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Owens named Forestry Agribusiness Development Consultant

  neil owens
Neil Owens, new Forestry Agribusiness Development Consultant. Image courtesy of TDA.

NASHVILLE – With more than 13 years of experience in the forestry industry, Neil Owens has been appointed Forestry Agribusiness Development Consultant for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA).

This new position is the result of realignment of resources and staff positions within the Department of Agriculture to better address agribusiness growth and development.

“I believe these changes will help us become more strategic in our efforts to facilitate agribusiness opportunities, particularly in our distressed and at-risk counties in Tennessee,” Commissioner Jai Templeton said. “We are excited for Neil’s new role and opportunities within our department.”

“Neil brings a wealth of knowledge in an important sector that is impacting growth in Tennessee,” Assistant Commissioner for Agricultural Advancement Ed Harlan said. “We welcome Neil to our team as we shift to this new model for marketing and agribusiness development efforts.”

Owens transitions from the role of State Forest Program Specialist with TDA’s Division of Forestry. Owens has a history of forestry consulting in the private sector prior to joining TDA, providing management strategies, promoting sustainable forestry initiatives, and managing more than 20,000 acres of timberland for investment firms and private landowners.

“We are very fortunate for Neil to be working with us in this new capacity,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “He has the professional background and the ability to think toward the future to create economic growth in Tennessee forestry and agriculture.”

“I am very excited about the new position,” Owens said. “I am thankful for the opportunity to work with professionals in this great industry and help promote Tennessee as a great place to do forest products business.”

Owens, a West Virginia native, moved to Tennessee to obtain his Bachelor of Science degree in Resource Management from the University of Tennessee. He enjoys off-roading, golf, and fly fishing in his spare time. Owens and his wife, Dr. Laura Craig-Owens, have a baby boy due Feb. 2.

Published December 26, 2017

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