A 50-cent assessment on each head of cattle sold in Tennessee will begin April 1 announced the newly organized Tennessee Beef Promotion Board, which will oversee the funds.
“In today’s competitive market, Tennessee cattle producers need all the advantage they can get. The good prices that producers are receiving for their cattle today are due in part to Beef Industry Council promotion efforts,” board chairman and Readyville cattle producer Mark Barker said. “We’re committed to using these dollars responsibly to promote Tennessee beef products and to increase markets for our producers.”
Tennessee cattle producers voted last December to support the measure, which will help support in-state research, education and promotion of beef. The Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association, the state’s largest cattle organization, requested the referendum.
The assessment will be collected at points of sale including organized market and farm sales and private producer-to-producer transactions.
Currently, cattle producers pay $1 per head to help build consumer demand for beef products nationally and in Tennessee. The national beef program was authorized and implemented in 1985. The additional 50-cent assessment will be used specifically to restore and expand current activities to promote beef products in-state.
Other members of the Tennessee Beef Promotion Board include Eddie Paschall, Gordonsville; Jerry Greene, Nunnelly; Larry McCoy, Ripley; Mike Sharp, Sevierville; Kristina McKee, Lebanon; Richard Brown, Cookeville; Lake Elliott, Adams; Bob Willis, Hillsboro; and, ex-officio member Julius Johnson, Agriculture Commissioner.
Tennessee ranks as one of the top beef producing states in the nation with nearly two million head of cattle. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, cattle and calves generated $545 million in Tennessee farm cash receipts in 2010, making beef the state’s top agricultural commodity. There are approximately 47,000 cattle producers in the state.