March 28, 2016 | By: Aimee Nielson

Each year, Kentucky beef producers increase the number of cattle fed, finished, harvested and sold in the state. Many producers are choosing to retain ownership of their cattle through the finishing phase of production. Through the Pasture to Plate program, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is part of a team committed to increasing producer knowledge in all aspects of cattle production from genetics to the final product.

“We want to help producers capitalize on their investment,” said Darrh Bullock, UKAg extension professor. “The best way to do that is through demonstration education. Last year, we had more than 100 participants across the state.”

During the Pasture to Plate program, cattle at three farms—UK Research and Education Center in Princeton, UK Eden Shale Farm and the Morgan County Extension farm—will be backgrounded and finished simultaneously.

“The cattle will represent a wide variety of animals showing differences in purebred, crossbred and dairy-influenced cattle,” said Jeff Lehmkuhler, UKAg beef specialist. “We’ll offer numerous field days throughout the process and finish up by evaluating the carcasses for yield and quality grades as well as a sensory taste evaluation. We will even do a grass-fed versus grain-fed evaluation.”

Kentucky farmers interested in retaining ownership of their cattle through finishing or locally marketing beef will want to attend. Organizers also encourage participation of consumers who are interested in knowing more about where their food originates and learning proper cooking methods for various cuts of beef. The program will consist of five hands-on sessions between April and October focusing on receiving, marketing, live-animal evaluation, environmental stewardship, carcass evaluation, consumer concerns and a pictorial/data summary of the entire program.

The first sessions begin at 5 p.m. local time. They will focus on receiving and are scheduled as follows:

·         April 14 at the UK Research and Education Center, Princeton

·         April 19 at the Morgan County Extension farm

·         April 20 at UK Eden Shale Farm in Owen County

For more information, visit, or contact Jake Gankofskie at or 859-278-0899. To register, go to

The program is funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund and is a cooperative effort of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Kentucky Beef Network, Kentucky Beef Council, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forage-Animal Production Research Unit.


Darrh Bullock, 859-257-7514; Jeff Lehmkuhler, 859-257-2853

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