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Since 2004 approximately 275 people have taken the Master Beef series of classes in Lincoln County.
“It has been a very productive educational program and has brought many new clients to Lincoln County Extension,” said David Qualls, Extension Agent and County Director.
After UT Extension designed this educational opportunity, Tennessee Department of Agriculture tied increased cost-share on TN Ag enhancement grants to attendance in Master Beef. Master Beef has gone beyond an educational program to a grant incentive.
Starting in 2014, UT Extension will offer an “Advanced Master Beef Producer” program. The original Master Beef Class will still be offered on a CD, but will not qualify for the 50 percent cost-share through TAEP grants. Producers who have taken the original Master Beef class will be phased in over time to take Advanced Master Beef or drop back to 35 percent cost-share through TAEP grants.
“UT Extension’s role is as it always has been for Master Beef — offering producers a quality educational program,” said Qualls.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture is asking producers to take additional training to maintain 50 percent cost-share in the TAEP programs. Advantages of the Advanced Master Beef Course are that it will be shorter; there are seven sessions versus 10; and it will allow some flexibility of topics, with 10 possible topics. It will also include updated material, since the current Master Beef program was written in 2004 and has had some updates since then.
Lincoln County’s 2014 Advanced Master Beef class is tentatively to start on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and will be held every Tuesday for seven weeks until the requirements are met.
“Those taking this class will need to be certified and have a Premises ID number as in the past. Cost will be $150 per participant with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture paying $100 of this if the producer is a resident of Tennessee, has a Premises ID and is BQA certified.”
This program is open to everyone.
For more information or to register, contact David Qualls at 433-1582.