Farmers finding more ways to take beef from farm to table

Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association covers best practices at gathering in the Smokies.
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 10:38 AM EDT
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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - You can find more and more options for food direct from Tennessee farms, because of innovations by farmers and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

“Producers that are raising meat, you can go online and find people who are in your county or in your region that are marketing direct to consumer,” Wendy Sneed with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture said.

The Pick Tennessee Products program and other public-private partnerships are bringing foods like Tennessee steaks to your table. You can find foods from beef to vegetables and honey all raised in your region of Tennessee at the Pick Tennessee Products website.

Farm producers and other industry professionals gathered Friday for the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Convention & Livestock Conference.

“We sell about a third of our crop direct to the public,” said Terry Gupton of his cattle farming operation on the Cumberland Plateau. Sneed assists Gupton and other farmers in marketing their farm-raised products, including listing them in the Pick Tennessee directory.

“We need to feed people the good beef!” said Gupton.

The Cattlemen’s Conference included groups like the USA Regenerative Agricultural Alliance based in Greeneville, whose President Mike McElroy is encouraging conservation practices while producing food.

“We don’t want to overgraze. So we want land to rest. We’ve got to give time for our plants to rest, to regrow,” said McElroy.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has been working to target some federal funding into processing food in this state.

“We were able to help put some of those funds into meat processors in the state, approximately twelve million dollars, to help our processors expand and grow,” said Sneed.

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