Tennessee Beef Evaluation

Tennessee Beef Evaluation

The Farmer-to-Farmer Connection

The Tennessee Beef Evaluation is an educational program for cow/calf producers to learn about the finishing and packing segments of the beef industry. The program is designed for cow/calf producers who are not able on their own to send a load of cattle to be finished in a custom feedlot.


Tennessee Beef Evaluation Program Sending Cattle to Iowa in April or Early May 2020

The Tennessee Beef Evaluation is an educational program that gives producers of feeder calves and backgrounded yearlings the opportunity to send as few as five head to be custom fed in Southwest Iowa. Feedlot performance and carcass data is gathered on all cattle and provided to the producers so that they can make more informed breeding and management decisions.

A load of multiple-owner cattle is being put together for shipment in April or early May. Below are the requirements for cattle being shipped.

  • Calves should weigh between 600 and 900 pounds.
  • Reservation of $20 per head must accompany entry. Reservation fee will be credited to your feeding costs.
  • Loading locations will be selected once participating producers are determined.
  • Preconditioning and Health Requirements
    • Calves must be weaned and preconditioned for 45 days prior to shipment.
    • Calves should know how to eat from a feed bunk and drink from a water trough.
    • Calves must be dewormed, dehorned and healed, and castrated and healed.
    • Calves must be vaccinated following a double-vaccination program
      • IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV with a modified live vaccine suggested for first round and required for second round shot
      • 7-Way Blackleg
      • Pasteurella Bacterin Toxoid
      • Second round of vaccinations should be given a minimum of 30 days prior to shipment
    • Calves should NOT be implanted just prior to shipment. The implant program will begin when calves are started on feed.

If you are interested in sending cattle on this load please contact Andrew Griffith by email at agriff14@utk.edu or by calling 1-800-345-0561 no later than April 15th.


How the program works


  • Shipments are coordinated through University of Tennessee Extension Agents and Specialists
  • Loads of 48,000 to 50,000 pounds of cattle from multiple producers are gathered and shipped to Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity member feedlots in Southwest Iowa
  • Risk management plans are developed for both corn and cattle
  • Cattle are fed for approximately 150 days and harvested through the Tyson packing plant in Denison, Iowa
  • Feedlot performance and carcass data is gathered and analyzed on individual animals and provided to the producers
    • Example performance and carcass data

Program requirements


  • All calves must be weaned a minimum of 45 days and have required health program prior to shipment
  • Producers must consign their cattle (minimum of 5 head) by completing necessary forms and paying $20 per head consignment fee (applied to feed bill)
    • Consignment forms




For additional information, contact Andrew Griffith.


What have producers said about the program and what they have learned

  • I now precondition all my calves before I sell them.
  • I've changed sires in order to improve quality of my cattle through genetics.
  • TBE has reinforced the importance of a sound health program.
  • I have changed from using killed respiratory vaccines to all modified-live vaccines.
  • You will learn how to manage your cattle before they go to the feedlot.
  • Very detailed data gained to help improve your herd.
  • You will learn about carcass traits of your cattle.
  • You will gain a better appreciation of other segments of the industry.
  • It is an opportunity to take advantage of superior genetics.