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Hatcher named agriculture commissioner

Former State Veterinarian succeeds Templeton in top post
Story by: Chris Villines 12/31/2018


Cows come in for their afternoon milking at Hatcher Family Dairy in College Grove. Dr. Hatcher is the fifth generation of his family to farm this land.
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Dr. Charlie Hatcher, a 10th-generation farmer, fifth-generation Tennessee farmer, and veterinarian from Williamson County, has been named the 38th commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) by Governor-elect Bill Lee.

The announcement was made by Lee during his appearance at the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation annual banquet Dec. 3.

“Charlie brings tremendous perspective about our state’s rural resources and agricultural way of life,” said Lee. “What happens in rural Tennessee matters to all Tennesseans and Charlie has the experience to carry out the administration’s key priorities in agriculture and rural economic development.”

Dr. Hatcher served as the State Veterinarian for TDA since 2009. In that role, he protected the health and welfare of animals within the state, as well as promoting the marketability of animals and animal products.

On the farming side, he serves as the general managing partner of Hatcher Family Dairy in College Grove, which was established in 1831. Since 2007, Hatcher Dairy has been bottling its own milk and selling the product at its on-the-farm dairy store and other retail outlets.

Dr. Hatcher is also the general managing partner for Williamson County-based Rock-N-Roll Farms and Battle Mountain Farm, and is the owner of Rock-N-Country Veterinary Services in College Grove.

Dr. Hatcher received his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a B.S. in Animal Science from Middle Tennessee State University.

“I am honored that Governor-elect Lee has charged me with serving our state as the head of the Department of Agriculture,” said Dr. Hatcher. “Being a 10th-generation farmer, I know that agriculture impacts all Tennesseans, and I will ensure that we have the best ag economy in any state in the country.”

The new Commissioner lauded predecessors Jai Templeton and Julius Johnson for “laying a foundation that is just tremendous.”

“The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is in fine shape,” he said. “I’m excited to death because Bill [Lee] is a farmer who, like me, has a great passion for agriculture. We want Tennessee to be a leader in agriculture innovation and technology, and we think that can happen.”

Dr. Hatcher and his wife of 40 years, Sharon, reside on the family farm in College Grove. Their children, Jennifer and Charles, also live on the farm with their respective families and each has a career in agriculture.

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