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Tennessee Beef Agribition to show 10 breeds at sale
By ANN HINCH
Tennessee Correspondent

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — For a busy beef producer, finding a single market for one’s supply and livestock needs is crucial. For the Tennessee Beef Agribition (TBA) Board, it is perhaps the organization’s yearly crown jewel event.

This year’s 18th annual Beef Agribition is scheduled for March 10-12 at Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Livestock Center. A combination trade show and auction, the event is run by TBA volunteers and features 10 chartered beef breeds for show and sale.

“Here’s where you’re going to meet your producers from across the state,” said Phyllis Ferguson, who is in charge of the trade show – one of the Southeast’s largest – for the second year.

She explained it may be an excellent place for producers receiving Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Cattle Improvement Initiative (TAEP) funds to spend their money, since newly purchased bulls have to meet certain requirements. Such high breeding and genetics are readily available at Agribition each year.

“(The show) makes it a lot cheaper to get all the breeds together,” TBA President Quintin Smith said of Agribition’s importance to the average beef producer.

Since the state’s beef cattle stock is up 3 percent more than January 2005, according to Tennessee Agricultural Statistics Service (TASS) – nationally, stock gained less than two percent – there should be plenty of cows for sale at Agribition. Heifers will also be on the slate, though perhaps not as many as last year, given the state is 5 percent lower on those than a year ago.

University of Tennessee Livestock Marketing Specialist Emmit Rawls explained since heifer prices were higher than average last year, Tennessee producers likely took advantage of the market to sell to their Midwestern and Western counterparts.

Those producers were probably replenishing their supply after drought years, which would explain why despite Tennessee’s dip in inventory, heifer numbers nationwide are up nearly 4 percent more than January 2005.

This is also the 14th year for Agribition’s Junior Show, which gives youngsters the opportunity to participate by either bringing their own animal or purchasing one to display during the Sunday show.

Ferguson’s husband, Kevin, is in charge of this event, which has grown from only 18 head the first year to several hundred animals from many states now.

TBA is planning for more than 20,000 people to attend this March. Breed shows begin Friday morning, with sales following each show, including a limited number of cow and calf pairs, and continue into Saturday.

To learn more about Agribition, contact Smith at 615-444-8701; and, about the junior or trade shows, the Fergusons at 615-898-7710.

This farm news was published in the February 22, 2006 issue of Farm World.

2/22/2006