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December 2021
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Food For Thought: Maintain, Don’t Gain

By Mary Parker Draper, Extension Agent – Smith County

The average person puts on some extra pounds in the weeks between the Thanksgiving holiday and the New Year. Unfortunately, weight gained in this short period may take six months or more to lose, and if you had already been trying to shed a few pounds, putting on that holiday weight can really give you the blues.

Take heart. Adding pounds during the holidays is not inevitable. You can enjoy your holiday meals and still face that scale with pride by the New Year. One way you can do that is by moving your resolution date up two months and making a November Resolution to “Maintain, Don’t Gain” this holiday season.

Consider these resolutions:

Make physical activity a part of your daily life. A major contributor to weight gain during holidays is sedentary living. Holiday schedules are tight and exercise schedules are often sacrificed to make time. Don’t make that trade-off this year and pledge to keep moving.

Prioritize healthy living. Dietitians agree that the best way to manage weight is to modify eating habits in such a way that you never feel deprived. Choose foods that you actually enjoy that are also lower in fat, sugar, and calories.

Feel free to fill your plate at holiday feasts, but select fresh fruits, salad greens, and filling veggies instead of sugary desserts, fried foods, mountains of breads, or starchy entrees. You can still eat the “other” foods you enjoy, but take a smaller portion.

Resolve to maintain and don’t gain and you’ll have no regrets come January 1st. Plus, maintaining a stable, healthy weight has many health benefits including managing and preventing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.

If you’re ready to take the Maintain, Don’t Gain pledge, register for the free Maintain, Don’t Gain Healthy Holiday Challenge now through November 12 at https://mdg21.questionpro.com. Join me and UT Extension as we embark on a healthy holiday journey!

The Maintain, Don’t Gain Healthy Holiday Challenge begins November 21st and runs through January 9th. The challenge offers tips about how you can prevent weight gain and stay fit during the busy holiday season. Each week during the challenge, you will receive one email message that will help you to survive and thrive in spite of all the temptations to overeat and be inactive.

Participants also get free opportunities at Smith County Fitness Center and select fitness centers in Wilson County during the challenge just for signing up. The free opportunities end Jan. 9th. For more information on free fitness opportunities associated with the Maintain, Don’t Gain Healthy Holiday Challenge or any other questions, contact Mary Draper, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Smith County. Mary may be reached at mparke33@utk.edu.

Crockpot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 8oz block cream cheese
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can corn (not drained)
  • 1 can Rotel (not drained)
  • 1 can black beans (drained)
  • 1 small can chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in crockpot, and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Submitted by Kathy Allison, Grant FCE Club.

All Creatures Great and Small Art Show at the Depot Saturday, November 13th

Several artists will be featuring their artwork of animals at the Carthage Junction Depot on Saturday, November 13th, 2021. The event will take place from 10am- 4pm. This event is free and open to the public, but donations are gratefully accepted for the Smith County Humane Association, Waggin’ Tails, as well as local animal fostering services.

The artists that will be featuring their work are: Jennifer Tanis, Carey Malone, Amber Givens, Carolyn Ford, Barcley Rhea, and Anne West Towns.

Come out and enjoy these beautiful pieces of art and help support a great cause for the community.

Smith County Weather Report: November 4th, 2021

by Steve Norris, Smith County Insider Weather Correspondent

The weekend is looking sunny with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s, some will  hit the freezing mark at night. 60s are coming next week

We go back on Standard Time  Sunday morning at 2 a.m. So don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed Saturday night. The sun will set shortly after 4:30 on Sunday so it will be dark near 5 p.m.

November 2nd to 3rd 1966, an incredible early-season snowstorm brought 13 inches to Woodbury and 7 inches  to Nashville. On November 6th 2018,  An overnight tornado outbreak spawns at least 9 tornadoes across Middle Tennessee. The strongest tornado caused EF2 damage and killed 1 woman west of Christiana, and another EF2 tornado tracked for 40 miles across Franklin, Coffee, and Grundy Counties.

Smith County Republican Party Meeting November 16th, 2021

Calling all Republicans!!! Please come to the monthly public meeting of the Smith County Republican Party held this month on November 16, 2021 at 7pm. Our speaker this month will be Jason Lawson, the District Attorney for our Judicial District. 

Location – Hotel Walton 308 Main St., Carthage, TN 37030

Please come and hear the latest and participate – November 16, 2021 @ 7pm.

Speaker Jason Lawson

UCDD: Dale Hollow Rural Planning Organization Meeting Set for Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Pursuant to Chapter 442, Tennessee Public Act of 1974, “The Sunshine Law” the Dale Hollow Rural Planning Organization will hold a meeting on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021. The meeting will be held at 10:00 AM (CST) at the Upper Cumberland Development District, located at 1104 England Drive in Cookeville. Anyone interested in attending will need to contact Mark Dudney at (931) 476-4152 or mdudney@ucdd.org for more details. A virtual option for attendance is also available.

The Dale Hollow RPO is responsible for comprehensive transportation planning for Clay, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Smith and Trousdale counties.

This is an open public meeting. To request an agenda, please call Dale Hollow RPO Coordinator Mark Dudney at (931)476-4152. If you need assistance or accommodations due to disability, please contact Mark by Monday, November 15th, 2021.

2021 Veterans Day Parade Will be Held Sunday, November 7th

American Legion Post 57 will hold the 2021 Veterans Day parade on Sunday, November 7th, on Main Street in Carthage, TN. The parade is scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm.

All veterans are welcome to walk with fellow veterans. If you have an antique car, we encourage you to come out and drive one of the veterans who are unable to walk. Other veterans are also able to ride on one of the parade wagons stationed on Carmack. The line up for the parade begins at 1:00 pm on Carmack Ave. The parade will proceed down Main St. from Carmack Ave to the Historic Smith County Courthouse. A ceremony will be held on the Historic Smith County Courthouse steps following the parade.

You are invited and encouraged to come out and line the streets of Carthage in honor of our Veterans! If you are unable to attend the parade, you can watch live coverage of the parade on Smith County Insider’s Facebook Page.

FightFluTN Events Set for November 9th, 2021

Smith County Health Department will hold special “FightFluTN” events November 9 to provide flu shots at no charge to increase the number of people vaccinated against influenza in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Health urges all Tennesseans  ages six months and older who have not yet received a flu shot this flu season to get one as soon as possible.

Smith County Health Department will be offering free flu vaccines on November 9th from 10:00am- 3:00pm at the Smith County Health Department, 251 Joy Alford Way. Smithville, TN 37030

No appointments are needed to get a flu shot during these events. 

Flu shot locations and plans vary by county. Find a map of local #FightFluTN flu shot locations and contact information online at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/immunization-program/ip/flu-in-tennessee/influenza-immunization.html

The Tennessee Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone aged six months and older. Learn more about fighting seasonal flu at www.cdc.gov/flu/consumer/prevention.htm

Smith County 4-H Competes in State 4-H Forestry Judging Contest, 2021


Left to right: Carson Meeks, Kynlee Davis, and Gabe Harville

The Smith County 4-H Senior High Forestry Judging Team competed on Saturday, October 23, 2021, at the State 4-H Forestry Judging Contest held in Knoxville. Representing Smith County were Senior High members Gabe Harville, Kynlee Davis, and Carson Meeks. 

These 4-H members qualified to compete at the state level by placing 2nd in the regional contest in September. They not only had to individually be able to identify trees, insects, and diseases common to our area, but also know how to measure standing timber to determine the board feet of lumber and be able to accurately pace and compass. Additionally, at the state contest, 4-H’ers performed a forestry site evaluation as a team.

Smith County placed 4th in the state with team members Gabe Harville placing 10th and Carson Meeks placing 6th individually.

We are so proud of this team’s hard work and dedication to compete at such a high level! 

A special thank you to Area Forester Jeff Thompson and Joseph Neal for their assistance in coaching this team.

For further information relating to any of the many 4-H activities, events, and projects, please contact Katie Martin in the Smith County office of the University of Tennessee Extension at 615-735-2900.

The 4-H Youth Development Program delivers programs through cooperative efforts of the University of Tennessee, Tennessee State University, and public and private sector volunteers.  4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades 4-12, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

UT Extension News: Bull Evaluation

By Chris Hicks, County Director – UT Extension Smith County

When you understand that half the genetics of your calf crop each year come from the bull, you realize the selection of that one animal is quite significant. Add to the fact that retained heifers from that bull will hopefully become long-term members of the cow herd, and it’s easy to see that buying a bull has long-term implications.  

Sometimes I wonder if we really spend enough time considering what type of bull we need to meet our farm objectives and do enough searching to find an animal that can help us meet those objectives. What makes me wonder that is the fact that often the first question folks ask about a bull is, “Does he qualify for TAEP?” While TAEP has been a wonderful program and has had a tremendously positive effect on cowherds in Tennessee, just because a bull qualifies for that program does not mean he is right for your farm. 

There are several questions to consider when selecting a bull: Are you breeding heifers, mature cows, or both? Are you keeping replacement heifers? Are you retaining ownership of calves? Are you capitalizing on the benefits of crossbreeding? Do you enjoy being chased up trees by animals with a poor  disposition? The bull you choose might be different depending on the answer to these and numerous other questions. 

I am excited about an upcoming event where we can discuss bull selection live on a farm. BHS Angus will be hosting our Bull Evaluation Field Day on November 20 at their farm on Grant Highway from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. We will look at numerous bulls from numerous breeds and discuss some of the things to think about when selecting a herd bull. 

Dr. Troy Rowan, our new Beef Cattle Genetics Specialist, will be on hand to discuss Bull Evaluation & Selection. Dr. Rowan will not only talk about selecting animals based on their genetic potential but will also talk about selection based on the animal’s structure and confirmation. Since money is always something to be considered when buying a bull, we will also have Dr. Charley Martinez with us to talk about The Economic Perspective of Bull Purchasing. 

This field day will be a great opportunity to sharpen your bull evaluation skills, visit with other producers, and enjoy a free meal together, sponsored by the Smith County Cattlemen’s Association. We’d love to have you join us and ask that you please RSVP by November 12 by calling UT Extension at 615-735-2900 so we will have plenty of food. 

Gordonsville UMC Amazing Grace Marketplace November 6th, 2021

Come out this Saturday, November 6th, to the annual Gordonsville United Methodist Amazing Grace Marketplace. Breakfast and lunch will be served with plenty of homemade pies, cakes, cookies, and desserts available. There will also be a vast selection of homemade crafts to choose from.

Petal and Grain Meats, JL 5 Designs, Plexus, Southern Sugars Baking Co, CC Thread Co, Blue Line Farm, Stickers by C-Hoop, Ornaments, Patchwork Tees, Home With Flossi and Heihei will all be there!

Saturday, November 7, from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Good food, good fun, and good fellowship! Don’t miss it!

Blood Drive at New Middleton Baptist Church November 22, 2021

Come give blood at the blood drive located at New Middleton Baptist Church on November 22nd, 2021 from 1-6 pm/

To Schedule your appointment please visit RedCrossBlood.ord and enter the sponsor code NewMiddleton

The drive will be held in the fellowship hall of the church located at Hwy. 141, in Gordonsville TN,

Marketplace Annual Enrollment Starts Today

Visit the Smith County Community Health Center/Health Department to receive free, face-to-face assistance with applying for health insurance! Smith County Community Health Center/Health Department has certified application counselors available to assist with applying for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace for Affordable Care Act plans, TennCare and CoverKids.

Individuals and families may receive help applying, looking at different health insurance plans and enrolling. All health insurance offered through the Marketplace meets the minimum essential coverage requirements.

Counselors will help you learn about plans for which you qualify based on your income and the number of people in your household. You must apply for Marketplace plans during the open enrollment period beginning in November 1, 2021 and running through January 15, 2022.  Open enrollment is only a few weeks, so make sure you enroll/ renew in time to receive coverage for 2022!

You may qualify for a special enrollment period if any of the following happen to you outside of the open enrollment period:  losing existing health insurance; moving; getting married; or having a child. You have 60 days from the time of the event to qualify for a special insurance enrollment! Get help throughout the year from your local health center with enrolling in a special enrollment period.

You may also receive assistance with applying for TennCare or CoverKids any time throughout the year.

Call the Smith County Community Health Center/Health Department today to see about scheduling an appointment.

Lynsey White

Smith County Community Health Center/ Health Department – (615) 735-0242

Food For Thought: Couponing News

By Mary Parker Draper, Extension Agent – Smith County

Turn on the television, browse any store’s website, open the Sunday paper, or look in your mailbox and chances are you will find a mountain of coupons ready for “clipping.” While couponing is big business and a way for shoppers to save on their grocery bill, couponing also helps manufacturers promote and sell additional products while learning about consumers. As a shopper, it is important to think about why you are couponing and how couponing could save you money or tempt you to spend more. Before you grab your scissors or download the latest offer from your phone, consider the following.

According to Dena Wise, former professor and Consumer Economics Specialist with University of Tennessee Extension, manufacturers issue coupons for reasons that include increasing the likelihood that shoppers will purchase an item. “When shoppers see a savings offer on a particular product they use or would like to try, they are more willing to add the product to their shopping cart. This may be a new item the manufacturer wants to introduce, or it may be an established item whose sales have lagged,” said Wise. 

Beyond increasing sales, manufacturers may issue coupons to encourage shoppers to try new items earlier than they might have without the coupon discount. Coupons are also useful in helping manufacturers learn more about their shoppers, determining shopping habits and which shoppers are price conscious.

Coupons can also be helpful for shoppers looking to reduce their grocery bill. However, Christopher Sneed, UT Extension Specialist, says shoppers must think carefully about the purchases they are making even if they have a coupon in hand. To help shoppers save more when couponing, Sneed offers the following tips:

  • Compare prices. Often the in-house brands are less expensive than national brands even with a coupon offer.
  • Be realistic. Coupons may tempt you to purchase more than you need. Be sure to consider expiration dates and whether you have enough room to store extra items. 
  • Be honest. Would you purchase the item if you did not have a coupon offer? Coupon savings mean little if your family will not use what you are buying.
  • Think about your time. Couponing takes effort and planning. Be sure the savings balance with the amount of time you are spending.
  • Stick to your list. Even if you are using coupons, it is important to have a grocery list and to follow that list. Don’t let coupons lead to impulse spending.

If you have the time, coupons can help you save money on the groceries you need for your family. Careful planning along with discipline can help you make the most of coupon offers.

Ice Box Pie

  • 1 packet of unsweetened Kool-Aid (any flavor – strawberry, cherry, or orange works well)
  • 1 can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed milk
  • 1 8 oz. container Cool Whip
  • 1 graham cracker crust

Mix Kool-Aid with Eagle Brand milk. Then fold in Cool Whip. Pour into graham cracker crust. Refrigerate. Submitted by Janice Lynch, Grant FCE Club.

4-H Banquet Celebrates Smith County Youth


Front Row- Reagan Ray, Annabelle Dixon, Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, Tana Harville, Millie Stinnett, RiLynn Tisdale, Kara Brooks, and Makenna Hassler
Second Row- Gage Blair, Henley Dixon, Kynlee Davis, Erin Hensley, Caleb Hensley, Turner Harville, Miley Powell, Abby Purtee, Jubilee Hart, and Maddux Parker
Back Row- Kaylea Keen, CJ Woodard, Abby Malone, Samuel Moss, Greg Dixon, Carson Meeks, Senator Mark Pody, Owen Meeks, Nathan Goodman, Robert Purtee, Gabe Harville, Maicy Loreto, and Dominik Deago

Smith County 4-H hosted its fourth annual 4-H Banquet on Tuesday, October 26, 2021. 4-H members, their families, volunteers, and supporters gathered at the Smith County Ag Center to celebrate our 4-H’ers accomplishments from the previous year. We were pleased to recognize nearly 30 Smith County 4-H members for their outstanding club work, contest participation, and community involvement. 

Smith County 4-H recognized each member present for their accomplishments, along with presenting several additional awards. Tana Harville was recognized as the Smith County Outstanding Jr. 4-H member. Kynlee Davis was named the Outstanding Jr. High 4-H member, and Carson Meeks received the award for Outstanding Senior High 4-H member. The Smith County Cattlemen’s Association received the Friend of Smith County 4-H award for their continued support of the program. 

We would like to especially thank JR Smith for giving our keynote address and Smith County Farm Bureau for sponsoring our meal and helping make our banquet possible! 

The 4-H Youth Development Program delivers programs through cooperative efforts of the University of Tennessee, Tennessee State University, and public and private sector volunteers. 4-H educational programs are offered to all youth, grades 4-12, on an age-appropriate basis, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. For further information concerning the many opportunities that 4-H has to offer the youth in Smith County, call 615-735-2900.

CFMT Awards Scholarships To Smith County Students

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, a charitable organization working to improve the quality of life in 40 Middle Tennessee and three Kentucky counties, announces its scholarship program is helping to support 321 individual students pursuing secondary education at accredited schools throughout the United States.

In 2021, a total of $745,000 has been awarded from 102 different scholarship funds.

The students are attending 151 unique colleges and universities from 31 states, with three international students from Canada. 

“Getting an education is one of the most important milestones in life, but for many, it comes with a great burden,” said Ellen Lehman, president of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “We feel honored to help students receive a quality education, made possible by donors who wish to make a difference. It is a privilege to connect generosity with need in this way.”

Congratulations to the 2021 scholarship recipients from Smith County:

Grace Harville, of Pleasant Shade, from Smith County High School, received the Pauline Gore Scholarship to attend the University of Tennessee.

Dominique Hebert, of Pleasant Shade, from Smith County High School, received the Pauline Gore Scholarship to attend Middle Tennessee State University.

For a complete list of scholarships and the online application, visit The Community Foundation’s website at www.cfmt.org/scholarships. The application opens annually each January for hopeful, college-bound students to apply.

The Community Foundation scholarships, established by individuals, companies and civic groups, assist students with tuition and other school-related expenses. Each year, The Community Foundation scholarship committee reviews applications on behalf of donors who entrust The Foundation with administering the annual awards.

The scholarship committee carefully considers applicants’ academic records, test scores, extracurricular activities, work experience, community involvement, and personal recommendations.

About The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee, three in Kentucky, and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit www.cfmt.org.