UT Junior Bulls Now Ready for the Farm

Bull TestMore than 40 performance-tested bulls will be sold at the University of Tennessee Junior Bull Test Sale on Thursday, March 10. The sale takes place at noon at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center.

All bulls in the sale have undergone DNA testing and have Genomic Enhanced EPDs. This information can improve the accuracy of genetic predictions, giving prospective buyers more insight into each bull’s genetic merit. This testing will also qualify buyers for an additional $400 in cost-share reimbursement from the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program.

The junior bulls (45 Angus and 1 Simmangus) gained an average of 4.50 pounds per day. The high-gaining bull, consigned by Lazy S Angus of Chuckey, Tennessee, gained an average of 6.07 pounds per day.

To facilitate faster checkouts for buyers, the bulls will not enter the sale ring. Instead video of each bull will play on screens in and around the sale ring. Prospective buyers are encouraged to arrive early to view the bulls in the barn prior to sale time.

Print and video sale catalogs will be available by March 1 at the UT Department of Animal Science website:ag.tennessee.edu/AnimalScience. Find the link to the Bull Testing Program under the Extension menu. Print versions can also be found at county UT Extension offices, and catalogs will be provided at the sale.

In addition to the auction at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch Center, two tele-video sites will be provided. One will be the Clyde Austin 4-H Center in Greeneville and the other in the Knoxville area with an exact location to be determined at a later date. Prospective buyers in the Knoxville area should check with their local UT Extension agent for location updates.

Lunch will be available for purchase at the Middle Tennessee AgResearch Center. For sale-related questions, contact Dr. David Kirkpatrick at 865-974-7294, or call the Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at 931-486-2129. The Center is located on Highway 31 between Spring Hill and Columbia.

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu

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Thousands of TN Youth Hear Ag’s Story

262659_1113212545363084_7073344121697868147_nThe numbers are in! Over 100 agriculture producers and leaders shared their time to read in classrooms all across the state during the second annual Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week last NovemberOver 10,500 students in 300 classes benefited from this effort.   

Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week was celebrated across the state November 15-21, 2015.  All segments of Tennessee’s agriculture industry supported this effort to promote agriculture awareness and knowledge in local schools.  During this event, farmers, ranchers and students shared their agricultural knowledge and read agriculturally themed books in school systems across Tennessee.

The agriculture community and teachers agree, Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week is a successful activity. Beverly Hall, Putnam County school teacher reflected, “This is an excellent program to help students learn more about their food and fiber.”

“With less than two percent of the American population actively involved in the agriculture industry, many students have no firsthand knowledge of how food is raised and produced,” stated Lou Nave, event co-chair.  “Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week offers a great opportunity to focus on agriculture and share valuable information about how farmers grow and harvest the products that provide food, fiber and fuel for our country.”

Many segments of Tennessee’s agriculture industry have strong literacy outreach programs.  Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week was designed to enhance and support those efforts while providing guidance and opportunities for new and innovative agriculture literacy programs.  Beef producers across the state took this opportunity to also participate in the Cowboy in the Classroom program to share books and information about beef cattle.  Many Tennessee 4-H and FFA members used this opportunity to focus attention on the diverse and vibrant agricultural industry in local school systems. Many county Farm Bureau Women’s Committees utilized accurate agriculture resources in their Agriculture Literacy Libraries when visiting local schools.

Tennessee Agriculture Literacy Week will be celebrated November 13-18, 2016.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Lou Nave at Farm Animal Care Coalition of Tennessee     615/970-8065  http://www.TennesseeAg.org.

NCBA and PLC Accepting Applications for Two Summer Positions

US Capitol in Washington DC

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for a 2016 summer  public policy intern as well as a summer law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is Feb. 24, 2016.

NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs Kristina Butts said these internships are a great opportunity for students with an interest in the beef industry and public policy.

“The internship gives college students the opportunity to work alongside staff on a range of issues that impact U.S. cattlemen and women,” Butts said. “Our interns work closely with the lobbying team on Capitol Hill and assist with NCBA and PLC’s regulatory efforts, providing college students a one-of-a-kind view into the policy making process. The interns are valuable team members that help staff on several fronts.”

Producer-led and consumer-focused, NCBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national organization representing America’s cattle producers. PLC is the only organization in Washington, D.C., dedicated solely to representing cattle and sheep ranchers that utilize federal lands. The organizations work hand-in-hand on many issues, sharing office space in the heart of the nation’s capital.

The public policy internship will give students an opportunity to learn about career options and provide practical experience. From tax and trade to environmental and food safety regulations, interns will work on a variety of issues and have the opportunity to work specifically in the area of their interest. College juniors, seniors and graduates students are encouraged to apply.

The summer law clerk will provide support to NCBA’s Environmental Counsel on issues relating to environmental legislation and regulations that impact beef producers. The position will also work closely with the Executive Director of the Public Lands Council on issues relating to Federal lands management, grazing, and the Endangered Species Act. To apply for the law clerk position, students must currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school.

The full-time internship and law clerk positions will begin May 23, 2016 and end August 19, 2016. To apply for the public policy internship or law clerk position, visit www.beefusa.org.

Recapping TCA’s Convention & Trade Show

1-1For the first time, the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association (TCA) was joined by the Tennessee Dairy Producers Association and Tennessee Sheep Producers Association for TCA’s 31st annual Convention and Trade Show. The event was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel on Feb. 4-6 and drew a crowd of more than 1,000 people from across all sectors of the livestock industries in Tennessee.

TCA also set a new record of vendors with nearly 100 in attendance, which was up from 75 last year.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better convention,” said Gary Daniel, TCA’s president and a Cypress Inn cattle producer. “Having three livestock groups together shows a unified goal of betting our state’s agriculture industry as a whole. It was an honor to team up with TDPA and TSPA.”

Speakers included radio personality Trent Loos; Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc. president, Wayne Gilreath; University of Kentucky’s Dr. Kenny Burdine and Dr. Jeff Lehmkuhler; University of Tennessee’s Dr. Jason Smith, Dr. Gary Bates, Dr. Justin Rhinehart and Dr. Andrew Griffith; Auburn University’s Dr. David Pugh; Clemson University’s Dr. John Andrae and Dr. Susan Duckett; and Zoetis’ associate director of animal genetics, Dr. Kent Anderson.

Presidents Award Lacy Upchurch

TCA’s president, Gary Daniel, with Lacy Upchurch and Charles Hord.

TCA presented seven individuals with Awards of Excellence. These included:

TCA President’s Award: Lacy Upchurch, past-president of the TN Farm Bureau Federation

TCA Outstanding Work in 4-H Beef Extension: Matt Horseman, Williamson County

Dr. Clyde Lane Outstanding Cow-Calf Producer: Terry Gupton, Cumberland County

Dr. Emmit Rawls Outstanding Stocker Producer: Rocky DaCosta, Bedford County

John Bartee Distinguished Service Award: Dr. David Kirkpatrick

Dr. Jim Neel Outstanding Work in Adult Education: Anthony Shelton, Washington County

TCA’s Legislator of the Year: TN. Representative Sheila Butt

The Tennessee Farmer’s Cooperative (TFC) sponsored a New TCA Member Competition during the year to help increase membership to the association. The winner was announced at convention. Charlie Denton of Rockvale won and got to choose from one of six prices, courtesy of TFC. He selected a new Priefert squeeze chute.

On Saturday, youth from across Tennessee participated in agriculture advocacy workshops and the TCA Quiz Bowl. The team from Lebanon won the contest.

Several students received Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarships, presented by Farm Credit Mid-America, which ranged from $2,000 to $1,000. Also, TCA awarded five scholarships to college-aged students, ranging from $250-$500.

“I would like to thank our vendors, sponsors, and attendees for their support as our convention grows into one of the premiere livestock industry events in the southeast,” said Charles Hord, TCA’s executive vice president.

2017 Convention and Trade Show will once again be in Murfreesboro. Check http://www.tncattle.org for details.

Tennessee Youth Win Beef Heifer Scholarships

Heifer Scholarship WinnersSix Tennessee students were awarded the Youth Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship, sponsored by the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association and Farm Credit Mid-America. They received this award at the 31st Annual Tennessee Cattlemen’s Convention and Trade Show in Murfreesboro on Feb. 6.

The Heifer Initiative focuses on cost-sharing of beef cattle for youth. First place winners of each age division are awarded $2,000 and second place winners are awarded $1,000.  This money is to be put towards the purchase of a beef heifer of their choice within one year of receiving the funds. There are three age divisions: Youth, Junior High and Senior High.

“For many of the winners, this heifer scholarship will be the beginning of their beef cattle herds,” said Charles Hord, executive vice president of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association. “Farm Credit Mid-America is investing in the future of our industry and these youth.”

Addie Rankin of Lauderdale County won first place in the Youth Division and Russ Woolfolk of Madison County won second place. Foster Wingler of Rutherford County won first place in the Junior High Division and Joshua Wade, also of Rutherford County, won second place. Emily Nave of Cannon County won first place in the Senior High Division and Kendall Martin of Marshall County won second place.

Emily Nave Head Shot“The structure of this program is geared to encourage kids to be more active in the beef industry and hopefully they learn some leadership skills along the way,” said Shane Williams, Senior Financial Services Officer for Farm Credit Mid-America.  “Cattle farming is an expensive industry and I think it is important we help as many young people as possible start or expand their 4H and FFA beef projects.”

Emily Nave of Cannon County says this scholarship will help her become a better cattle producer. “By winning this scholarship, I get to purchase better stock than what was first accessible to me,” said Nave. “I can’t thank these organizations enough for this opportunity to grow my herd.”

The application for the 2017 Beef Heifer Initiative Scholarship will be available in the fall of 2016.