September 26, 2021

Farm gift pledge to University of Tennessee-Martin worth a system record $79.5 million

MARTIN, Tenn. (AP) — University officials say a former equestrian Olympic gold medalist’s commitment to donate her family farm to the University of Tennessee at Martin after her death is valued at a record-breaking $79.5 million.

A news release Aug. 20 from the Martin campus announced the property appraisal amount of the pledged gift of Wildwood Farm by Melanie Smith Taylor.

Officials say the 350-acre Germantown farm is the largest commitment ever across the University of Tennessee system, not just the Martin campus. Taylor, a 1984 Olympic gold medal winner in equestrian, joined university officials to announce the plan in June.

The property will let the university increase programs in veterinary health technology and other agricultural disciplines.