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Thu February 23, 2012
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Tennessee Works: Agriculture Booming

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The economic downturn of recent years has been hard on Tennessee, but even in a recession some corners of the economy continue to prosper.

In a special series of reports we’re calling “Tennessee Works,” WMOT is searching out those places where Tennesseans have done well during the Great Recession.

Dr. Warren Gill heads the School of Agriculture at Middle Tennessee State. He said that nearly every portion of the state’s agricultural sector  has prospered in recent years; in some cases at historic levels.  Grain farmers in West Tennessee are getting top dollar for their crops, while Cattleman in Middle and East Tennessee are selling a lot of beef both stateside and overseas.

"The growth of the international market, the opening of the Pacific Rim countries - after being closed for a number of years - has had a tremendous effect."

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, the cash value of all Tennessee farm commodities sold in 2010  exceeded pre-recession levels by 12.5 percent.

Dr. Gill said Tennessee farmers have done so well in recent years that a mini-boom in equipment sales is underway. Farmers are buying new equipment at a steady clip, while also selling their used equipment for top prices.