Republicans control the House, they control the Senate and now they have a strong grip on the Pail.
Rep. Dale Ford, the GOP's contestant, bested Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Cookeville) in the annual Battle for the Silver Pail inter-party milking contest that highlights the annual Ag Day on the Hill.
It was a clash of the legislating-slash-milking titans — Ford won for the second straight year and Burks had won in 2008.
The clash is the centerpiece of the Ag Day event, as state workers and other onlookers regularly crowd the areas girding the Legislative Plaza entranceway, but it's certainly not the whole reason for the event.
Ag Day began in 2001, the brainchild of Rep. Stratton Bone (D-Lebanon), who spearheads the event, which draws farmers, food producers and other agricultural types from across the state to Capitol Hill. From the powerful Farm Bureau lobby to 4-Hers with their chicks, all aspects of farming in Tennessee are represented, lining the hallways of the plaza to sell their importance to state lawmakers.
And like the idiomatic state fair — Ag Day gets bigger and better every year.
"This is the biggest one we've had," Bone said in the afterglow. "Agriculture is still big business in Tennessee."
Agriculture generates some $3 billion in the state annually and farming and forestry contribute to more than 500,000 jobs in the state and has an economic impact of $78 billion.