The cattle industry in Tennessee is one of the most historically significant agricultural enterprises in Tennessee. The industry has traditionally been dominated by cow-calf and feeder cattle production. In recent years, an increased number of Tennessee cattle producers have been asking questions beyond traditional cattle production into finishing, harvest, processing and direct marketing. Early, would-be developers of such value-added enterprises have discovered and encountered many challenges.

UT Extension and the Center for Profitable Agriculture staff have led the development of the Tennessee Value-Added Beef Program. The initiative has identified key individuals and agencies for collaboration in an effort to develop educational events and activities to assist Tennessee beef producers interested in directly marketing live animals for custom harvest and USDA-inspected meat cuts to wholesale outlets and individual customers.


Program Resources

TAEP Producer Diversification Value-Added Livestock Product Webinar Recording - April 23, 2015

Publications & Reports

These publications are part of a special series highlighting the experiences of Tennessee value-added beef producers in the start-up and operation of their enterprises. The entrepreneurs have generously shared their stories and lessons learned in order to help other producers better understand the challenges, risks and opportunities that exist in this industry. We hope that these stories will be educational and informative.

Tennessee Value-Added and Grass-Fed Beef Conferences

 Conference information and presentations are available on the conference page


Tennessee Value-Added Beef 101 On-Farm Workshops

Four of these workshops were held in April and May 2013. We greatly appreciate the hosts for the workshops: Baggett Family Farm—Tennessee Grass-fed Beef  - Clarksville, TN (Montgomery County); Double A Farm, Coalmont, TN (Grundy County); Paris Landing State Park/Yoder Brothers Processing - Paris, TN (Henry County); and East Tennessee AgResearch & Education Center - Knoxville, TN (Knox County).

These events featured a tour of a Tennessee farm direct marketing beef to consumers and educational sessions on the following topics (links to presentation slide handouts are provided when available):

Learn more from the event flyer.

E-mail News/Discussion Group

Sign up to receive e-mails with information regarding upcoming educational events and available resources. Participants may also submit questions to the group or answer questions asked by another user. Automatically subscribe to the group by sending an e-mail to TN-Value-Added-Beef+subscribe@googlegroups.com

Tennessee Value-Added Beef Webinar Series

This series of online seminars (webinars) was designed to help producers understand the risks and gain information and skills to effectively manage these likely obstacles. Webinars were held the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from October 2012 to March 2013 from 6:30pm to 8pm Central/7:30pm to 9pm Eastern.

Schedule of Tennessee Value-Added Beef Webinars
and Links to Archived Sessions When Available
October 9, 2012
October 23, 2012
November 13, 2012
Basic Regulations for Marketing Beef to Consumers and Wholesale (Retail Meat Sales Permit, Weights and Measures, Nutritional Labeling, Wholesale Registration)     
November 27, 2012
December 11, 2012
January 8, 2013
January 22, 2013
Making Special Claims about Your Beef On the Label and Off
February 12, 2013
February 26, 2013
March 12, 2013
March 26, 2013


Program Evaluation Summaries

​ Program Partners

Center for Profitable Agriculture

 Tennessee Beef Industry Council

 Tennessee Cattlemen's Association

 Tennessee Department of Agriculture

 Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation

 UT AgResearch

 UT Extension 

  Funding Partners

Tennessee Department of Agriculture - Ag Tag


 2012 Extension Risk Management Grants Education Program

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service - FSMIP Grant


Program Teams & Leaders


  • Justin Rhinehart (Leader), Ronnie Barron, Gary Bates, Charles Hord, Debbie Joines, Rebekah Norman, Jonathan Rhea

Harvesting, Processing, Meat Quality

  • Dwight Loveday (Leader), Valerie Bass, Bill Thompson, Jerri Lynn Sims


  • Megan Bruch Leffew (Leader), Valerie Bass, Wendy Lofton Sneed, Andrew Griffith, Kim Jensen, Bobby Simpson

Cost Analysis and Overall Management

  • Hal Pepper (Leader), Tammy McKinley, Kevin Ferguson 

Outreach & Educational Program Planning