Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and Greenhouses open at Discovery Park

UNION CITY, Tenn. — The Discovery Park of America is highlighting some exciting new additions this week.

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.

On Tuesday, a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting was held for the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and greenhouses.

Located on the north side of the park, adjacent to the vineyard and pollinator gardens, one of the greenhouses will be utilized to work with plants that will be used to enhance the park’s landscaping, while another has been designated for educational programs and hands-on experiences for children and adults.

Tuesday’s event brought together community members, park staff, volunteers and supporters, as well as students with Tennessee 4-H and Future Farmers of America.

A keynote address was delivered by Chelsea Rose, executive director of the Tennessee FFA Foundation, and remarks were also given by Jason Alexander, senior vice president of agricultural lending for Farm Credit Mid-America in Tennessee.

“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.”

“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.”

According to a press release, 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.

Click here to find a full list of donors and partners of the Farm Credit Mid-America Education Pavilion and Greenhouses, or here to see more pictures from the event.

For more local news, click here.

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