From the Desk of
J. Michael Cross
We recently were visited by Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture, Jai Templeton and some of his Department of Agriculture Staff. In a joint meeting with Mayor Davis and Staff, Agriculture Extension Agent John Gunter and County Officials, we met in the Economic and Community Development Conference Room in the Fentress County Courthouse. Commissioner Templeton provided us with updates and information important to Fentress County and the state. Commissioner Templeton was just recently appointed to his position by Governor Haslam following the retirement of former Commissioner Julius Johnson, a native of Fentress County.
A huge part of our discussions revolved around Fentress County’s current role in agriculture. Presently, Fentress County has a total of 536 family farms utilizing a total of over 90,000 acres. The average farm size is around 170 acres. The total yearly market value of Fentress County’s farm products exceed $41,000,000.00 per year, with crops totaling about 3.7 Million per year and livestock topping out at over 37 Million per year. Fentress County is one of the top beef producers in the state.
We appreciate the Commissioner’s interest in Fentress County, and his taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit with us. These face to face meetings with state officials are crucial to our future and the long term effects on Fentress County.
Additionally, last week our Fentress County Chamber of Commerce received its yearly update on Tourism in Fentress County. Since launching our “Tourism Initiative” between Fentress County Government and the Chamber of Commerce, we are pleased to see positive increases in Tourism dollars coming into the county. In 2016, Fentress County generated almost 12.5 million dollars in direct tourism expenditures. Presently, the tourism industry has generated 90 full time jobs in Fentress County with a payroll of over 2 million dollars. Tourism has created over $850,000.00 in local tax revenue.
Further, each Fentress County household pays about $120.00 les in local county taxes because of tourism. Combing both local and state taxes, tourism saves every Fentress County household over $220.00 in taxes each year. We appreciate the continued efforts of our Chamber of Commerce staff, Director Leann Smith and Tourism Director Misty Stephens for their dedication and hard work.
We can be reached at 879-7713. Executive Assistant Amanda Hicks can also be reached at vog.n1513115295Tytnu1513115295oCsse1513115295rtneF1513115295@skci1513115295H.adn1513115295amA1513115295. The Fentress County Commission meets every third Monday at 6:00 p.m. following a 5:00 o’clock work session. All meetings are open to the public.