Welcome back to the great state of Tennessee. We have hosted the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting several times, and we’re proud to be the host state for the 94th annual meeting in January 2013.
While you’re in Nashville and, I hope, seeing other parts oft he state during your visit, you’ll hear about things like “hot chicken” and “meat and three.” If you don’t know what these are, the friendly folks here will be glad to explain.
You’ll find that our state is diverse. We have every kind of topography from the mountains in the east to the lowlands and cypress swamps of the west. We honor our past with museums like the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States. And we look to our future with cutting-edge research in the life sciences at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, in energy at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and in biotechnology, engineering, genetic research and other fields at our universities and private labs. We’re known for country music, and rightly so, but Tennessee also has a rich heritage of blues and jazz.
We have four full seasons, city and open country,world-class universities and down-home common sense.
In the last two years we’ve experienced floods and, more recently, drought. And yet, our state remains agriculturally productive, with products ranging from cattle and poultry, corn and soybeans to cotton, greenhouse plants and tomatoes. And as important as agriculture is to our state,generating more than $3 billion a year in cash receipts, we’re also No. 1 in auto manufacturing, with Volkswagen and Nissan assembly plants and supporting industries located here.
Can you tell I’m proud of my state? We’ve got a lot going on. I hope you get a good sense of that while you’re here. But, most of all, I hope you feel welcome, because we’re mighty glad to have you.
Enjoy your time in the Volunteer State! As Minnie Pearl would have put it, “We’re just so proud you are coming back!”
–Lacy Upchurch (Tennessee)