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UTM, state partner to improve cattle health

UTM and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture are going into “business” together.

The current venture involves a partnership to improve cattle health in West Tennessee.

The partnership was marked with the unveiling of a mobile, high-tech trailer that will be managed by the university for the purpose of demonstrating proper cattle handling and health practices.

The MobilcattleDocTm is a 24-foot long, 8-foot tall trailor that can be pulled to any location and is efficient for handling and holding cows.

“The mobile cattle handling unit will be an important tool for educating and demonstrating proper cattle management and care,“ said Givens. “By helping producers understand and practice better management techniques, we can help improve the quality, add value and increase the marketability of Tennessee cattle. We’re proud to partner with UT Martin to deliver this service to West Tennessee Cattle producers.”

The mobile cattle-handling trailer was funded by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture from the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). The aim of the TAEP is to help improve animal health and cattle production, and to encourage farm diversification in Tennessee.

“The Mobiledoc is a high-quality, animal friendly, mobile cattle handling facility that will help producers realize how safe and easy cattle processing can be,” said Charlie Rowlett, UTM director of the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex. “With EID becoming more important in every beef cattle operation and the known value enhancement that comes with proper vaccinations and identification, this should be a great tool for the western region of Tennessee.”

“Having a mobile unit in West Tennessee also serves an important homeland security and animal disease control function,” said Givens. “In the event of an animal disease outbreak, this unit can be quickly deployed to any location where it’s needed for the treatment and handling of cattle by animal health officials.”

With cattle and calves being the largest generators of farm income in Tennessee, they account for about $500 million annually in arm cash receipts, according to the Tennessee Field Office of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Services.