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Al Roker broadcasts from Williamson County dairy farm

11:34 AM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
NBC weatherman Al Roker poses with Charles Hatcher, left, and Sharon Hatcher, right, at the Hatcher Dairy Farm off Arno Road on May 8, 2013. Roker did his Today Show weather segments from the farm.
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By Jamie Page | The Tennessean


COLLEGE GROVE - Today show co-host Al Roker today milked a dairy cow, fed a calf and a sheep, drove a tractor, and helped cook a meal at Hatcher Family Dairy in College Grove.

His visit to the Williamson County farm was part of a contest series called "Wake Up With Al."

Sharon Hatcher, store manager at the family dairy, was one of three winners in an NBC Today show contest in which Roker broadcasts his weather updates from each of the three winners' homes. The Hatcher farm was his first stop.

More than 100 local spectators showed up to watch the popular TV personality air his broadcasts every half hour, and cheer him on, while Roker signed autographs and met residents between on-air shots.

"I have a lot of respect for our farmers," Roker told The Tennessean. "They work really hard, they have to not only fight the elements and the government when it comes to the farm bill, but people don't realize the blood, sweat and tears that goes into farming. They are at the mercy of nature."

Five generations of the Hatcher family have farmed the land off Arno Road where the Hatcher Family Dairy sits in College Grove, a small community about 17 miles southeast of Franklin. And the tradition has continued with eight Hatchers running the popular 200-acre dairy today.

"We as farmers depend on the weather and to have Al Roker come to our farm to do the weather is just awesome," Sharon Hatcher said. "When we went to New York for the Today show, it was kind of overwhelming because we are used to little ol' College Grove, but it was great and the people were nice. We had a lot of fun, good food, and got to ride the subway, which was great."

Check back at tennessean.com today to see a video of Al Roker's visit to the farm.

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