Extension and Research

Mobile trailers from TSU and TTU
Mobile demonstrations from TSU and TTU working together for STEM education in Grundy county


Edmund Tetteh in the greenhouse

Graduate student, Edmund Tetteh, checking canola seedlings in the greenhouse.  These will be used to identify genetic differences between varieties.


Harvest 2015 complete

Switchgrass harvest for 2015 in the books on December 8, 2015!


crushing canola
We've got Captain America on our side and he's crushing canola!

Oilseeds growing

Industrial oilseed production by November 20, 2015.


Planting oilseeds

Graduate students, Shivam Chawla and Edmund Tetteh, planting industrial oilseed crops on October 2, 2015.


Alexius Dingle performing titration

Freshman and USDA Scholar, Alexius Dingle, titrates waste cooking oil from surrounding restaurants to determine their potential for biodiesel production.


Harvesting canola

Harvesting canola in June 2015


Ag Day on the Hill with horses

Making friends with the locals thanks to the canola meal from our biodiesel demonstration!


Ag Day on the Hill with snow flurries

It was a snowy day (March 25, 2014) for Ag on the Hill, but we survived!

Canola plant on March 17
As hoped, our canola (pictured on March 17, 2014) is making a comeback!

Counting sunflower seeds

Richard Link (research assistant) counting sunflower seeds on January 29, 2014 from our 2013 research plots.

Canola with winter kill

The polar vortex caused some winter kill in our canola (January 24, 2014) but should still make a comeback in the spring.

Canola plant

Canola plant on November 20, 2013 from first planting around October 1, 2013.

Chris Robbins demonstrating biodiesel production to Glencliff High school students

Chris Robbins demonstrating biodiesel production to Glencliff High School students using our mobile trailer on Nov. 13, 2013.

Harvest Success! at TSU research farm in Ashland City.

Great harvest by the team on November 11, 2013.

Switchgrass harvest at Cheatham Research farm

Switchgrass harvest in Ashland City, TN research farm on November 11, 2013.

Switchgrass in November

Switchgrass plots at TSU Research farm on November 4, 2013.

Priya Saini by the switchgrass plots.

Priya Saini (graduate student) during our final switchgrass harvest for the year on November 4, 2013.


Canola planting

Planting canola on October 29, 2013.  Also planted canola in other plots about 2 weeks and 4 weeks prior to this planting date.


Priya Saini giving her proposal presentation.

Priya Saini (graduate student) giving her proposal presentation on October 24, 2013.


Biodiesel demonstration trailer at Tennessee State Fair

Our mobile biodiesel demonstration trailer at the Tennessee State Fair on September 15, 2013.


Sunflower seeds

Sunflower oilseeds harvested from TSU research farm.


Putting bags on sunflowers to prevent loss from birds.

Richard Link (research assistant) covering sunflowers with bags to prevent seed loss from birds on August 19, 2013.


Sunflowers maturing

Sunflowers at TSU research farm undergoing senescence on July 29, 2013.


NIR instrumentation

NIR instrumentation for switchgrass analysis in Dr. Labbe's lab at UT.


Graduate student preparing switchgrass samples for analysis

Priya Saini (graduate student) preparing switchgrass samples to be run by NIR in Dr. Labbe's lab at UT.


Janiel and seed press

Janiel Jackson (undergraduate student) setting up the seed press to make canola oil.


Canola meal

Canola meal produced with our oilseed press.  It has good protein and can be used as an animal feed.


Biodiesel and glycerin

Biodiesel (top layer) and glycerin (bottom layer) produced in the laboratory.


Mobile biodiesel unit at the farm expo

Talking to stakeholders about biodiesel production at the 9th Annual Small Farm Expo on July 18, 2013 with our new mobile biodiesel demo unit.


Mobile Biodiesel demo unit with windows open

Our mobile biodiesel demo unit is open and ready for some demonstrations!


Mobile biodiesel education demonstration

Our mobile biodiesel demo unit is looking great!


Richard Link and sunflowers

Richard Link (pictured above) has been managing and collecting data from our sunflower plots since they have been planted.  As you can see, we had a great field of blooms on July 16, 2013.


Switchgrass growth

Switchgrass growth between May 29, 2013 (left) and June 24, 2013 (right).


Switchgrass at Cheatham farm 

Switchgrass at Ashland City AREC is coming on strong in its second year of growth.  (June 20, 2013)


Talking about research projects with teachers.

Talking about my switchgrass research with teachers from Glencliff Academy on June 17, 2013.

Demonstration installed in trailer

We got the seed press (left) installed around June 11, 2013. 


Biodiesel processor installed on trailer

 Installed our biodiesel processor in our demonstration trailer on June 3, 2013. Getting ready for the Small Farm Expo July 18th!


Effects of Pastora herbicide on johnsongrass

We applied some Pastora herbicide to our switchgrass fields to get rid of the johnsongrass.  You can see how well it worked.  The switchgrass on the left is doing fine while the johnsongrass on the right is turning color.

Priya sampling switchgrass

Priya Saini (graduate student) selecting switchgrass subsamples during first harvest on May 29, 2013.


Harvesting Switchgrass

First switchgrass harvest on May 29, 2013.  From left to right: Abimbola Allison (graduate student), Richard Link (research assistant), Janiel Jackson (undergraduate student).


Sunflower planting

Priya Saini (graduate student), Richard Link (research assistant), and Janiel Jackson (undergraduate student) planting sunflowers on May 20, 2013.

Applying fertilizer to switchgrass plot

Richard Link (research assistant) applying ammonium nitrate to switchgrass research plot on May 9, 2013.

 Soil sampling

Priya Saini (graduate student) taking soil samples on May 8, 2013

Switchgrass regrowth at TSU farm

Regrowth of switchgrass on April 10, 2013.  This switchgrass was planted last year at Nashville AREC and will be in its second season.

Haulmark trailer with windows open

Our Haulmark trailer from DeKalb Depot arrival on 4/8/2013.  This trailer is for our Mobile Biodiesel Education Demonstration funded through a USDA-NIFA grant.

  Soil sampling switchgrass plots

Graduate student, Priya Saini, and Research assistant, Richard Link, soil sampling switchgrass plots on April 3, 2013.

Cleaning soil probe

Richard Link cleaning soil probe with special soil probe-cleaning tool.

  Dormant planting of switchgrass

Research assistant, Richard Link, doing a dormant planting of switchgrass on March 20, 2013


Switchgrass seeds

With graduate student, Abimbola Allison, assessing switchgrass on May 12, 2011


Abimbola Allison (graduate student) and Tammi Fralick (undergraduate student) harvesting switchgrass on May 23, 2011

No-till planting of switchgrass on May 25, 2011









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