Livestock and Forages


The original Master Goat Producer series has been revamped to a new Small Ruminant school with goats and sheep both included.  We discuss marketing, management, reproduction, forages, nutrition, animal health, economics, selection, carcass merit, facilities and other topics that will serve both sheep and goat producers.    You may contact me at 684-5971 or to discuss the class.    


The Basic Master Beef Producer series is designed for those who want to learn basic knowledge in the following areas of beef production.      The classes cover reproduction, genetics, nutrition, animal health, forage production, environmental issues, behavior and facilities, carcass merit, management, marketing, and food safety.  Nearly 500 Bedford County beef producers have completed the course over the past 15 years and it has been rated highly by all.    

This school is designed for those who have not had any Master Beef Producer school training.  Many participants have herds of small to large numbers or don’t own any but are thinking of starting a cattle operation. 

It is a good basic start, and it qualifies applicants of the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program for a higher cost-share in the various projects. 

The 2022 class will be held March 8, 10, 15, 17, 24, 6:00 p.m. at the Extension Office. Cost is $85. Click here for the Registration Form.

For more information, contact John Teague at 931-684-5971 or


Tennessee is home to more than 110,000 horses, donkeys, burros, mules and ponies combined.  Because each of these equines requires responsible ownership, proper nutrition, health care, management and environmental stewardship, the University of Tennessee Extension and the UT Animal Science Department are excited to announce the launch of a new educational program for equine owners.

The Tennessee Master Horse Program (TMHP) is designed to provide a foundation of science-based information applicable to all horse owners and those interested in equine well-being. Using a combination of classroom discussion and hands-on teaching, the program will cover a variety of equine-related topics to equip attendees with the knowledge needed to implement best management practices and improve equine care.

Dr. Jennie Ivey, UT Extension Equine Specialist and program manager, says in addition to responsible ownership, proper nutrition, health care, management and environmental stewardship, the TMHP also provides attendees with information on animal behavior, fundamental training, and equine law and liability. Youth development programs will also be discussed.

The purpose of the TMHP is to raise the level of education and improve overall success of horse owners and producers within the state, according to Dr. Ivey. The science-based program will provide families, youth, and communities the knowledge to generate or continue to build successful equine industry for years to come.  

For more information you may contact me at or at 931-684-5971.


It is a program that has benefited hundreds of farmers across the state and in this county, with several million dollars in funds spent on farm assets and infrastructure here in this county to date.   This fund provides cost-share monies for purchases for improved livestock genetics in beef, dairy, sheep and goats.  Livestock equipment is also a major category, with animal handling equipment, feed and mineral equipment, A.I. breeding equipment, and pasture equipment on the new list of eligible items.  Bulk feed storage and hay storage buildings can be built with cost-share funds, and grain farmers can also get grain bins funded on this program.    Farmers involved in diverse operations, such as bees, horticulture, fruits and vegetables, ag tourism, value-added products and organic production can also apply for cost-share for eligible expenditures in their operations. 

There is also a component for poultry growers.  THE 2021-2022 SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS PASSED. FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO THE TDA WEBSITE OR CONTACT JOHN TEAGUE AT 931-684-5971 OR


The initial concept of Tennessee’s BQA program focuses on producers learning about the vital importance of injection site selection, proper injection techniques and seeing the results of improper injection techniques.  Record keeping is stressed because it helps producers track their costs and also provides a documented paper trail to prove to your buyers what treatments your calves have had. Proper cattle handling to reduce stress and bruises will also be emphasized.    Many buyers of feeder cattle are seeking out BQA Certified, source verified calves.  As a matter of fact, with some of the most highly regarded branded beef product lines, such as Nebraska Corn Fed Beef, the only cattle eligible for enrollment are BQA Certified calves.  By establishing the BQA Certified program here, we are opening up a market outlet for those progressive cattlemen who become “Certified”.  Certification is also a requirement for certain sections and increased cost-share funding of the Tennessee Ag Enhancement Program of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.   

The BQA certification is provided by the Tennessee Cattlemen Association.  Training is provided by certified trainers, and the Bedford County training is available as part of the Master Beef Producer series and by appointment from the Extension office.  For more information, contact John Teague at 931-684-5971 or


The Middle Tennessee Beef Producers Association is a group of beef cattle producers from Bedford and surrounding counties that meet bi-monthly for a sponsored meal and educational session.  Meetings are held on the first Thursday of the odd months (except when it falls on a holiday) at the Bedford County Ag Center at 6:30 p.m.     

Dues are $20 for the year to help cover meals and to fund college scholarships for our youth majoring in agriculture.  This a good group of folks that meet to learn and keep current in the beef cattle business, and all are invited to come.  For more information, contact John Teague at 931-684-5971 or


Black vultures, commonly referred to as buzzards, are protected under various migratory bird treaties.  However, they do present an extreme nuisance to livestock and buildings and other assets on farms.  Therefore, there is a need to control these birds at times to prevent death to livestock and damage to real estate.  

A permit is required for the legal extermination of black vultures, and the process requires a contact to the Wildlife Services section of USDA/APHIS.  The service personnel will give the details of the process.  The contact person is Brett Dunlap, State Director, and his contact is as follows:

Brett Dunlap USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services 537 Myatt Drive Madison, TN 37115 Phone 615-736-5506 Email    


Pesticide Safety and Education Program (PSEP) in Tennessee is a statewide educational program with an overall goal to protect the environment and the public health from improper use of pesticides by providing applicator and public education. The primary target audience includes certified and non-certified pesticide applicators of all kinds, farmworkers, and the general public.​​​

What is a certified, private, commercial and/or licensed pesticide applicator? A certified pesticide applicator is one who purchases and/or uses or supervises the use of a restricted-use pesticide.   

A private applicator is one who purchases and/or uses or supervises the use of a restricted-use pesticide on their own property or anyone else’s property as long as they do it without direct compensation for their services. These include farmers, greenhouse and nursery operators.

A commercial applicator is an individual who purchases and/or uses or supervise the use of restricted-use pesticides, who do not fall under the definition of a private applicator.

A licensed pest control operator is an individual engaged in commercial pest control with a chartered company that charges a fee for their services or engaged in pest control with a non-chartered company or establishment, such as, a food processing plant, prison or school.



The Bedford County Commission has contracted with the All Around Underground Company to provide dead animal removal service for free to livestock producers of the county.  These animals must be moved to the side of the road at the farm property and preferably covered with a tarp to prevent scavengers and the unsightly view.  In hot weather the recommendation is to cover the dead animal to be picked up with ground lime.  Minimum size to be picked up is 80 pounds, and would include newborn calves or foals up to mature animals, and mature sheep and goats but not newborns of those two species.  The contact number for the All Around Underground Company is 931-306-2014.   

State of Tennessee regulations require that a dead animal not so removed is to be buried under at least two feet of soil or compost material.  Failure to do is subject to misdemeanor charges and fines.

The resources and links below are aids for Livestock and Forage management.  Use these in addition to more general Agricultural resources and links found on the Agriculture Programs page.​​​ 

Contact Information

John Teague
Extension Agent and County Director, Agriculture
Phone: 931-684-5971

Kevin Ferguson
Extension Area Specialist

Photo of herd of cattle in a field