(Union City, Tennessee, September 19, 2023) — Discovery Park of America hosted the grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting for the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and greenhouses on Tuesday.
The new pavilion and two greenhouses are located on the north side of the park adjacent to Discovery Park’s vineyard and pollinator gardens. One greenhouse will provide an opportunity for Discovery Park’s grounds team and volunteers to work with plants that will be used to enhance the park’s 40 acres of landscaping. An additional greenhouse has been designated for educational programs and hands-on experiences for children and adults.
In attendance at the event were members of the community, volunteers, supporters, staff and students who are members of Tennessee 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Chelsea Rose, executive director of the Tennessee FFA Foundation, was on hand to provide a keynote address.
Remarks were also given by Jason Alexander, senior vice president of agricultural lending for Farm Credit Mid-America in Tennessee. The company is a member of the Farm Credit System and the primary sponsor of the education pavilion.
“Our mission at Farm Credit Mid-America is to secure the future of rural communities in agriculture,” said Alexander. “The key to that is educating the next generation, and this project gives us the perfect opportunity to do so.”
Farm Credit Mid-America exists to secure the future of rural communities and agriculture as a leading provider of reliable, consistent credit and financial services to farmers, producers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.
Other major contributors include the Bayer Fund on behalf of Babette and Ty McConnell, Michelle and Al Creswell, Green Plains, the family of Frank Johnson, Kohler Co., Gail Latimer and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Today, most people are three generations removed from farming and agriculture,” noted Rose. “I’m so grateful for organizations like Discovery Park where young people can actually get their hands in soil, plant seeds and learn more about where our food comes from.”
Pictured left to right: Kris Hooper, Keisha
Hooper, Gaynelle Johnson and Karl Johnson
of the Frank Johnson Family; Scott Williams,
president and CEO of Discovery Park of America;
Jason Alexander, vice president of lending at Farm
Credit Mid-America; Tim Williams, former vice
president of lending at Farm Credit Mid-America;
Roe Hughes, rural business specialist at USDA; Ty
and Babette McConnell and grandchildren, Obion
County farmers; Chelsea Rose, executive director of
Tennessee FFA Foundation; and John Watkins,
grounds director at Discovery Park of America.