Press Releases

Haslam OKs Larger Hay Loads on TN Highways

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Oct. 13, 2011:


NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed an executive order allowing haulers of hay to carry larger loads in their trucks as long as they observe safety requirements. The order is in response to drought and extreme weathers conditions in Texas and across the Southeast, which has left some farmers without access to hay for livestock.

“It’s been a tough year for farmers across the Southeast, and we want to be responsive to their needs,” Haslam said. “This order will ensure that much needed hay can be shipped safely and without delay through Tennessee and along our major interstate corridors.”

Gov. Haslam’s executive order increases the gross vehicle weight to 95,000 pounds, not to exceed 20,000 pounds per axle load, for semi truck/trailers. The order also increases the height of trailer loads to 13 feet, 6 inches and the width to a maximum of 14 feet during daylight hours.

The increase in width allows haulers to transport standard six- to seven-foot round hay bales side by side, increasing the capacity being hauled per truck without a permit. The executive order is in effect for 60 days.

Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said the governor’s decision is an important one for the agricultural community.

“The governor’s order will help farmers in our own state who may need hay, and it will ensure that market supply and demand is met,” Johnson said. “Tennessee farmers have seen their share of weather related problems this year, and I applaud the governor for recognizing that farming is a tough but important business in our state and across the region.”

Tennessee is a major producer of hay, ranking 5th in the nation. The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast that Tennessee farmers will produce 1.9 million acres of hay this year, excluding alfalfa, for a total of 4.3 million tons. For more information on Tennessee’s expected crop harvest,



Press Releases

Haslam Names 5 New Members to Film, Entertainment, Music Commission

State of Tennessee Press Release; Sept. 8, 2011:

Governor Haslam, Commissioner Hagerty Announce Board Members for Film, Entertainment & Music Commission

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty today announced board appointments for the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission (TFEMC). The TFEMC board represents entertainment industries across the state in music, film and television.

“This distinguished group of industry professionals brings broad experience and unique perspectives to the board and will help us continue to grow Tennessee’s entertainment industry,” Haslam said. “I’m excited to welcome them, and I appreciate their commitment and willingness to serve as we attempt to expand on the incredible industry talent and infrastructure already in place.”

“In Gov. Haslam’s Jobs4TN plan we identified Tennessee’s entertainment industry as one of the key clusters where our state holds a competitive advantage,” Hagerty said. “We look forward to working with the new board members to create the right kind of business environment in which the entertainment industry can thrive.”

TFEMC board members include:

Mike Curb, Founder of Curb Records/Producer/Songwriter

Chairman of the TFEMC board

Curb has achieved more than 300 No. 1 hits; chairman of the Mike Curb Foundation; founder of the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University, the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University, and the Curb Institute for Music at Rhodes College in Memphis; and is one of three trustee emeriti in the 150-year history of Nashville’s Fisk University. Curb’s name can be found on Nashville’s Music City Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Jay Frank, Senior Vice President of Music Strategy for CMT

Frank oversees music strategy as it relates to all of the network’s on-air and digital music initiatives for CMT,, CMT mobile, games, touring and other businesses. He was the former vice president of Music Programming and Label Relations at Yahoo! Published “FutureHit.DNA” and sits on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Country Music and Leadership Music.

Craig Brewer, Director and Screenwriter

Brewer is Memphis’s most distinctive director and screenwriter. He is also known for using Tennessee music to complement his films. His credits include: writer and director of Hustle and Flow, financed by John Singleton, produced by Stephanie Allain which earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Three 6 Mafia and an Academy Award nomination for lead actor Terrance Howard; Black Snake Moan with Samuel Jackson, Christina Ricci and Justin Timberlake; and Paramount Pictures’ remake of the classic Footloose which stars Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid and Andie MacDowell hitting theaters this October.

David Porter, Songwriter and Producer

Porter is a Grammy Award winning songwriter from Memphis, who worked closely with the late Isaac Hayes to become one of the top songwriting and producing teams in the industry. His songs account for more than 300 million unit sales worldwide. Porter was the first African American staff songwriter for Stax. Some of his successful songs are “Soul Man,” “Hold On I’m Coming,” and “When Something is Wrong with My Baby.” David also includes in his credits “Dream Lover” performed by Mariah Carey and “Getting’ Jiggy Wit It” performed by Will Smith. Porter has also been inducted into the National Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Susan Packard, co-founder of Home and Garden Television (HGTV)

Packard launched HGTV in 1994 to 6.5 million homes in 44 markets. Now Scripps Networks Interactive reaches more than 95 million homes and is seen in more than 175 countries. She has also served as President of Scripps Networks New Ventures and has led a team responsible for the worldwide distribution for the Scripps cable brands. Packard is a member of the Cable Hall of Fame.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by Gov. Haslam to chair this important commission, and I look forward to Tennessee becoming the No. 1 destination for growth-oriented companies in the film, entertainment and music industries,” Curb said.

These board members will serve alongside Carey Nelson Burch, TV agent for My Own Shingle; Rod Essig, agent for Creative Artists Agency (CAA); Rivers Rutherford, songwriter/producer for Universal Music Publishing; and Bruce Shine, mediator & arbitrator for the Law Office of D. Bruce Shine.

They are replacing Scott Borchetta, Ken Levitan, Lynsey McDonald, James Alexander and Dean Deyo.


Press Releases

Early Education Alliance Applauds Haslam’s Response to Pre-K Study

Press Release from the Tennessee Alliance for Early Education; June 9, 2011:

Following is a statement from Diane Neighbors, chair of the Tennessee Alliance for Early Education, regarding Gov. Haslam’s response to the release of SRG’s pre-kindergarten study findings.

I would like to thank Gov. Haslam for his strong statement of support for Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten program. I would also like to thank him for drawing attention to the recently released Vanderbilt/Peabody Research Institute study of Tennessee’s existing pre-K program.

The initial results of this rigorous longitudinal study prove what we have known for years: that children who attend our state’s nationally recognized voluntary pre-K program fare much better than their peers who do not enroll in pre-K.

The study, which is the first of its kind to assess Tennessee’s pre-K program, showed that students who attended pre-K made extraordinary gains in literacy and math skills.

While SRG’s study assessed a pilot pre-K program instituted in 1998 and overhauled in 2005, Vanderbilt’s study assesses the nationally regarded pre-K program currently in place in Tennessee. The SRG report findings suggest that Tennessee’s pre-K program is doing exactly what it was designed to do – prepare our children for kindergarten.

I would like to commend Gov. Haslam and other Tennessee policymakers for their continued support of our existing pre-K program and its quality standards that produce positive results for our youngest students.

For more information about the Vanderbilt study, visit .