Scorecard of Progress toward Governorís Rural Challenge Recommendations for Tennessee Agriculture
Jensen, K. L., R. J. Menard, B. C. English, A. P. Griffith, D. W. Hughes, A. Smith, and T. E. Yu.  2017.  Agri-Industry Modeling & Analysis Group Industry Brief.

Abstract:
Recommendation 1 (advance agriculture, natural resources, and rural infrastructure as TN business priorities) indicators exhibiting positive movement included reduction in the percentage of cropland that is idled (comparing 2012 to 2007 Census of Agriculture), a nearly 20 percent growth in an index of major crop yields from 2011 to 2016, and a 27 percent increase in grain storage capacity. Compared with 2011, investment in the TAEP to assist with technological and infrastructural improvements in the stateís agriculture is 6.71 percent higher (see Recommendation 2 (ensure a positive and predictable policy and regulatory environment). Positive indicators toward Recommendation 3 (expand market opportunities for TN producers and encourage new production) include growth in economic activity from the food and beverage processing industries, growing by nearly 5 percent in real terms between 2013 and 2015. While economic activity from food and processing increased, economic activity from farming and associated activities declined. The share of agricultural commodities exported out of state declined by 3.44 percent between 2013 and 2015; however, the percentage of imported inputs used in food and beverage processing increased by 3.56 percent. Under Recommendation 4 (increase the scope and depth of skilled and educated workforce through career, technical, and higher education), two indicators reflect positive progress toward building a skilled and educated agricultural workforce. The Master Producer programs have certified, in total, more than 18,000 producers since 1993. Four-year agricultural degrees awarded increased from 670 per year in 2013/2014 to 819 in 2015/2016, a 22.24 percent increase.