​​Everything, If You Want Proper Legal Documentation

Commercial cattle

Cattle producers across Tennessee are telling University of Tennessee Extension specialists that they are noting an increase in demand for locally grown beef. Photo courtesy UTIA.

As demand for local foods continues to increase, many cattle producers tell University of Tennessee Extension specialists that they are noting a corresponding increase in demand for locally grown beef. “Some producers have opted to offer live animals for sale to consumers who may then, as owners of the animal, have it harvested and processed to their specifications at a custom-exempt processing facility,” says Rob Holland, director of the UT Center for Profitable Agriculture. (CPA).

“When a live animal is sold, it is important to both producer and consumer that a livestock bill of sale is created, with both parties keeping a copy,” advises Holland. Several key items are needed for the bill of sale, with perhaps the most critical being the description of the livestock. Megan Leffew, marketing specialist with the CPA, concurs. “As much detailed information about the animal or animals as possible should be noted, such as the number of head purchased, gender, birthdate or age, breed, color or markings, tag number, and tattoo or brand.”

In addition, other items for the bill of sale may include the date of transaction, each animal’s live weight, the buyer and seller names and addresses, the dollar value of the transaction and the payment method. A final important detail, adds Holland is transportation of the animal. “There are several options for transportation of the animal and delivery of the processed products, so the agreed-upon details for transport should be included,” he says.

Finally, the buyer and seller should both sign the bill of sale.

“Although there is no single format for a bill of sale, including all of this information will help both seller and buyer document the terms and conditions of the live animal sale,” Holland notes.

For more information, and to see an example of a livestock bill of sale, see the UT Extension publication A General Guide to Marketing Live Animals for Custom-Exempt Harvesting and Processing (PB1821). This publication and additional educational resources for the value-added beef program are available online at no cost at https://tiny.utk.edu/VABeef
More information about the CPA and its services are available online at the center’s website: ag.tennessee.edu/cpa

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu



Rob Holland, director, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-277, rhollan4@utk.eduag.tennessee.edu

Megan Bruch Leffew, marketing specialist, Center for Profitable Agriculture, 931-486-2777, mleffew@utk.edu