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University of Tennessee Hosts First Bobwhite Project Field Day

Craig Harper (Associate Extension Professor) and John Gruchy (Graduate Research Assistant) of the University of Tennessee hosted the first USDA-NRCS/MSU Bobwhite Restoration Project Field Day on June 22, 2006. The “Early Successional Habitat Field Day” was held at Mayfield Farm in McMinn County Tennessee, one of seven study sites used in the early succession habitat research conducted by the University of Tennessee and partially funded by the USDA-NRCS/MSU Bobwhite Restoration Project. The event featured morning and afternoon tours with a break at lunch for technical sessions and vendor booths. Topics included native warm-season grass (nwsg) establishment and management, establishing quality early succession habitat using the seedbank, bobwhite biology, and prescribed fire management among others. More than 150 natural resources professionals and private landowners were in attendance. Vendor booths from Roundstone Native Seed Inc., Turner Seed Inc., BASF, Tekota Land Clearing and Vermeer Equipment Co. (Gyro Tracs), Quail Unlimited, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and NRCS showcased the latest technologies and information for managing quail habitat. Private landowners attending the Field Day owned or managed lands in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Mississippi and accounted for 26% of total attendance. Natural resources professionals, including 24 NRCS professionals, from 13 agencies were present, comprising 74% of attendance. While the Field Day venue was filling, lunch provided by the Mayfield family was even more impressive; including ribs, chicken, and numerous side dishes, and to top it off, Mayfield Dairy ice cream!

Download the event summary and participant reviews Here.

For more information, contact:

Craig A. Harper
Associate Professor / Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries
University of Tennessee
2431 Joe Johnson Drive, Room 274
Knoxville, TN 37996-4563
Phone: (865) 974-7346


A full crowd! Over 150 natural resource professionals and private landowners attended the Field Day.

Craig Harper

John Gruchy

Craig Harper (Associate Extension Professor, UTK) and John Gruchy (Graduate Research Assistant, UTK) describe some of the techniques they used to establish and manage native warm season grass stands to provide optimum bobwhite habitat.

Mike Hansbrough

Mike Hansbrough (Wildlife Biologist, TN NRCS) discusses his “5-Star Hotel” philosophy of bobwhite management.

Craig Harper

Craig Harper describes understory management techniques to enhance early succession habitats within hardwood forests.

Gary Bates

During part of the afternoon session, Gary Bates, UT Extension Forage Specialist, talked about how native warm season grasses can be used as forage to significantly enhance weight gains of cattle.

Jim Giocomo

Jim Giocomo, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at UT, discusses the benefits of NWSG as songbird habitat.

Chris Wolkonowski

Chris Wolkonowski (Wildlife Biologist, TN NRCS) and Mark Gudlin (Private Lands Liaison, TWRA) discuss the importance of field border habitats in today’s farming landscape and their availability in Farm Bill conservation programs.


Participants listen as Steve Roark (Area Forester, TN Division of Forestry) and Lee Woodall (Wildlife Biologist, BASF) discuss forest management practices to enhance bobwhite and early succession songbird habitat.

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