During the 99th Annual Meeting of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, Rush Guthrie was recognized for “going above and beyond in his volunteer spirit to the Tennessee Farm Bureau” with the Distinguished Leader award, according to the organization.
“Our organization wouldn’t be almost 100 years without the leadership, guidance and countless hours of dedication that came from these volunteer leaders,” said Tennessee Farm Bureau President Jeff Aiken. “We need to recognize individuals who devote so much to ensure our organization succeeds and Rush is certainly deserving of this honor.”
Guthrie was the third of four children born to Glenn and Edna Guthrie.
The family farmed in Polk County in his early years before moving to Bradley County, where they raised cattle and crops, including corn, cotton and tobacco.
Guthrie attended school at Charleston and was active in 4-H and FFA. He graduated from Charleston High School in 1959 after meeting his future bride, the former Sandra Carlton.
The Guthries were married in May of 1959 and had two children. They bought their first farm together in 1967 and added more land in 1974, which allowed Guthrie to begin farming full time.
In 1989, he purchased the farm where the family lives today in the Riceville community.
He and his son, Josh, run a black angus cattle operation, raising corn and hay for feed. In 1999, the family began a small agri-tourism venture that has grown considerably over the years and features a pumpkin patch and corn maze.
Guthrie first became involved with Farm Bureau in Bradley County, where he served on the board of directors for eight years, before moving his membership to McMinn County where he has been on the board for the past 30 years, including the past 14 as county president. Along with Farm Bureau, he has also been active with the Bradley County Soil Conservation District board, the McMinn County and state livestock associations and the Spring Creek and Mouse Creek watershed board.
The Guthries are also active in the Spring Creek United Methodist Church.
Guthrie said his church, like Farm Bureau, has been an extension of his family and credits all three to any success he’s had.
“Rush is to be commended for devoting so much of his life to the Farm Bureau mission of working to improve agriculture and rural life in Tennessee and we congratulate him and his family on this special honor,” said Aiken.