LEBANON, Tenn., (WKRN) – Tennessee governor Bill Lee embraced his agricultural roots as speaker at a Farmers Appreciation Breakfast at the Wilson County Fair Thursday.
Lee told the group agriculture is a significant industry in Tennessee, making up about 13% of the state’s economy.
“Agriculture has a long rich history in Tennessee,” Lee said. “My family has been involved in Ag for many generations. What’s happening right here is really a celebration of agriculture not just remembering the past but talking about the future – Ag tech, emerging Ag food industry.”
Lee also said it’s important to use advancements in agricultural technology to lure international companies to Tennessee.
“We have a unique asset in Tennessee and that is – particularly in West Tennessee – the row crop industry that we have, the center of the Delta region is ours,” Lee said. “The Delta region is one of the most fertile regions on the globe and for that reason there’s a lot of interest in Tennessee as a leader nationally, which would mean internationally in food production.”
He said Ag education is a part of strengthening rural communities, which is one of his main priorities.
“We have a lot of prosperity in our cities, many of our rural counties are struggling. Our first executive order number one was an accounting of what we’re doing in rural Tennessee and how were going to strengthen those economies,” Lee said.
Lee spoke to the audience inside the Expo center, ahead of another day at the Wilson County Fair.
Fair leaders said attendance is up by 59,788 so far at 281,735, and there have been no security issues since a false report of a shooting last weekend.
The fair opens its gates at 5:00 p.m. Thursday and continues through Saturday.