“Tennessee Beef Agribition is more than the state’s largest combined show and sale,” according to Margie Hunter, livestock marketing specialist with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. “It’s also the best place all year for cattle producers to find out the latest in information and technology for their industry.

“This year, that includes the latest opportunities to receive cost share funds for equipment needed through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Cattle Improvement Initiative.”

Tennessee Beef Agribition will be held in Murfreesboro, March 9-11 at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Livestock Center. The annual three day cattle show and sale event traditionally features one of the largest cattle trade shows in the Southeast, giving producers a look at new products and the direction of the industry. The trade show portion of the event will be conducted March 9-10.

The TAEP Cattle Improvement Initiative is a statewide program aimed at increasing farm income in Tennessee by providing cost-share funds to producers for the improvement of beef and dairy cattle genetics and livestock handling facilities. Producers must be pre-approved before making purchases that can be reimbursed with TAEP funds. Applications for the 07-08 fiscal year will be available in June.

“Producers who are already approved to be reimbursed for equipment purchases with TAEP dollars for this fiscal year can find what they need here,” says Hunter, “including palpation cages and semen tanks.”

“Producers will also find equipment to be included for eligibility for the next fiscal year, starting July 1,” says the marketing specialist. “Hay rings and ‘creep,’ or self feeders are two of those new items producers will find at Agribition. There are some newly designed ‘cone’ feeders that producers ought to take a look at before they make decisions about what’s right for their operations.”

Ten different chartered beef breeds are represented and more than 20,000 people are expected to attend Agribition. Breed shows begin Friday at 11 a.m. with sales for each breed immediately following that breed’s show. Saturday shows and sales begin at 8:30 a.m. and at about 10:30 a.m., respectively. A limited number of cow and calf pairs will be available for sale.

All animals will be available for viewing at the center before being sold.

The junior show, one of the event’s most popular features, will take place Sunday.

Agribition continues to offer serious producers its traditional benefits as well, says Hunter, including the opportunity to purchase cows and heifers, purebred breeding stock and even donor embryos during cattle breeding seasons. The added benefit of watching breeds being shown and judged just before sale is an opportunity few buyers ever experience except during Agribition, according to Hunter.

To learn more about Tennessee Beef Agribition, contact Quintin Smith at (615) 444-8701. For information about the junior show, contact Kevin Ferguson at (615) 898-7710. For more information about the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program, visit the TDA Market Development Web site at www.picktnproducts.org.