Russians visit local farms

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Visiting Sam Parolini's Hidden Hollow [goat] Farm on Fishing Ford Road at Belfast are, from left, Giorgi Mikadze, Karine Kovsepyan, Rick Skillington, Tanya Trostel, Irine Skhirtladze, Artur Varzhapetyan, Alexander Odishvili, Karine Grigoryan and Curtis Melton.

Government regulation of food processing from pasture through production houses were topics of discussion among visitors to Marshall County from the Republics of Georgia and Armenia, their translator said last week.

They were here "'to learn about food safety,'" Alexander Odishvili, senior specialist with the National Service of Food Safety, Veterinary and Plant Protection of Georgia, said through an interpreter. "'What laws do you have about systems working and slaughter houses?'"

Interpreter Tanya Trostel said, "They'd like to know; 'If there's something wrong, what are the penalties and who controls it?'"

Responding to such questions were Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett, the immediate past president of the Marshall County Farm Bureau, Rick Skillington, county director for the University of Tennessee's Agricultural Extension Service here, and Dr. Curtis Melton, professor emeritus and meat scientist with UT's extension service office in Rockford, Tenn.

Goat, cattle and horse farms were visited by the Russians after they arrived in Lewisburg.

See Wednesday's Tribune for the complete story.