Atop a picturesque hill in Hancock County sits the newest “Everywhere You Look, UT” mural and the 45th installation in the statewide campaign. The red barn baring the iconic University of Tennessee System logo belongs to third-generation farmer and Hancock County native Brian Dalton.
The 53-acre farm showcases a 60-foot-wide mural visible to about 1,077 passersby a day on Tennessee Highway 131.
“It is one of the most heavily traveled roads in Hancock County,” Dalton said. “Although my family did not attend the University of Tennessee, we are actively involved with the agriculture programs offered at our local Hancock County UT Extension Office.”
Dalton and his family have been residents and producers in Hancock County for several years. The family farms an additional 200 acres for the cow-calf beef operation. Calves are grown using sustainable techniques. His father, brother and uncle all farm in the county, too.
“To me the mural means that agriculture is everywhere you look,” said Dalton. “Agriculture is the basis of every community. I feel that with this mural as a reminder that when we eat, breathe or drink—it all comes through groups of people who are involved in agriculture and those who are sharing this knowledge with the future generations.”
The Natural Resources Conservation Service named Dalton Farmer of the Year in 2017 for his rotational grazing and management practices.
He is certified in beef quality assurance, participates in the Master Beef Program, certified as a private pesticide applicator and also participates in the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program. In addition to being a full-time farmer, Dalton also works for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“I hope this mural strikes interest in people about UT in general, but more specifically the work of Extension itself,” said Hancock County UT Extension Agent Alyssa Large. “I hope his neighbors and community members question him about it and it gives the Extension an opportunity to serve them too.”
Since launching in 2018, the “Everywhere You Look, UT” campaign includes murals in 41 counties across the state. The UT System has a goal of painting a mural in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties by 2030. Costs of the first mural in each county are covered by the University.
To learn more about the mural in Hancock County or to submit a location for consideration, visit the campaign website.