Dr. Bates received his Ph.D in 1993 from the University of Georgia. He received his M.S.in 1990 and his Bachelor's of Science in 1987 from Louisiana State University. He joined the faculty of The University of Tennessee in 1993 as an Extension Forage Specialist.
Dr. Bates's educational program emphasizes the practices needed for profitable forage production. Forage species selection, establishment, fertilization, harvest and storage are the major areas of his program. Current education programs include grazing schools, bermudagrass hay schools, and several multi-county field days.