For 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.
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.