NASHVILLE – Agriculture Commissioner Charlie Hatcher, D.V.M. announced the appointment of Kacey Troup as a business consultant for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA).
Troup will be responsible for cultivating business opportunities for agritourism farms, including corn mazes, pumpkin patches, pick-your-own facilities, Christmas tree farms, and on-farm retail stores. She will be TDA’s point of contact for the Tennessee Agritourism Association and the Tennessee Christmas Tree Growers Association.
“With her experience, education, and background, Kacey is uniquely suited for this position,” Commissioner Hatcher said. “She understands agritourism holds great value in rural economic development and increasing farm income. We are thrilled to have her joining our team, and we know that she will be an incredible resource to Tennessee’s agritourism businesses.”
Troup grew up on a family-owned agritourism farm in Mechanicsville, Md. that focused on the importance of agricultural education in southern Maryland. Troup previously worked with UT/TSU Extension in Rutherford County with their 4-H Youth Development program and the Rutherford County Farmers Market.
“I have been involved in the agritourism industry since I was six years old when my family diversified our farming operation,” Troup said. “I’ve seen firsthand how vital agritourism is to the economy. People will drive to rural areas for unique experiences. From corn mazes to fresh produce sales to hosting events—Tennessee’s farms offer diverse and educational experiences. Given that agriculture and tourism are the number one and two industries in the state, I am excited to support continuous growth for both in working with Tennessee’s agritourism businesses.”
Troup received a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness, earned a master’s degree in Agriculture Educational Leadership and was a graduate teaching assistant at the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) School of Agriculture. She chartered and served as the first president for the MTSU Agritourism Club, and she was the student coordinator for all MTSU agritourism events. Troup is a member of the MTSU Kappa Delta Sorority’s chapter advisory board and was president of the organization while she was an undergraduate student.
“As Kacey’s professor and mentor for the past six years, I have watched her grow through her education and significant leadership roles within the MTSU School of Agriculture,” Graduate Coordinator Dr. Alanna Vaught said. “Kacey’s leadership qualities, coupled with her passion for agritourism, will make her an asset to Tennessee agriculture. I am proud of her and excited for her future with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.”
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Business Development Division connects business owners and entrepreneurs to resources, offers ideas for innovation opportunities, and facilitates relationships with organizations and agencies that can assist. For more information, visit www.tn.gov/agbusinessdevelopment.