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Tennessee prison land to grow hay for state university

July 17, 2020 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee State University and the state Department of Correction signed an agreement this week to grow hay on prison land that will be used to feed livestock for the school’s agricultural sciences program.

The agreement is expected to save the university upward of $50,000, according to a news release from the Correction Department.

“The TSU-TDOC hay production partnership supports the small-scale cattle research programs at TSU, benefiting the animal science students and livestock producers.” TSU professor Richard Browning said in a news release.

The agreement also saves money for TDOC thanks to reductions in equipment, labor and fuel costs.

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TDOC currently uses the land near the old Charles Bass Correctional Complex in Nashville for vegetable production, with large swaths of grasslands that are regularly mowed but otherwise unused.

Growing and harvesting the hay will be part of the Correction Department’s agricultural/maintenance program for inmates, according to the department.