Skip to Main Content

UT Institute of Agriculture University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Photos of the Institute of Agriculture

Frequently Used Tools:

UTIA » News Release

News Release

For Immediate Release — December 4, 2009

Thompson Named New Director of Middle Tennessee & Dairy Research
and Education Centers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has named Kevin Thompson as the new director of the Middle Tennessee and Dairy Research and Education Centers.  He will assume his new role in January 2010.

Kevin Thompson

Thompson has most recently served as the Director of Producer Genetics for Tennessee Livestock Producers, Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation in Columbia, Tennessee.  There he facilitated the Tennessee Beef Alliance and established Tennessee’s largest bull-leasing program for TLP. 

But you could say the move to the Institute of Agriculture is a return to his roots. Thompson received both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science from UT, and he worked as a research associate at the Middle Tennessee Research and Education Center (MTREC) for six years.  While at MTREC he was responsible for supervision of beef cattle research and the Central Bull Testing facility.

“Kevin not only brings a great deal of practical agricultural knowledge and extensive livestock experience to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, but he will also be very effective in community outreach and will provide outstanding leadership to the wide array of programs which take place at these two important centers,” says Dr. Bill Brown, Dean of AgResearch.  “The Research and Education Center network is important to our mission, as it allows us to address the diverse needs of agriculture and natural resource production across the varying geographic and climate zones in Tennessee.”

MTREC, which is located in Spring Hill, and the Dairy Research and Education Center in Lewisburg are two of 10 centers across the state which operate as “field laboratories.”  As Center Director, Thompson will be responsible for the management of both facilities, including supervising the execution of research plans developed by UTIA faculty. Current research at the centers includes efforts to improve beef cattle and dairy production, increase efficiency in feed and forage techniques, enhance milk quality and improve management strategies for the production of small fruits and turfgrass.  Both centers also conduct research in agronomic crops.

“My family and I are excited to be returning to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture,” says Thompson, “and once again playing a role in accomplishing the land grant mission of research and education at both the Spring Hill and Lewisburg Centers.”

Thompson is replacing retiring director, Dr. Dennis Onks, who had served as MTREC Director for the past 12 years and Dairy REC Director for the past two.

The Middle Tennessee and Dairy Research and Education Centers are both outdoor demonstration laboratories operated by UT AgResearch, a division of the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. In addition to its agricultural research programs, the UT Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, and UT Extension offices in every county in the state.



Ginger Trice, UTIA Marketing & Communication Services, 731-425-4768,