Manchester, Tenn. — Registration is now open for the state's first value-added beef conference. Organizers of this new educational opportunity for beef producers are designing the event to help the growing number of producers and entrepreneurs interested in directly marketing beef products to consumers, restaurants and retail outlets.

The event is scheduled to be held at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center in Manchester, Tenn., on March 18 and 19, 2014.

“The conference will offer a variety of sessions addressing production, marketing, regulatory and cost considerations,” said Rob Holland, director of University of Tennessee Extension Center for Profitable Agriculture. “This is a new conference geared toward the needs of producers interested in direct marketing of beef and locally raised beef products,” he said.

Holland added that those with services or products needed by direct beef marketers should also plan to attend. “The conference will be an excellent networking opportunity for the industry's service providers,” he said.

To ensure a high-quality experience for all involved, space is limited. An early-bird registration fee has been set of $40 per person or $70 for two to encourage reservations prior to March 3, 2014. If space remains available, late registration prior to March 12 will be $50 per person and on-site registration is set at $100 per person.

Details about the conference agenda and registration as well as sponsorship or tradeshow opportunities are being posted online at the conference website:

The 2014 Tennessee Value-Added Beef Conference is a project of UT Extension, the Center for Profitable Agriculture, the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, the Tennessee Cattlemen's Association and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation. Additional sponsors include the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Pick Tennessee Products Program, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) and Farm Credit Mid America.

The UT Center for Profitable Agriculture is a joint effort of UT Extension and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation supporting the efforts of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

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