In order to grow Tennessee’s declining beef herd, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Tennessee Department of Agriculture and Tennessee Farmers Cooperative have announced a partnership between the private and public entities.

UTIA will make room at its Dairy AgResearch and Education Center in Lewisburg for 100 beef heifers consigned by farmers from across the state for a development program which aims to increase Tennessee cattle numbers, as reported this week by Lurah Lowery the Bristol Herald Courier.

Tennessee has dropped from ninth to 13th in national beef cattle production in the past two years with a current estimate of 864,000 beef cows. The decrease is partially due to economic and weather-related factors, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

Nationally, Tennessee has dropped from ninth in beef cattle production to 13th in the past two years due in part to a decrease in the state’s herd caused by economic and weather-related factors. Currently, the state hosts about 864,000 beef cows. Following the recommendations of the Governor’s Rural Challenge, the new Tennessee Beef Heifer Development Program aims to make Tennessee number one in the southeast in the development of agriculture and forestry.

With beef producers located in every county in the state, enhancing beef cattle production is a natural priority for the state’s agricultural community, said Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson, who offered the department’s full support of the initiative.

“Tennessee has the land capacity to support beef herd expansion and to recapture our share of the U.S. market,” Johnson said. “This project ties in with the recommendations of the Governor’s Rural Challenge to grow our industry and gives producers another tool with which to improve their operation and to maximize profits.”

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