Sustainable Ag Program Presented at Discovery Park by The Nature Conservancy and Others


Mitchell Hora, an Iowa farmer and the founder of the ag startup Continuum Ag, spoke about sustainable agriculture to a large group gathered in the Simmons Bank Ag Center at Discovery Park on Friday. It was not his first appearance in the exhibit on innovation in agriculture located in the center; Hora’s photo can be found on the wall behind him among the other photos of hundreds of people working in agriculture today. A video about his work is also included in the section of the exhibit on AgLaunch.

The event included additional speakers from The University of Tennessee, The University of Missouri, and Quail Forever and focused on risk mitigation through on farm conservation practices. Local Tennessee farmer Matt Griggs also presented and offered his perspective and unique experiences.  The event was held by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the Tennessee Corn Growers Association, Quail Forever and the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.

“Food production makes up nearly half of our global habitable land area.  And Tennessee is no different, with nearly half of our land in farms,” said Zach Luttrell, director of agriculture for Tennessee and Kentucky at The Nature Conservancy. “Farm conservation is critical to goals that we have related to protecting biodiversity and coping with changing weather patterns.  Ultimately, we want to make conservation practices on the farm make more sense to farmers and part of achieving this objective is spreading knowledge through collaborative outreach like today’s event at Discovery Park.”

The Nature Conservancy is most known for its land protection work, having touched around 100 million acres across globe.  Since 1978 in Tennessee, The Nature Conservancy has helped to create or expand 31 state parks and natural areas, 20 state Wildlife Management Areas, and 9 national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, in addition to establishing their own system of nature preserves.  And beyond land protection, The Nature Conservancy also maximizes it ability to effect change at a scale that matters by developing real-world solutions through collaborative partnerships.