At the Milan No-Till Field Day, farmers also will take on another problem in many Tennessee families and communities…hunger.

For the second time, a tour stop titled “Farmers vs. Hunger” will be part of the field day program. It’s an opportunity for volunteers to form an assembly line and package thousands of meals to be distributed to local food banks.

“Around 17 percent of the state’s population is food insecure; this includes about 25 percent of the children of Tennessee,” says Blake Brown, director, University of Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Milan.  “We may not think about it often, but hunger is a real issue in our communities.”

The food to be packaged is a macaroni and cheese meal that is fortified with soy protein and vitamins. Thanks to the soybean’s unique protein content, this meal will be nutritious and substantial for children and adults. Soybeans are grown on more than 1 million acres in Tennessee, and are the largest row crop in the state.

At the last Milan No-Till Field Day in 2012, volunteers packaged more than 17,000 macaroni and cheese meals. This year organizers have significantly increased the goal to 30,000 meals.    

“This is one way we can utilize soybeans grown in our state to help those in need in our community,” says Brown, who is encouraging civic organizations and church groups to stop by the field day to lend a hand.

“Farmers vs. Hunger” will begin at 9 a.m. inside the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum and continue throughout the day. Field day visitors are welcome to come and go between other tour presentations.