Tennessee State University’s Agriculture research center sits on an 87-acre site. It caters to the 400 nurseries in the area.
“With it being right here, it has acted on one hand as a preventative fire station, so to speak, for every problem we were about to face,” said Michael Kassees, president of Forest Nursery in McMinnville.
Everything from a federal quarantine on certain insects damaging the plants, to creating new plant life is done at the site.
“The nursery industry is about a $400-million a year industry in the state of Tennessee, so it’s a big component of our industry,” said Dr. Nick J. Gawel.