November 29, 2021


Locally sourced beef now served at university in Tennessee, US



Locally sourced "UT Beef" is now being served at the University of Tennessee (Tennessee, the United States) on its Knoxville campus.


Produced at UT's Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center in Greeneville and prepared and served through an agreement with UT Dining Services managed by Aramark, the farm-to-table effort supports sustainable agricultural production by utilising locally grown beef as a reliable food source while maximising supply chain resiliency.


"This partnership is another way we bring to life the mission of a land-grant university," Donde Plowman, UT Knoxville chancellor, said in a release from the UT Institute of Agriculture. "Beef production is a huge part of our agriculture industry in this state and across the nation (US), and this new programme is providing sustainable solutions that will benefit our students as well as people and communities across Tennessee."


"I hope that this UT Institute of Agriculture pilot programme will be a model across the state and for other institutions to adopt and provide alternatives for locally sourced, high-quality, humanely produced protein products," Justin McKinney, director of the UT Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center, said.


The beef cattle in this programme are raised primarily on a pasture-based system utilising forage consisting of cool-season perennials — tall fescue and orchardgrass — interseeded with red and white clover. The sustainable, intense grazing system can support a variety of livestock operations across the state while minimising environmental impact.


"This model should serve producers and consumers across Appalachia as well as those in other regions with the same ability to grow their own forages capable of supporting a complete livestock enterprise," said McKinney.


The Northeast Tennessee AgResearch and Education Center sits in Greene County, which is among the state's top beef-producing counties. Approximately 70,000 cattle roam its hills and valleys.


- The Daily Times