Groundbreaking for State-of-the-Art Metrology Laboratory

Thursday, September 08, 2016 | 2:56pm

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture officially kicked off construction of its new metrology lab with a groundbreaking ceremony at Ellington Agricultural Center on Wednesday. Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton welcomed state and federal officials to tour the site of the project which has been many years in the planning stages. The construction of the new lab is a realization of the long-time vision of many key individuals including former Commissioner of Agriculture Julius Johnson.

“I am grateful for the leadership of Governor Haslam, former Commissioner Johnson and the state legislature for recognizing the value of this investment.” Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said.  “This new facility will bring Tennessee back to fully recognized status with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, thus ensuring equity for the consumer and a level playing field for industry and commerce in Tennessee. This is an investment that will continue to support and spur Tennessee’s economy forward.”

The expansive laboratory will include the most current equipment and testing capabilities to ensure fairness in the marketplace. Businesses that depend upon certified scales, meters and temperature measuring devices will significantly benefit from the services that will be available at the laboratory. 

The lab will be constructed to meet the most stringent environmental conditions necessary for accurate metrological determinations. As a result, once the building is completed and additional metrologists are hired, it will take up to three years for the new facility to have complete accreditation.                                                                

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture supports producers and agribusinesses to build rural economies and increase farm income and industries. Agriculture is one of the top industries in Tennessee, contributing more than $74.8 billion a year to the state’s economy and employing more than 349,000 citizens.