DRESDEN (April 15) – When former Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture and Gleason native Terry J. Oliver passed away in July, his family knew that rather than floral memorials the farmer, businessman and public servant would prefer gifts go to help others.
Last week the Terry J. Oliver FFA Foundation made their first contribution toward achieving that goal.
Melissa Oliver Overton represented her sister Angie Oliver Morris and mother Marsha as she presented a check covering the costs of three FFA jackets and ties for economically-disadvantaged students from Greenfield School who aspire to participate in regional, state and national events.
“FFA was close to his heart,” Overton said of her father, who spent more than 20 years in state leadership roles focused on farm innovation and agricultural development in Tennessee. “Through the Foundation, we hope to help provide help to any kid in need. He loved for people to succeed and he would want to help in any way that he could.”
Receiving the donated funds was Greenfield ag teacher Matt Humphrey who has seen a surge in FFA interest in the last year. Currently, Greenfield has 69 members including 15 officers and 18 individuals who have chosen to do the additional work required in career development and leadership development events and for which the traditional blue embroidered jacket is necessary.
Weakley County’s Career and Technical Education Supervisor Lindsey Parham points out that a jacket represents an “investment of time and money” and is “very pleased to see the increased interest in Greenfield.”
Humphrey teaches ag mechanics, ag science and animal science. With the recently constructed greenhouse, plant soil science and landscaping will be added in the coming year.
“Commissioner Oliver certainly has a legacy in Tennessee and this continuation of his impact is truly appreciated by my students and the entire FFA community in Weakley County,” said Humphrey of the gift. “We are grateful to the Oliver family.”