September, Ice Tea, and Jesus

Published 4:46 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Don’t you just love the Fair?
It’s always exciting to walk around the Appalachian Fair and see all the exhibits, animals, rides, vendors — and, of course, the Funnel Cake!
This year I was particularly drawn to a booth that had T-shirts for sale with the slogan, “Raised on Ice Tea and Jesus.” It made me think. What is unique to our area? What makes this place the one we call home?
Every year at this time we review a lot of statistics about Tennessee, and Carter County in particular. It helps us to determine the needs in our county and what kind of programming we should offer.
What do you know about our area? A lot of the statistics are kind of sad. Did you know that Tennessee ranks 3rd in the nation for childhood obesity? Or that, Tennessee has the 6th highest divorce rate of any state in the US? Or that, Tennessee ranks number 42 (out of 50 states) for Health Care. Or that, Tennessee has the 6th highest crime rate?
But what about all the natural beauty of our state?
What about the strength of our families?
What about the slower pace of life and the friendliness of our Southern culture? There’s a lot to be said for taking time to sit on the front porch and have a glass of ice tea with the neighbors.
Okay, Tennessee has lots of areas that we need to work on, but I just saw one statistic that gives me hope. Tennessee is the third most religious state in the country, and 81 percent of Tennessee adults are Christian.
No matter which of the many denominations you belong to — most of us were indeed “Raised on Ice Tea and Jesus.”
And, I for one, don’t think that’s a bad idea!
Vickie Clark is the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office and also serves as the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent. If you have questions or need any information related to Family and Consumer Science contact her at the UT Extension Carter County, 824 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, call 542-1818 or email at

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