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 Sponsors and Collaborators