See how Tennessee beef farmers and ranchers are rethinking the ranch to raise sustainable beef through land-saving, wildlife-preserving, and award-winning environmental efforts.
Cattle farmer Jay Yeargin of Weakley County, Tennessee has been taking care of not only his land, but the land in the entire area. Working over closed clay mines, Jay works to return the ground to a natural state by grading, sloping, fertilizing, seeding and mulching the area, helping protect against soil erosion and stabilizing the ground. He also helps his neighbors on Conservation Reserve Program land with custom mowing. By doing this, he is helping the native grasslands while also providing hay for his cattle, reducing the impact they have on his own pastures. On his own land, Jay has built water basins and grass waterways to help control water runoff in an effort to minimize flooding and erosion. He has also placed fencing around ponds and streams on his property to keep the surface water clean and of high quality. Working with a consulting firm, Yeargin gets weekly recommendations on what seeds to plant in order to be the most efficient for his crops, animals and even the local wildlife. Yeargin was named the Tennessee Farmer of the Year for his efforts in sustainability.
"We try to do everything we can to protect the environment given to us. Our young son already shows great interest in the farm, so the best gift we can give him is land that’s been maintained in a sustainable way." - Jay Yeargin, 2020 Tennessee Farmer of the Year
Meet Terry Snyder, a cattle backgrounder from Mountain City, Tennessee. Set in the beautiful mountain views of East Tennessee, Terry runs a cattle backgrounding operation on land that's been in his family for over 200 years. He is an outstanding example of how cattle producers care for not only their cattle but also the land so that it can be fertile for generations to come.
Raising beef is a complex process, but throughout the entire journey, one thing remains constant – the shared commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane and environmentally sustainable way by using the latest technology and resources. Today, there are more than 1.8 million cattle and over 37,000 cattle farms and ranches in Tennessee. Learn more about the beef farmers and ranchers who are raising beef from pasture to plate in The Volunteer State.
Tennessee produces a number of world-famous food and beverage products, such as Jack Daniel’s whiskey, Jimmy Dean sausage, Bush’s Baked Beans, M&M’s, Little Debbie Snacks, Goo Goo Clusters, and Moon Pies.