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Beef Cattle: Finished Beef

Beef cattle management and genetics both affect the potential value of the beef animal. Proper nutrition and health management will allow the beef animal to reach its genetic potential. Feeding programs can affect the quality and quantity traits of the carcass and thus the value of the carcass. Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) programs help reduce carcass trim losses, also helping producers maximize value. Genetic selection, use of carcass Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs), is a powerful tool that beef producers have to improve the yield and quality grades of the cattle they produce. The information found in publications, guides, and programs is provided for the over-all finished beef product.

Information and Resources


Link Pointer On-Farm Finishing for Beef Cattle
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 finishing beef on-farm is to produce a carcass with palatable, tender cuts and adequate yield.

Link Pointer Listing of USDA Livestock Slaughter Facilities in Tennessee
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.

Link Pointer General Overview of the History, Regulations and Inspection Information for Direct Meat Marketing in Tennessee
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.

Link Pointer Understanding Yield Grades and Quality Grades for Value-Added Beef Producers and Marketers
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.

Link Pointer How Much Meat to Expect from a Beef Carcass
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.

Link Pointer Basic Regulatory Considerations for Retail and Non-Retail Meat Sales in Tennessee
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.