Pasture to Plate Program

This is a great opportunity to learn more about finishing cattle in Kentucky and about the end product. Spots are limited – sign up today! First session will be on May 26th at the UK Research Farm in Princeton, KY. Registration forms can be found at or by contacting your local extension office.

As the amount of consumers wanting to know where their food comes from increases and the number of cattle in Kentucky sold to the local consumer grows, the University of Kentucky’s Pasture to Plate program proves vital to the success of producers, consumers and industry related professionals across the state.

There are approximately 40 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected facilities operating in Kentucky, which allow producers to market their cattle directly to the consumer. With an increasing number of producers retaining ownership of their cattle through the finishing phase, the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Kentucky Beef Network (KBN), Kentucky Beef Council, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the UK Forage Animal Production Research Unit has set out to educate individuals with the Pasture to Plate program.

The program will consist of a combination of ten steers and heifers, purchased yearly at approximately 700-800 pounds. The cattle will include a variety of feeder calves, including dairy-type calves. The calves will be fed a concentrate ration until finished at 1200-1500 pounds. All cattle will be harvested at approximately the same time, carcasses will be graded and processed in a typical manner; two example carcasses (one heavy and one light conditioned) will be completely deboned and separated into muscle, fat and bone. A sample steak suitable for taste panel evaluations will be collected from each carcass. Participants in this program will have the opportunity to sample the eating quality of the steaks obtained from the calves in the program. The project will be replicated at three locations across the state including the Eden Shale Farm, UK Research and Education Center at Princeton, and Morgan County Extension Farm.

“The overall goal of this program is for cattlemen to learn and experience all phases of the cattle industry post-weaning. Most Kentucky calves are sold at weaning, this program will allow producers to experience what happens from weaning through consumption,” said Bullock.

The project facilitates a vast array of educational opportunities that will be available in person as they happen, as well as recordings that will be made available to individuals who cannot attend the live program. There will be five educational components of the program including receiving, finishing, carcass/consumer/retail, live evaluation, nutrient and health management. The Pasture to Plate program will benefit Kentucky’s farmers, youth and consumers as part of an educational journey encompassing the beef industry. The variety of educational programs and promotion will help take Kentucky’s beef industry to the next level.

For more information regarding the Pasture to Plate program including dates and locations of the live demonstrations please contact your local county extension office.

The Kentucky Beef Network, LLC is a non-profit company whose purpose is to help all 38,000 cattlemen in Kentucky have the opportunity to improve animal health, genetics, forages, and marketing opportunities by enhancing producer profitability through programs and services they offer.

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