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Farm Bureau elects Upchurch

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

FRANKLIN -- Tennessee Farm Bureau delegates attending their 86th Annual Convention Tuesday at Franklin's Cool Springs Marriott re-elected Cumberland County beef farmer Lacy Upchurch as president of the nation's largest state Farm Bureau organization.

Upchurch was elected unanimously by the voting delegate body to serve his second two-year term as the seventh president of the 629,207 family members Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation.

Upchurch has served as the organization's president since December 2005. He has headed up numerous committees at the state level, serves as a member of the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors, as well as having been his county's president for many years. He recently returned from a trade mission trip to China looking for agricultural trade possibilities with Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen.

In his annual president's address to the voting delegates, Upchurch said, "As farmers, most of us have had a very difficult year. Senator Lamar Alexander while visiting one of our member's farm this past summer called it the 'double whammy' -- the Easter freeze and then the drought.

"It's very easy to think negative thoughts and take for granted how blessed we are as farmers and especially as a Farm Bureau organization."

Upchurch is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, receiving his B.S. and master's degrees in animal science. After graduation, he began his agricultural career with the UT Extension Service as a county agent in Madison and Cumberland counties.

He left the extension program to become a full-time farmer and began a successful swine operation. Upchurch later moved more into beef cattle production and currently is one of the county's major producers.

Others re-elected to the board of directors by the voting delegates were: vice-president Danny Rochelle of Nunnelly, Jeff Aiken from Telford, Charles Hancock, from Bumpus Mills, Linda Davis from Rutherford, Malcolm Burchfiel from Newbern, Eric Mayberry from Hurricane Mills, Bob Willis from Hillsboro, Dan Hancock from Smithville, David Mitchell from Blaine and Mrs. Jane May, State FB Women's Chairman.