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More than 115 folks interested in learning about marketing beef direct from the farm to consumers gathered in Manchester for the 2014 Tennessee Value-Added Beef Conference on March 18-19.  The conference featured 17 presenters in various general sessions and concurrent sessions.  Speakers represented the University of Tennessee, USDA, TDA and several farmers and entrepreneurs that are already active in direct marketing beef.  In addition to educational sessions, the conference also featured networking opportunities in the trade show with representatives from  14 agencies, sponsors and information providers. A unique feature of the conference was the opportunity for attendees to visit with representatives from four different regulatory agencies that are involved with meat marketing.
 
While a majority of the participants were from Tennessee, participants from three other states also attended the conference.  The conference was conducted as part of the Tennessee Value-Added Beef program which is funded in part by UT Extension, USDA and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.  Other sponsors of the conference included Farm Credit Mid America, Tennessee Farmers Cooperative and the Tennessee Farm Bureau.  Other collaborators included the Tennessee Beef Industry Council and the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association. 
 
The conference program, presentation materials and listing of sponsors and collaborators are provided below.
   
 
Conference Program

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Conference Materials

Presentation Title Presenter
Focusing on the Target: The 50,000-Foot View ​Dr. Justin Rhinehart
​Begin With the End in Mind        Slides ​Dr. Emmit Rawls
​Who's on First and What's on Second: Preparing to Juggle the Regulations ​Bill Thompson
Consumer Preferences for Local Beef: Results of a Recent Consumer Survey in Tennessee ​Dr. Kim Jensen
A Refresher Course on Finishing Cattle in Tennessee: Genetics, Quality and Efficient Production for Marketing ​Dr. Justin Rhinehart
What's Your Beef? Matching Beef Cuts With Your Market and Getting the Processor to Cut to Your Specifications ​Dr. Dwight Loveday and Johnny Rogers

Legally Speaking: Making Claims About Your Product         

FSIS Labeling Websites

​Jeff Canavan
Getting to the Meat of It: Crunching the Numbers for Retail Meat Sales and Live Animal Sales for Custom-Exempt Processing ​Dr. Andrew Griffith
Lessons Learned: Producing, Processing and Marketing Locally-Raised Beef ​James Yoder
Producer Experiences in Marketing Local Beef: Panel Discussion ​Johnny Rogers
​Forage Systems for Grass-Fed Beef ​Dr. Gary Bates
Marketing Local Beef in Tennessee: Producer Practices and Consumer Preferences                                                                                    ​Megan Bruch, Susan Schexnayder Margarita Velandia
​Impact of Breed, Sex and Maturity on Finishing, Quality ​Dr. Justin Rhinehart
​Focus on Finishing: Panel Discussion About the Costs of Finishing Cattle ​Hal Pepper
​From the Gate to the Plate: Panel Discussion with Farm-Based Retail Beef Entrepreneurs About Costs ​Hal Pepper
​Marketing Integrity for Value-Added Beef Products ​Dr. Justin Rhinehart
 
 Conference Sponsors and Collaborators
 
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