Information and Resources
Tennessee cattle producers are often interested in feeding a few head of cattle for personal consumption or marketing directly to the public. A simple feeding program consisting of a high-energy feed, such as corn, and a high-protein supplement can accomplish this. The goal of fnishing beef on-farm is to produce a carcass with palatable, tender cuts and adequate yield.
Twelve of the plants may be “possibilities” for farmers who want to have livestock slaughtered and processed under USDA inspection in order to market their meat products.
Many beef and dairy cattle producers know about the Beef Checkoff and State Beef Promotion programs and are familiar with the assessments when their beef and dairy cattle are sold at public auction; however, many producers may not know how these assessments apply to the direct marketing of their cattle and beef products.
This publication is intended to provide an overview of the history of meat inspection regulations and clarification of harvesting and processing options for meat that can be sold in Tennessee. Information about custom-exempt and on farm harvesting and processing is also mentioned.
Important to the understanding and application of yield and quality grades is the definition of beef quality, cutability and undesirable carcass traits. This publication is intended to provide definitions and explanations of these important terms for cattle producers and entrepreneurs that are interested in direct marketing beef.
This document provides information to assist in the understanding of how much meat to expect from a beef carcass. The information provided here should be helpful to consumers who purchase a live animal for freezer beef and to cattle producers involved in direct and retail meat marketing.
The process of determining the regulatory issues for direct marketing meat has been complicated. We have found that while some basic guidance does exist, so do many exceptions. We also have found that various interpretations of regulations exist and miscommunications also occur. Details in verbal communications are often missed, overlooked or overemphasized, which may contribute to the appearance of different answers from different regulators.