students
Over the next five years, the agriculture department said they will work to build up this romanticized vision into a living beauty.