Tennessee Beef Heifer Development Program

Tennessee Beef Heifer Development Program Logo Color

The Tennessee Beef Heifer Development Program is to incentivize the re-population of the beef herd through custom heifer development. It will be accomplished by the implementation of management practices with access to more productive replacement females allowing for more rapid expansion of Tennessee’s beef herd. This will improve the longevity of these females, decreasing turnover and providing for exponential improvement in genetics with associated revenue generation.

The program is a partnership of The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture designed to:

  • Increase the opportunity for custom replacement heifer development,
  • Demonstrate proper replacement heifer development to beef cattle producers in Tennessee,
  • Increase the implementation of heifer development practices that will result in optimum reproductive efficiency as mature cows,
  • Demonstrate management techniques necessary for replacement heifers to reach target weights and breed successfully,
  • Demonstrate methods of evaluating heifers for disposition, performance, and reproductive traits.


Working Cows

Reproductive Management
Heifers will be evaluated for pelvic area and reproductive tract score prior to breeding. Estrus will be synchronized and heifers exposed to a single timed artificial insemination (AI). Estrus detection and AI will be conducted for the remainder of a 45-day breeding season. Selection of AI sires will be performed by the program’s administrator working with the advisory committee. Sires requested beyond committee selections must qualify under Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement program sire genetic requirements. Calving ease will be a high priority for sire selection. Pregnancy will be diagnosed approximately 30 days after the end of the breeding season via ultrasonography.

Nutritional Management
Heifers will be maintained on standing forage, hay or haylage and supplement designed for optimum growth. A grazing plan that includes cool and warm-season grasses will compose a majority of the nutritional program. Heifers will be fed to weigh approximately 65% of their projected mature weight at the beginning of the breeding season.

Important Information & Dates

Important information for the current Heifer Class Groups offered in the program:

Link Pointer Fall Born Heifers: Calved September – November

Link Pointer Spring Born Heifers: Calved January – March

Link Pointer Rules and Regulations

Fall 2022 Heifer Class
July 11-12, 2022Check in, VAX, Weight, Hip Height, Preg check
July 25, 2022ReVAX
August 22, 2022Weigh Day – Preg Check
September 19, 2022Weigh Day
October 17, 2022Weigh Day
November 4, 2022Weigh Day, Carcass Ultrasound, Pelvic Area Measurement, Repro Tract Score, Hip Heights, Docility – Insert CiDR
November 18, 2022Remove CiDR
December 4, 2022PGF 4PM
December 5-6, 2022AI based on heat
December 7, 2022FTAI 8:00-12:00PM
December 16, 2022 Cleanup Bull In
February 20, 2023Weigh Day, Preg Check, (End of Breeding Season)
April 24, 2023Final Pregnancy Check, Hip Height, Docility, Freeze Brand
May 8-9, 2023Fall Heifer Pickup
Spring 2022 Heifer Class
October 10-11, 2022 Check in, VAX, Weight, Hip Height, Preg check
October 24, 2022ReVAX
November 21, 2022Weigh Day – Preg Check
December 19, 2022Weigh Day
January 17, 2023Weigh Day
February 13, 2023Weigh Day
March 3, 2023Weigh Day, Carcass Ultrasound, Pelvic Area Measurement, Repro Tract Score, Hip Heights – Insert CiDR
March 17, 2023Remove CiDR
April 2, 2023PGF 4PM
April 3-4, 2023AI based on heat
April 5, 2023FTAI 8:00-12:00PM
April 14, 2023Cleanup Bull In
June 19, 2023Weigh Day, Preg Check, (End of Breeding Season)
July 24, 2023Final Pregnancy Check, Hip Height, Docility, Freeze Brand
August 7-8, 2023Spring Heifer Pickup

Program Contacts

For more information please contact Kevin Thompson, Hugh Moorehead, or Charlie Strogner

Link Pointer Middle Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center at Lewisburg
1070 New lake Road
Lewisburg, TN 37091
P: 931-270-2240

Our Partners

Tennessee Department of Agriculture Logo
Link Pointer Tennessee Department of Agriculture